Friday, 11 November 2011

The ALPHAREADER review of "Popular"

Danielle Binks, author of the ALPHAREADER blog (, a really great young adult review blog, has given Popular five stars out of five! To quote: -
"I loved reading about the life and times of Irish teens. I especially loved the fact that Russell’s teenagers are neither middle-class ‘Skins’ or spray-tanned O.C. bitches. Russell’s Mount Olivet teens are in a world all their own. There are very different rules of popularity for Irish cliques; attending Mass is a chance to hobnob and being on the Lady of Lourdes fundraiser board is a sign of status. I love, love, loved the fact that ‘Popular’ is about Irish teen cliques – not the typical (and done-to-death) American ‘Mean Girls’ variety. Yes, the characters reference Sex and the City and Gossip Girl, but their lives are decidedly Irish, right down to their religious-laden quips;

‘What are your plans for revision, Imogen?’ asked Cameron, taking another drink of Diet Coke
‘Saint Jude,’ she replied. ‘Well, I mean, it’s sort of staggered really. I’ll start off with Saint Giuseppe and Saint Thomas Aquinas, but I think in the end it’s all going to come down to Saint Jude.’
‘Oh, he’s very good,’ said Meredith.
Decipher: Saint Jude is the patron saint of lost causes.

Russell’s characters are also delicious dastardly darlings. These teenagers are the richest of the rich, getting their own spreads in the Ulster Tattler and residing in Belfast mansions to rival even the cliff-side residences of Orange County. Fair warning, few characters in ‘Popular’ are redeemable or even likable. Meredith is an Ice Queen who rules by iron fist and double-dealings. Imogen is a pretty girl who knows it, and Kerry is wholly concerned with usurping her best frenemy. These characters are horrendous . . . but Russell writes them with so much panache and ‘OH-MY-GOD!’ antics that they bypass annoying and head straight into horribly entertaining. Like a car crash you can’t look away from, the characters in ‘Popular’ are often times so depraved and annoying that they’re entertainingly fabulous."
Check out Danielle's amazing review in full HERE

What do you guys think? Do you agree with her? Personally, it's one of my favourite reviews of Popular so far!

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