Monday, April 4, 2016

Populazzi by Elise Allen

Description from
Cara has always dreamed of being a Populazzi, one of the popular crowd. But it’s not until she changes schools that she gets a shot at it, thanks to her best friend Claudia’s crazy plan. The idea is simple: The rungs of The Ladder are relationships. First get a boyfriend who's ranked low, then climb up through more boyfriends until you're not just one of the Populazzi, but the Supreme Populazzi. Yet what starts off as a fairy tale turns into a somewhat dark comedy of errors. Just when Cara reaches the top, her life hits rock bottom. She wonders why she wanted to be popular in the first place—and if there’s any way to live happily ever after now.

The statement "dark comedy of errors" is a perfect description for this book. It has drama, humor and satire (meaning: a literary term used to ridicule or make fun of human vice or weakness, often with the intent of correcting, or changing, the subject of the satiric attack. ) Definition of satire quoted from this site
In case you were wondering (and I'm sure you weren't) I had to look up the definition of satire to see if I could use another word that everybody would understand (Yes I do have younger subscribers) but I just felt that this word was too perfect.

Cara our somewhat tragic main character is very trusting, very endearing and maybe a little bit of a push-over. She is unsure of who she really wants to be, willing to experiment some and very excitable. She has moved and must attend a new school. Her friend Claudia and her have devised a plan for her to become popular by referring to the steps in a ladder. Although I thought that maybe climbing her way up by stepping "on" guys (aka the ladder is made up of dating different popularity level of guys) to eventually get a guy in the upper populazzi's circle and then having an in to make friends with the popular girls. But this as you can tell will eventually hurt the guys she stepped on to make it higher on the ladder. Which ensues the Drama and the humor. So boys play a big part of the book, the theater gleek, the emo musical pot head and of course eventually the sports player populazzi.

My favorite character was Archer from the moment she meets him they have great chemistry, witty banter and seem to just click. I have to say that the dialogue in this book was fantastic. I really liked all of the characters but the parents really got me thinking. Her father who seems to not have much, if any relationship with her at all was saddening, but all too often that is how most families are today.  Her mother was very torn between Cara and her new husband Karl. And sometimes having to actually choose between the two was a little heart breaking. Karl's attitude that he will only talk to and appreciate/care for Cara is if she is a outstanding, admirable student and represents what he views is a perfect daughter. Which I found sad because she's a teenager and nobody is perfect. Cara seems like she not only has this fun game to play at her new school but also has to play another game at home. Split personalities which neither of them are completely her. Everybody likes playing games, but when people's feelings start getting hurt, it really shouldn't be fun anymore. It's no longer a game.

I really recommend this book, I loved the comedy and the errors in Cara's search for who she is, who she wants to be and exploring what it's like to be somebody outside herself completely. A wonderful read that was a lot deeper and more complex than I thought by looking at the cover. (But it is a gorgeous cover and it fits this book perfectly)