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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What Price Popularity...
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...
Published on July 31, 2011 by delicateflower152

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars It was ok
I wouldn't really recommend this to younger kids as there was some adult content. Not my favorite book but not the worst
Published 23 months ago by Michael n


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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What Price Popularity..., July 31, 2011
This review is from: Populazzi (Hardcover)
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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.

I highly recommend that parents read this book and then use it, in a family setting, to discuss topics such as self esteem, individuality, the price of being "popular" and the value of true friendships. Parents of `tweens and more conservative individuals should be aware that the "f-bomb" is used in the characters' conversations, drug use and drinking occupy some scenes, characters "hook up," one character presents himself as straight in order to remain a member of the Poppulazi, and one character deals with an eating disorder. Nevertheless, these issues are an integral part of the story; they are neither idealized nor judged. Further, these are issues our children may be confronted by during their middle school and high school years. "Populazzi" seems to be an excellent starting point for discussion and for sharing those values which you personally view as being important.

I have rated this book as a 5-star read, both for its writing and its value as a discussion tool. It is a book that will hold the interest of almost any reader. Because it is a novel which engages the reader in the charcters' lives and challenges, it is hard to put down. It is a novel to be read and shared.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars How far would YOU go to climb to the top of the high school social ladder?, August 10, 2011
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This review is from: Populazzi (Hardcover)
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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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4.0 out of 5 stars While slightly predictable, this was a fun, entertaining read., March 18, 2014
This review is from: Populazzi (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 ˝ bookmarks
Character Development – 4 bookmarks
Moral Lessons – 4 ˝ 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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5.0 out of 5 stars The Bookmark Blog for Populazzi, January 2, 2014
This review is from: Populazzi (Hardcover)
You know how when you are watching a horror movie, and you see the girl getting ready to open the door, and you know it's a bad idea? Everyone in the audience knows its a bad idea? And you are all screaming 'Don't do it?' But, she doesn't listen and does it anyway? This novel is sort of like that, only better, because the girl lives to tell the tale.

Cara is smart, but she has zero experience with guys and it just seems to keep getting her in trouble. You just keep seeming to cheer for her though, cause SURELY, she is going to get it right eventually! This is a great story about teenagers and the ups and downs of high school. There is also great stuff thrown in about how social media effects us and how everything can change at the drop of a hat, or the opinion of others.

I loved this story. Elise Allen has created a great story and you just find yourself cheering for Cara though the whole thing. I enjoyed it so much I stayed up all night reading it as soon as I got it!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing, August 1, 2013
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This review is from: Populazzi (Kindle Edition)
Oh. My. God. I love this book so* much! It's amazing and soon i found myself waking up at midnight to read it.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Cute and funny..., December 30, 2012
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This review is from: Populazzi (Hardcover)
Cara is a really unique and realistic teen girl. She was down to earth and sweet. She reminded me of myself when I was her age. I found Archer to be really nice and adorable. At times, I found Claudia to be annoying. Cara's mom and Stepfather Karl were so infuriating. It reminded me of one of my friend's parents and I couldn't like them after that. It is horrid to think that someone would do that to their stepdaughter or daughter. The cliques in this book didn't seem over done and I think that it was really accurate. I really liked the plot. It was fun and full of drama. I really enjoyed seeing Cara as she went through the other groups. Allen's writing is amazing. Even though this book is almost 400 pages, I enjoyed every moment. My only complaint is that I didn't get to see Archer enough. I recommend this book to fans of Sarah Dessen and Stephanie Perkins. It was an amazing debut with great characters.
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3.0 out of 5 stars It was ok, December 26, 2012
This review is from: Populazzi (Kindle Edition)
I wouldn't really recommend this to younger kids as there was some adult content. Not my favorite book but not the worst
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5.0 out of 5 stars AMAZING!!!!, November 24, 2012
This review is from: Populazzi (Paperback)
I can not say how much i loved this book!!! It had a lot of romance in it and boyfriend - girlfriend things. I just loved the drama and the ending was perfect!!! Im 16 and can totally relate!
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4.0 out of 5 stars Populazzi, a book for a mature tween, September 27, 2012
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This review is from: Populazzi (Kindle Edition)
ths book is really good example of the many cliques in high school and what mean girls are like. I would reccomend (sp?) ths book to anyone OVER the age of11 due drinking,language and smoking. But I very much enjoyed this book.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Funny, Insightful and Full of Heart, September 10, 2012
This review is from: Populazzi (Paperback)
Cara Leonard doesn't want to be invisible at her new school. She doesn't even want to simply fit in. Cara wants to shine, to sit at the top of the social heap. Cara wants to be Supreme Populazzi, and she's determined to do whatever it takes to make her way to the top. But popularity isn't always what it seems, and Cara must decide if she's willing to hurt those who help her climb the social Ladder.

So...I'm going to be "dating" myself here, but my one of my very favorite movies ever is Can't Buy Me Love. It's a movie that I feel is required watching if you want to be my friend. Can't Buy Me Love features Patrick Dempsey, pre-Dr.McDreamy, as Ronald Miller, an uber-nerd who uses a popular girl to buy his way to the top of the school's social scene. In the movie, Ronald changes everything about himself in order to fit in. He drops his friends, becomes a gigantic douche and ends up losing everything when he lets it go to his head. The story is by turns sad and funny as you watch the inevitable train wreck, and there are lesson to be learned about the value of being true to yourself. My point? With it's misguided protagonist and hilarious scenarios, Populazzi reminded me very much of Can't Buy Me Love. And that makes this book a total win.

Author Elise Allen did a super job of conveying the emotional turmoil of being a teen. The need to be recognized, to even be seen, is a feeling any person can relate to. My teen years are so long gone, but I was sent right back to those moments of sadness, longing, and angst.

Populazzi is an extremely funny book. Extremely. The situations Cara got herself into were humiliating and priceless. The dialogue, particularly between Cara and Claudia, her BFF, and Archer, a potential BF was witty and sharp.

In reading, not much makes me happier than a funny story with a lot of heart, laughs and character growth. Populazzi delivers on all accounts. I had such a blast reading it and can safely recommend it to all Contemporary Young Adult fans.
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Populazzi
Populazzi by Elise Allen (Hardcover - August 1, 2011)
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