Populazzi by Elise Allen
Published by Harcourt Children’s Books, an imprint of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Ever since Cara peed her pants in kindergarten, she has never stood a chance of being one of the cool kids, the Populazzi. Now, in her junior year of high school, she might have the chance to change all that. Cara is moving to a new school, and her best friend, Claudia has the perfect plan for how Cara can move up the Populazzi ladder. Things start out well: meet a guy, date him, leap from his social group to the next one up. Soon, though, feelings get involved and things become complicated.
Okay, I loved Populazzi so, so, so much. It might have been easy not to, the picture of high school was totally cliche and I could spot the ending a mile away, but honestly, none of that mattered. Allen’s writing is engaging to the point of being infectious, and she has a gift of creating characters that you can’t help but love, even when they are doing incredibly stupid and even hurtful things. Also, I love Archer, the first guy Cara meets, so incredibly much it wasn’t even funny. He is just adorable beyond words.
Beyond her fun writing and lovable characters, Allen is not afraid to discuss issues of teen sex, lying, drug use, and eating disorders. She walks a perfect line between neither glamorizing nor overly moralizing these realities of teenage life, which is incredibly refreshing.
All in all, Populazzi was an incredibly addictive book that I simply could not put down. Highly recommended.
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