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Populazzi Hardcover – August 1, 2011

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Editorial Reviews


"Fresh, funny, and sometimes wrenching, Populazzi nails what it's like to try to find yourself while navigating the crazy world of high school. I loved it." —Hilary Duff

"Populazzi is a fresh, fun peek behind the popularity curtain. Elise Allen is a welcome new voice in YA fiction." —Eileen Cook, Author of The Education of Hailey Kendrick

"Populazzi is a smart, fun, and energetic ride through the twisting hallways of high school popularity." —Deb Caletti, author of The Secret Life of Prince Charming

"Hilarious, physiologically chewy, downright Machiavellian, and heartfelt in all the most satisfying ways." —Matthew Quick, author of Sorta Like a Rock Star

"In her first solo novel, Allen (coauthor of Elixir with Hilary Duff) offers a smart mix of hilarity and tragedy in this Macbeth—meets—Mean Girls tale."—Publishers Weekly

"The story unflinchingly depicts the dark and dangerous side of high-school popularity, making it a captivating read."—Kirkus Reviews

"Satisfying chick-lit...This brilliantly titled novel delivers exactly the right escapist fluff while remaining clean and innocent enough to appear on both junior high and high school shelves...and it should." —School Library Journal

About the Author

ELISE ALLEN is a vibrant new voice in teen fiction. Populazzi is her first book for young adults. She has written for children's television and film and is co-writing Hilary Duff's first novel for teens, Elixir. She lives with her family in sunny Southern California.


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 400 pages
  • Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers; 1st edition (August 1, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0547481535
  • ISBN-13: 978-0547481531
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1.5 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (41 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,792,540 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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More About the Author

Though Elise Allen hails from Philadelphia (home of Tastykakes, the best soft pretzels ever, and her beloved Philadelphia Eagles), she resides in Los Angeles, where it never has the audacity to snow. Elise has a wildly eclectic writing career, including sitcoms, kids' TV shows, Barbie movies, and internet shows starring her heroes, The Muppets. Her books include her YA solo debut POPULAZZI, Hilary Duff's ELIXIR series (which she co-authored), and the upcoming series AUTUMN FALLS (co-authoring with Bella Thorne) and ENCHANTED SISTERS.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By delicateflower152 TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on July 31, 2011
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
If you remember middle school or high school, if you have a child in middle school or high school, then the theme of Elise Allen's "Populazzi" will resonate with you. Focusing on a private school's social hierarchy and one girl's efforts to climb the "Ladder," "Populazzi" is a witty, well written, character-driven book.

"Populazzi" takes the reader on a journey with Cara, a high school junior, as she attempts to gain acceptance into her school's highest social group, the Populazzi. Having moved to a new school, Cara is seen by Claudia, her best friend since kindergarten, as having an opportunity to climb the "Ladder" and to increase her social standing. In her zeal to help her friend succeed, Claudia creates a notebook which contains the steps she sees as necessary to move from one rung of the "Ladder" to the next higher level. Cara immediately puts this plan, which is worthy of a five-star general, into action. As she succeeds in moving from one social group to the next, Cara must also come to terms with the sacrifices and moral decisions she makes. In the end, Cara discovers the price she has paid to climb the "Ladder." She recognizes that those who are truly important to her and who really care about her may have been individuals she passed as she moved from rung to rung.

Although set in a private school and having characters from wealthier families, the issues addressed in "Populazzi" are those many young people commonly confront. Elise Allen has done an outstanding job of capturing the trials and tribulations of today's teens' daily lives. In doing so, she has also given readers, both parents and children, numerous avenues for discussion.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By ConnieP VINE VOICE on August 10, 2011
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Although it was several years ago, I still remember high school well. Like Cara, the main character in the story, I had moved and hoped for a chance to climb the ladder at my new school. I, too, hurt a good friend along the way and did things that were against my better judgment, although certainly nothing as extreme as Cara! Claudia, Cara's best friend from her "old" school, conceived a ladder climbing scheme for Cara, and somehow convinced the initially skeptic Cara to go along with it. And once she agreed to go along with it, Cara became obsessed with climbing the rungs, doing whatever it took to get to the top, and stepping on various people along the way. However, in the end, we all learn we are who we are, and that we need to stay true to ourselves. The story, although a little far-fetched, was a fun book. It would make interesting reading for most teenage girls.
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Format: Kindle Edition
'Populazzi' by Elise Allen was an entertaining and fast read. I loved going through high school with Cara, and watching her navigate the "Ladder," as she and her friend Claudia called the steps of social cliquedom, if you will. I thought that it seemed believable that someone like Cara would want to reinvent herself and see how she could be different at a new school where no one knew her.

She started off getting to know and really like Archer, a theater guy, and he seemed liek a really nice guy. However, when things seemingly went sour with him, Cara decided to move on up the ladder, asking for help from Archer once they were able to patch up some residual issues between them. Her next target was Nate, a DangerZone guy (as the ladder names people like him) whom she changed her whole personality, including her clothing, for in order to seal her hopes of getting him to be her boyfriend. As she continues her move up the ladder, another guy named Eddie comes into play, and he is one of the Penultimates, just a step away from the Supreme Populazzi who is basically the most popular girl on campus - Trista.

Whereas I've read other books where the "Supreme Populazzi" characters seem mean to begin with, Trista didn't come off that way to me. As time went on, though, she became more that way, and when it first happened, it seemed kind of sudden. I guess people don't get to be Supreme Populazzi without being scared of not only their enemies, but their friends. The way she and Cara deal with one another as the story goes on kind of bothered me, but I do think it really is indicative of the way high school hierarchies can be, despite not having dealt with that myself in high school.
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Format: Kindle Edition
All schools have a social hierarchy of popularity. Cara and Claudia at the bottom of theirs! When Cara’s family moves to a new school district between sophomore and junior year, Claudia sees it as an opportunity for Cara to use her anonymity to reinvent herself and climb The Ladder. The idea…date her way to the top. At first, Cara is skeptical of the plan, but Claudia is enthusiastic and persuasive. When Cara meets Archer (Theater Geek) on the first day of school she decides to make him her first target, but soon finds herself falling for him for real. When his affections are not returned, Cara re-dedicates herself to the plan.

Most of the plan to snag boyfriends and climb the popularity ladder, involves conforming herself to fit in with different groups. Archer sees what Cara is doing and is disgusted by her calculating. As she progresses, it is obvious that her new friends do not like her for herself, rather only for the fake self that she projects.

The story is about being true to who you are and forming real friendships based on honesty. While slightly predictable, this was a fun, entertaining read. My only complaint is that I was reading this in e-book format and the last several pages were cut off, leaving me hanging just as it was getting good. Obviously, this was not the author’s fault, just a technical error, but still very frustrating.

Overall, I give Populazzi…

Plot - 3 ½ bookmarks
Character Development – 4 bookmarks
Moral Lessons – 4 ½ bookmarks

Dream cast (otherwise known as who I pictured while reading) – Molly Quinn (Cara), Jodelle Ferland (Claudia), Dev Patel (Asher), Jackson Rathbone (Nate), Anastacia Baranova (Trista), Seychelle Gabriel (Ree-Ree), Alexander Gould (Robert)
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