Jackie Bardenwerper is a self-published author of young adult fiction. Her first novel, On the Line, is an honorable mention recipient in the Writer’s Digest Self-Published eBook Awards. Her second novel is Populatti, and deals with issues faced by young adults every day, including social media struggles and bullying.
At sixteen, Livi Stanley thinks she has it all: a new life free from the traumas of her middle-school-year awkwardness and unpopularity, great grades, good friends, and membership in Populatti, an exclusive website that allows her access to the hottest social scene around. Which includes Brandon Dash, baseball star and Livi’s long-time crush. But along with all the benefits, membership in Populatti has a catch: the other members can vote you out at any time.
When the online rumors start, growing uglier by the second, Livi’s place as a popster is threatened. Her friends don’t really seem to care, so Livi will have to look for help in places she never imagined. With her insider view of the reality behind Populatti, Livi has some questions: Why is everyone voting against her? Are these people really her friends at all? And does she even want to stay in Populatti, no matter what the votes decide?
Populatti is a book dealing with real issues faced by young adults today, in a world colored by the distorted lens of social media. The characters are well-imaged people, not cardboard cutouts, and the trials that Livi goes through are realistic—if also slightly horrific. This fast-paced novel captures the nuances of the high school social scene, and one girl’s realization that there is more to life than popularity and social media.
(Galley provide by JKS Communications)