Reading level: Young Adult
Hardcover: 400 pages
Publisher: Harcourt Children's Books; None edition (August 1, 2011)
Blurb: Cara has never been one of those girls: confident, self-possessed, and always ready with the perfect thing to say. A girl at the very top of the popularity tower. One of the Populazzi.
Now, junior year could change everything. Cara’s moving to a new school, and her best friend urges her to seize the moment—with the help of the Ladder. Its rungs are relationships, and if Cara transforms into the perfect girlfriend for guys ever-higher on the tower, she’ll reach the ultimate goal: Supreme Populazzi.
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.
Caitlin's Review: Populazzi is a fun read filled with realistic characters, witty scenes, and a captivating plot. The protagonist, Cara, is a well likeable character. She is your every day down-to-earth girl, with this cute, funny, and unique personality, such an enjoyable character to read about. I thought that Cara’s best friend, Claudia (who is the main advocate for Cara becoming a Populazzi) was a bit pushy during the whole situation, but it was understandable. Archer is one of my favorite characters. He’s your average “Theater geek” and his bubbly personality is cute. I loved Archer’s and Cara’s relationship in the beginning, Archer seemed like a good guy. Overall, most of the characters were modern and the one character I really disliked was Cara’s step-father Karl. I thought he over-acted and didn’t do the right thing by supporting his daughter no matter what. I could easily picture this book as a movie that I’d go watch with my friends and we'd definitely have a good time.
Populazzi is a enjoyable, humorous, light read with a cute message: “Always trust your yourself, and always be you.” How much better can that get? I can’t wait to read more books by Elise Allen!
Rating: I loved it!
Favorite Excerpt: (Page 4 Advanced Reading Copy)
"Claudia leaned toward me, her dark eyes intense. “You have the chance to rewrite your life story. No, not the chance . . . Reinventing yourself is your destiny! It’s in the name of your school: Chrysella, the chrysalis from which you will emerge, no more a pupa, now a butterfly!”
Actually, the school was named after an ex-student named Chrys who’d died from some rare and hideous disease, but I couldn’t tell that to Claudia."
Cover Comment: The cover is a picture of a close-up of a girl’s neck showing a necklace with the word “Populazzi” on it and diamonds. I like it.
Book source: From publisher for my thoroughly honest review