Populazzi by Elise Allen
Release Date: August 1, 2011
Target Audience: Young Adult
How I found out about it: From Kristi’s blog – she did a review and I immediately added it to by to-be-read list.
Format: Kindle download
Summary: Cara is challenged by her best friend Claudia to move up The Ladder to become Supreme Populazzi at her new school, where she will have the chance to reinvent herself and begin her junior year of high school with a fresh start.
I began Populazzi hoping to read something that was light-hearted and fun. Cara is going into her junior year of high school with a big book from her best friend, Claudia, that details how to move up the social ladder. Claudia’s plan never felt extremely convincing to me, and I immediately thought I would be able to predict the outcome and ending. Cara didn’t seem overly excited to be reinventing herself either and for that reason alone, I didn’t understand why she so easily went along with all of the plans to change.
As I got deeper into the book, I realized Cara was just like me as a high school girl. She was searching for who she was. She didn’t know which group of people she belonged to and she wasn’t comfortable enough with who she was not to care if she wasn’t the most popular girl in school. Pretty much every girl can relate to how Cara felt as she waded through all the drama. Young girls will relate to Cara’s soul-searching, and adults will have flash backs to those not-so-glorious days when we were so self-conscious. I reflected a lot on who I was back then, and I came to realize that Claudia’s plan would have been the greatest idea to 16-year-old-me. As an adult, I found it transparent and saw all the fatal flaws…especially when they pertained to the resident-geek-crush, Archer.
I adored Archer’s character. He was the boy I hoped Cara would realize was perfect for her, but of course she made so many mistakes throughout her climb that Allen had me convinced that wasn’t a possibility. The book felt so much longer than it was because Cara had to go through so much before becoming true to herself. Allen definitely did not make Cara’s journey an easy one, which made the story all the more convincing.
Overall, I enjoyed this book so much. Some parts were laugh-out-loud funny and others I was cringing hoping all the bad would quickly pass. I think any girl who remembers what it’s like to find out who you are in high school and any girl currently going through that part of her life should definitely pick up this book.