You can read the Goodreads summary here.
This was one of those spontaneous pick-ups at the library. I have a system you know; I go in and collect my holds, wander over the YA section and see what's on "display" and quickly skim the shelves, then it's over to new adult fiction to see what's up over there. Well, this was just sitting out in the YA section and I scooped it up because I'd seen it on a couple blogs. That's really all it takes for me to pick up a book! Honestly, I wasn't expecting to like it as much as I did.
When Cara's family moves she has the opportunity to start over at a school where no one knows that she peed herself in Kindergarten. Together with her best friend since that incident, Claudia, a plan is developed to get Cara to be popular once and for all. The Ladder. Find a guy to date, and by using his connection to other eligible guys higher up the ladder, keep finding new boyfriends until Cara's dating the most popular guy in school and thus becomes the most popular girl.
When I first read Cara and Claudia's plan I have to admit, I thought it was kind of genius. If I'd read this book in high school, no doubt I would have tried it out, though I knew in the back of my mind that it wasn't going to work out for Cara. Otherwise the plot would be super boring, right? Well, the plot was fantastic because Cara really did hit a few pitfalls along the way, such as actually falling for the first guy she literally comes across, Archer.
Archer is one dreamy guy. You really can put him in along with the likes of Edward (or Jacob, whichever your pleasure is) and Etienne from Anna and the French Kiss. Archer was his own person, not at all concerned about his social standing at school. He had honest-to-goodness friends and a great outlook on just about everything. So I was, of course, dying for Cara and Archer to hook up all the way through the book even though something mysterious seemed to be holding Archer back (and that was a brilliant plot thread, I might add.)
The one thing I didn't care for was Cara's parents. Her birth father was a bum, but her step-father was horrible. As long as Cara was perfect he loved her, but as soon as she started messing up, he decided to disown and ignore her! And her mother went along with it! It was really kind of appalling and I don't think he was redeemed by the end of the novel. I can only hope that Cara's college plans worked out and she could get away from both of them.
So over all, I really liked the book even though I didn't think I would! This is one of those cases where you can't judge a book based on it's cover and description alone. You really have to read it to discover the deeper meaning. Highly recommend this to all you contemporary YA lovers out there.