Published by Harcourt Children's Books
Pub Date: August 1st 2011
Format: eARC | Source: NetGalley
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult
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Cara has never been one of those girls: confident, self-possessed, and always ready with the perfect thing to say. A girl at the very top of the popularity tower. One of the Populazzi.
Now, junior year could change everything. Cara’s moving to a new school, and her best friend urges her to seize the moment—with the help of the Ladder. Its rungs are relationships, and if Cara transforms into the perfect girlfriend for guys ever-higher on the tower, she’ll reach the ultimate goal: Supreme Populazzi.
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.
I had to really think about my feelings for Populazzi upon finishing it because they were so mixed. I’ll start with what I really loved about it, which was the whole first half.
Right off the bat, I was really into this book. I loved Cara and her best friend, and her best friend’s wacky Ladder plan. I wanted to find out how this would turn out. My guess was that it would end badly before it turned itself around. My guess was pretty spot on.
The moment Cara meets Archer and they start hanging out, this book became unputdownable. They had such great chemistry and the banter between the two was just adorable. Things…don’t quite work out for them, which really made me sad, and soon after, Cara takes her Ladder plan a little more seriously. On to the next one, Cara goes. The next one turns out to be one interesting, sad character. I kept hoping Cara would just drop everything and go work things out with Archer!!
After that is when I started to lose the momentum in this book, because Cara starts hanging out with the Populazzi and that group is just so unbearable. I could hardly read about it. I just can’t stand those kind of characters. Evil, and selfish, and rich…ugh! I just kind of went on autopilot during that part.
I honestly feared this book would not have an ending I was happy with. As I read the last part of it, I had this feeling of foreboding I could not shake, which really upset me considering how much I had enjoyed the first half of this book! But, all the worrying was for nothing. Elise Allen wrote an ending I was happy to read. It definitely redeemed itself in the end.