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Most Helpful Favorable Review

1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

Reviewed by Jaglvr for TeensReadToo

Cara is moving to a new school. At her old one, she was in a clique of two.her and her best friend, Claudia. But when Claudia learns of Cara's impending move, she presents Cara with a book she's compiled.The Ladder. The Ladder, Claudia swears, contains everything Cara w...
Cara is moving to a new school. At her old one, she was in a clique of two.her and her best friend, Claudia. But when Claudia learns of Cara's impending move, she presents Cara with a book she's compiled.The Ladder. The Ladder, Claudia swears, contains everything Cara will need to crack the popular crowd at her new school. Neither girl had success at their current school, but Claudia is determined that at least one of them must join the popular crowd. What better way than for Cara to reinvent herself at her new school? Cara really doesn't want to do it, but to humor Claudia, she says she will try. So on her first day at Chrysella Prep, she meets Archer. He's funny and cute and Cara has an immediate bond with him. But she's afraid he doesn't rate high enough on the Ladder. He's only a Cubby Crew, and won't help her succeed in cracking the Populazzi. But as her friendship strengthens with Archer, she forgets about the Ladder and just enjoys herself. That is until she throws herself at Archer one day and gets totally rebuffed. It's this rejection that renews her efforts to enter the Populazzi. Cara eventually reaches the Populazzi radar when her next attempt at a guy, Nate Wetherill, starts him wailing a negative song he wrote about her. Imagine a song written about you rhyming the words succubus and pus. That's exactly what Cara has to deal with, but the effect is almost instantaneous - she's noticed by the 'in' crowd. Cara can't believe The Ladder may actually have worked for her. After the disaster of Nate, a good-looking popular guy starts paying attention to Cara, and THE 'it' girl, Trista Camello, is seeking her out. As with all Cinderella-type stories, you know there are going to be some twists and turns and bumps in the road for Cara. And of course the popular people are never all warm and fuzzy. You'll just have to pick up POPULAZZI for yourself to see what happens to Cara after she becomes one of THEM. I totally devoured POPULAZZI and did not want to put it down. I loved all of the interactions between Archer and Cara. He's one of those characters you can picture immediately and just want to hug. Claudia, too, was another great character. She gets to live vicariously through Cara, and is honestly happy for her as positive things begin to happen. POPULAZZI is Ms. Allen's first novel, and I hope it won't be her last. The story was well-written, entertaining, and sometimes brutally honest. But it depicts what really happens in high school - the highs and the lows.

posted by TeensReadToo on April 11, 2011

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Most Helpful Critical Review

1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

A Must Read!!!

This was a very good book.It is a must read!Hands down one of the best books I've ever read!!!You have to check it out!!!

posted by 6066767 on November 2, 2011

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  • Posted March 20, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Baby there's no other superstar you know that I'll be

    I don't know what it is, but I seriously love to see the many ways high school cliques can be described - and let me tell you, some of the nicknames are really clever! Populazzi was no different, but this nice thing is that Elise Allen kept it pretty simple with 4 types: Happy Hopeless, Cubby Crew, DangerZone, and Populazzi (with a Supreme Populazzi in charge). Cara is the typical new girl in a new school who can basically re-invent herself and work her way up to Populazzi glory. She's not so gung ho about it as her best friend Claudia who is left behind at the old school, but she seems to be off at a good start when she encounters a Cubby Crew boy named Archer. According to Claudia's research, Cara should date him to up her social ante and then dump him for a DangerZone, repeat the cycle until she goes in for the gold. Yet Cara seems quite content with Archer, and she's not sure if she wants to move up the ladder. The only question is: Does Archer like her back? Populazzi will take you through the social Tower of Power - and I promise that you'll have oodles of fun and laughs as Cara goes through her multiple transformations to become the "dream girl" for each boy type. Practically I realize that girls shouldn't change themselves for a boy, but as gimmick to climb the social ladder it is quite funny to see how the rest of the school would react to Cara's antics! I loved the characters that Ms. Allen brought to life - and each of them had their ups and downs, pros and cons, and I think she captured high school in all its colorful glory! As for me, I think my high school self would have fit into the Cubby Crew somewhat, but I'd like to think that I had a Happy Hopeless in me!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 31, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    A delightfully fun, funny and entertaining read.

    When Cara moves into a new neighborhood and a new high school her worst fears become realities. Being the new girl in school with no friends leaves her planning every step of her daily school routine, from where to hide at lunchtime to how to look as busy as possible in between periods. But Cara does have has one true loyal friend, her best friend Claudia. However, there presents one problem, Claudia does not attend the same school as Cara. After hearing about Cara’s lonely school days Claudia comes up with a plan called the “Ladder,” which after first giving her disapproval for Cara later agrees to be part of. The Ladder is a plan to help Cara become more popular at her new school and one that at first seems like an innocent game, which seems to be working, at least for a while. Soon after Cara gets comfortable with her new group of friends. her worst nightmare become reality.

    Reading this story had me recalling the cliques in school and everything that came along with them. This story took me back to the past and reading it totally had me feeling like a teen again. Not sure if that was a bad thing or a good thing, but overall it was highly entertaining. I found myself at the start feeling sorry for Cara and her loneliness, but later in the story those feeling soon change when she takes her unique introverted self and turns it into an extroverted monster. Which left me wondering if Cara really does deserve what she gets. If you dig deep enough through all the drama in this story you do eventually find some lessons to be learned. Most of which have to do with being true to oneself and not trying to be someone you are not. All leading to the main lesson which teaches, you can attract real friends who really care about you and love you just the way you are, if you just be your real true self.

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