Elise Allen. Harcourt, $16.99 (416p) ISBN 978-0-547-48153-1
Even at age 16, Cara Leonard can't live down her "pants-wetter" reputation, one she earned in kindergarten. When her family moves to a new town at the onset of her junior year, she finally has an opportunity to "rewrite" her life story if she follows the scheme invented by her best friend (and fellow former pants-wetter) Claudia. The idea is to climb up to the top of the "Popularity Tower" at her new school by dating boys a rung higher. Methodically capturing and then breaking the hearts of unsuspecting victims, Cara nearly reaches her goal of becoming the "Supreme Populazzi." In her first solo novel, Allen (coauthor of Elixir with Hilary Duff) offers a smart mix of hilarity and tragedy in this Macbeth–meets–Mean Girls tale, though readers may lose sympathy for narrowly focused Cara, who seems to lose all reason and compassion as her greed for power takes over. Hearts are more likely to go out to a less prominent but nobler figure, "socially out of it" Robert Schwarner, the only one able to save Cara from herself. Ages 14–up. (Aug.)
Reviewed on: 06/20/2011
Release date: 08/01/2011
Open Ebook - 400 pages - 978-0-547-57361-8
Paperback - 400 pages - 978-0-547-72196-5
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