ARC: 400 Pages
Genre: YA Contemporary
Book from Publisher
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From Goodreads. 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.
Review by Kate
POPULAZZI, by Elise Allen, is a fantastic contemporary novel about the psychology behind the 'popular' group in high school. Cara and her best friend Claudia have figured out how to turn from new-girl into the Supreme Populazzi. By dating boys on certain rungs of The Ladder a girl can turn from invisible to the top of the high school food chain . These two girls plot and plan to get Cara to the top at her new school.
This book really surprised me! Even though Cara and Claudia's plan was extremely shallow and there were so many ways it could have failed, these girls really learned a lot by pursuing it. The first day of school Cara met a boy she absolutely fell for, Archer. But with their relationship not going anywhere Cara turned back to The Ladder and her life turned upside down. Cara and Claudia went all out to create the persona for Cara at each stop on The Ladder.
Allen brought up a lot of teen issues such as peer pressure, drugs, drinking, and sex. But along with the hard issues, Allen brought a lot of humor along. Just as a warning I wouldn't recommend this book to teens in the lower end of the YA bracket.
I loved Cara and Claudia together. At times Claudia was a bit pushy with The Ladder thing but I think these two best friends learned a lot in the process. Allen did a great job with turning points. Just when I thought Cara was in the worst situation, there was another one right on her tail. And when they weren't mad at each other, I adored the chemistry and friendship between Cara and Archer. They were perfect for each other and I cheered for them the whole time!
Overall, this was really a fantastic book. Allen created some great characters and a fantastic plot that kept me hooked!