Debbie's World of Books
My book reviews, book news & random rants

Populazzi by Elise Allen

August 23rd, 2011 by Debbie's World of Books

Source: Received for blog tour

Publication date: August 1, 2011

Publisher: Harcourt Children’s Books

I give this book 3.5 out of 5 stars

Summary from

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.

With summer starting to wind down and many teens getting ready to head back to school what’s better to read than a story about a girl who has a chance for a new start at a new school.  This book was a pleasant surprise as I read through it.  The story is pretty formulaic but if you were ever the unpopular girl who was always made fun of by the “popular kids” then you can probably relate to Cara’s character.   Cara’s one of those girls who had the misfortune of experiencing a moment of utter and complete humiliation when she was young and that ignominy follows her through elementary school and into high school.  So while I do not agree with her use of the Ladder it’s hard to really blame her.

I love Archer, Cara’s first step on the Ladder.  He’s adorable and so comfortable with who he is even if it doesn’t mean he is the most popular person in school.  Cara’s second step on the Ladder, Nate, was a surprise.  He starts off as this total hottie and the typical bad boy that girls will throw themselves at but his reaction to the whole relationship with Cara was hilarious.  When Cara finally makes it to the top tier of the Ladder as expected she finds out life at the top isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.   Cara’s fumbling through the social ladder made for an endearing story and even though the story is predictable I enjoyed the journey to end end.

The main downside to the book for me was Cara’s parents.  I get that not everyone has the most ideal parents but her parents were a real piece of work.  Her step-father is horrible and the way he treats Cara is unbelievable.  What’s even worse is the way Cara’s mother continues to enable him.   I was also hoping for a slightly different ending but over all this is a cute summer read to pick up before the back to school rush begins.

Posted in 3 Star Books, Books, Young Adult

2 Responses

  1. Pam (@iwriteinbooks)

    Terrible parents seem to be a big trend in YA. Ah, teen angst. I remember it fondly. Hopefully Karma doesn’t come bak to me that strongly…

  2. Michelle

    This one sounds super cute but for some reason I just can’t seem to grab on to it. I know this will be shallow but the cover turns me off. I just don’t feel inclined to pick it up.

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