Maybe I’m too far removed from being a teenager, or maybe I’m not removed enough. Whatever the case, it’s seldom my first choice in genres to read for pleasure.
Deb Elise’s Populazzi made me rethink that
It’s not hard to figure out why. Deb Elise did a phenomenal job creating a narrator who is smart, quirky, flawed, earnest, insecure, driven, kind, funny, and a bit misguided. In other words, human – someone so entirely relatable you feel like you know her.
As I followed Cara on her journey through the minefield of high school popularity, there were times I wanted to grab her by the ear, give her a good shake, and say, “girlfriend, what are you doing?”
And then maybe we’d hug and braid each other’s hair.
See, that’s what’s so powerful about this book – the fact that the characters aren’t just cardboard cutouts, but real people who make you want to laugh and cry and stay up all night reading the book because dammit, they’re your friends and you need to know RIGHT NOW what happens to them.
Not that I did that.
OK, I totally did that.
If you share my love of flawed-but-lovable characters who become your very best friends in just a few pages, you’ll definitely want to pick up Deb Elise’s Populazzi.
Here’s a quick synopsis in case you’ve missed it in the other Debs’ posts this week:
Cara Leonard always wished she could be one of those girls: confident, self-possessed, and never at a loss for the perfect thing to say. They are the Populazzi, and they’ve always been many rungs on the Popularity Tower above Cara and her best friend Claudia.
Yet when Cara moves to a new school just before junior year, Claudia urges Cara to seize the opportunity and change her life… by using the Ladder. Its rungs are relationships, and by molding herself into the perfect girlfriend to guys higher and higher on the Popularity Tower, Cara will be able to achieve the ultimate goal: becoming Supreme Populazzi, the most popular girl in school
What starts off as a lighthearted social experiment becomes increasingly twisted and difficult, and Cara soon finds even the most basic things about herself aren’t what she always believed. Though the Ladder may seem like a straight climb to the top, for Cara it’s a sometimes-dark, sometimes-absurd, always-winding journey to find out who she really is.
What’s the last book you read that had characters so vivid, so well-crafted, so very, very human that you felt like you knew them? Please share, I’m always looking for good reads!
And please go buy Elise Allen’s Populazzi. I promise, you won’t be disappointed!