Populazzi by Elise Allen

Populazzi by Elise Allen

Release Date: August 1, 2011
Publisher: Harcourt
Age Group: Young Adult
Pages: 400
Format: Advance Reader Copy
Source: BookSparksPR
Interest: Debut
Challenge: 2011 Debut Author Challenge
Buy the Book: Amazon

What would you do if you had the chance to erase your past and reinvent yourself as the person you’ve always wanted to be? Would you grab it? Would you stick with it, no matter what the consequences?

Cara Leonard always wished she could be one of those girls: confident, self-possessed, and never at a loss for the perfect thing to say. One of the Populazzi.
It always seemed impossible… but now could be her chance.

When Cara moves to a new school just before junior year, her best friend urges her to seize the opportunity and change her life… with the help of The Ladder. Its rungs are relationships, and if Cara transforms herself into the perfect girlfriend for guys higher and higher on the Popularity Tower, she can reach the ultimate goal: Supreme Populazzi, the most popular girl in school.

The Ladder seems like a lighthearted social experiment — a straight climb up — but it quickly becomes gnarled and twisted. And when everything goes wrong, only the most audacious act Cara can think of has a chance of setting things even a little bit right.

This was such a fun story to read. Elise does an excellent job depicting a realistic and genuine teen voice. Cara was a one of a kind character, and I simply enjoyed experiencing her story with her.

It’s easy to get caught up in this story. I know, personally, that I remember all to well craving that feeling of acceptance from my peers and classmates. I didn’t necessarily want to be the Supreme Populazzi, although I’d be lying if I didn’t day-dream about being the most popular girl in school, but I just wanted to be able to be me, and have people like me for it. Cara’s experience in Populazzi is so much like that.

I absolutely HATED Cara’s parents. I’ll be surprised if this girl doesn’t have some serious issues when she grows up… yes I realize she’s a fictional character, but still. Her parents ugh. I don’t care what I did, nothing would be bad enough for my parents to “wash their hands” of me… or say they never want to see me again. I was so enraged with her parents, that I was cheering for Cara to stick it to them!

This book is FUNNY too! I was laughing-out-loud and giggling through-out this entire novel. That being said there are some serious issues that are dealt with, but Elise does an excellent job handling them in a non-condescending manner. Teens are smart, they don’t need to be talked down to in the books they read, and I’m glad I didn’t see that happening here.

You are going to love this story. Great characters and a great lesson! Find out who you are and love yourself for it! (I wish I would have taken those words to heart when I was in high school.)

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