Book Review: Populazzi by Elise Allen


I won’t lie. I have a love – hate – love relationship with Populazzi by Elise Allen. That may sound a little out of the ordinary, but it makes for a GREAT story!

Cara has the opportunity many a teenage girl has wished for. She’s moving to a new school in the midst of high school. Sure, that sounds a little intimidating, but it’s also an opportunity to reinvent herself. Who wouldn’t want a chance to do that? With a little help from her best friend, Claudia, and frequent consultations with Claudia’s fool proof plan to climb “The Ladder,” Cara definitely reinvents herself. But is she still Cara?

As I said before, love – hate – love.

Love: Cara is so easy to identify with. It’s easy to find a little of yourself in her. Could be where you stand (or stood) on your own high school “ladder,” could be the relationship with your own best friend or it could just be that desire to fit in, even if you’re perfectly OK with who you are.

Hate:  There was a time or two when I totally hated Cara for the decisions she made, but I promise, I was hating myself right along with her, knowing I would have done the same thing in her situation. Cara makes some pretty big sacrifices in her ladder-climbing efforts. Some of it even feels justifiable with the constant encouragement of Claudia. But will Cara hurt the people she claims to care the most about just to make it to the top? Would you? Are you sure about that?

Love: The ending. It’s perfect. I don’t mean Cara’s life ends up perfect, but the way Allen brings it all together makes the hating worth it. So, does Cara make it to the top? Does she nab that Varsity football player? Does any of that even matter?  You’ll have to read it to find out.

Elise Allen has created a world of misinterpretations, mixed signals, missed chances and amazing friendships that is the high school experience. Populazzi is a book you won’t want to put down.


WHAT WOULD YOU DO if you had the chance to erase your past and reinvent yourself as the person you’ve always wanted to be?  Would you grab it?  Would you stick with it, no matter what the consequences?

Cara Leonard always wished she could be one of  those girls: confident, self-possessed, and never at a loss for the perfect thing to say.  One of the Populazzi.

It always seemed impossible… but now could be her chance.

When Cara moves to a new school just before junior year, her best friend urges her to seize the opportunity and change her life… with the help of The Ladder.  Its rungs are relationships, and if Cara transforms herself into the perfect girlfriend for guys higher and higher on the Popularity Tower, she can reach the ultimate goal: Supreme Populazzi, the most popular girl in school.

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.

Populazzi is available in stores now. 

2 thoughts on “Book Review: Populazzi by Elise Allen

Add yours

  1. I like your love-hate-love format. Populazzi sounds like a fun read- it reminds me of My Fair Lady. Looking forward to reading this book sometime soon!

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