Thursday, August 25, 2016

Book Review: Populazzi

Title: Populazzi
Author: Elise Allen
Publication Date: August 1, 2011
Publisher: Harcourt Children's Books
Genre: Realistic fiction
Pages: 400
Age Rating: Readers over 13
My Opinion: 6/10

Hi, Readers!

       Wow, I can't believe how fast summer has gone by.  I just realized how long it has been since my last post!  Guess I've been pretty busy.  In a week or so, I will be packing up to return to school for my sophomore year of college.  With it will come new opportunities and adventures, but I will always treasure the memories I've made this summer.  Having such a crazy summer definitely took a toll on my daily reading.  However, I've had a couple of weeks of relaxation in which I've read a few novels, one of which being Populazzi, by Elise Allen.  Although the novel lacks substance and is extremely cliche, it was an entertaining read that managed to captivate my interest.
High school popularity chart
High school popularity
as described by Pintrest

       When Cara switches high schools for the start of her junior year, her childhood friend Claudia comes up with a social experiment of sorts to help Cara move up the popularity ladder at her new school.  Cara starts off on the bottom rung, meeting a lovable theater geek named Asher.  However, Claudia encourages her to continue working her way up to become the Supreme Populazzi - the most popular girl in school.  Cara's mother and step-dad encourage her to focus on her college interview for Northwestern, but instead, Cara continues to form new relationships and delves deeper into the foundation of high school cliques as she becomes wrapped up in her social life.  Will she be able to balance her new image with who she truly is, or will she crack under the pressure?

       Populazzi has got to be one of the most cliche high school popularity novels I have ever read.  And I'm not saying that's a bad thing!  It was a pretty basic plot line - the new girl willing to do anything to become popular.  The characters weren't even that likable, aside from the heartthrob, Archer.  For some reason, though, the mindlessness of the novel and the mob mentality made me want to keep reading.  I knew exactly what would happen, and I liked it.  Populazzi is what I would call a "safe" read.  You know exactly what you're getting - the fantasized high school experience with mean girls, bullies, jocks, and theater geeks - with no surprises, and that was perfectly fine with me.

       Many characters were extremely stereotypical.  From Archer, the theater geek, to Nate, the stoner, to Claudia, the clingy best friend, each character portrayed a different high school stereotype.  Again, absolutely no surprises.  I don't think anyone would be surprised to hear that Cara became wrapped up in search of popularity and ditched her old friends.  It was nice - almost relaxing - to know exactly who each character was.

       Of course, the novel culminated with a school dance.  I don't know how many different ways I can possibly phrase the same thought - CLICHE.  But I still kept reading!  I was entertained!  The silly, simpleminded and self-centered high school drama made me thankful to be in college, but also made me laugh.  Therefore, I can't give Populazzi a high rating and I will not recommend the novel, but it was funny and endearing, and I thoroughly enjoyed it as a summer pleasure read.  What have you been reading this summer?  Feel free to leave a comment below - I love hearing from readers!

Happy reading!

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