Popco review

Popco review

Popco is gloriously wild fiction full of codes, secrets, quirky loner romance, humanitarian comment and vegan recipes – all wrapped up in a deliciously eclectic story about a toy company and sweatshop labour…

Please judge PopCo by its shiny, pretty cover. It contains numerous delights, including codes, secrets, romance, and general hope for humanity. Popco is like one of those toys that turns from a car into a robot. First it’s a cool novel, and then it’s an interesting piece of social commentary!

Popco opens with the heroine, Alice Butler, alone at a train station. She’s a quirky loner who dabbles in herbal remedies and late-night wandering instead of traveling with other people. She works at a toy company called Popco, and resists the tides of fashion and coolness as steadfastly as her hip co-workers follow them. The narration is light and fun to read, and how can you resist a girl named Alice with a tea obsession? Although she’s good at her work, Popco is not the benevolent institution you would expect a toy company to be.

Cue ominous music.

Popco is not simply a toy company, Alice points out. Popco capitalizes on children’s desires and fears. Alice works at the company as a hired mind, creating concepts for children’s toy kits. Most of the action takes place at a Popco company retreat, or “Thought Camp.” She there meets a vegetarian named Ben, who becomes her new boyfriend. The plot thickens when coded messages start showing up in her room, and the executives at Popco choose her and a few other people for a special project.

The story flashes back to Alice’s childhood with her mathematician grandparents, who gave her a necklace with an unexplained number on it. Watching her grow up fleshes out her character and shows how she got to be the staunch non-conformist that she is at present.

Popco deals with a lot of different topics. It’s a hyperactive novel, with a lot of different themes and tangents. Alice is smart and honest, and by the end of the book, Alice’s every discovery and personal victory seems like yours, too. Various mysteries unfold, including a series of coded messages with an unknown origin, a new super-important project at Popco, and another secret that Alice has carried with her for her whole life and still doesn’t understand.

Popco is an entertaining, rewarding read. It’s also an eye-opener that makes you think twice about many of the parts of life we just accept as normal, like advertising, sweatshop labor, and huge corporations. By the end of the book, you may be questioning your own participation in globalization and big corporations. However, the stealthy addition of values to the book detracts nothing from the fun plot and narration. Will Alice succumb to the sweet siren call of Coolness? In a world where toys are made by impoverished kids in foreign countries, will sweatshop-using corporations continue to dominate? Will Alice crack the code that has followed her for her whole life?

Find out all this and more in Popco. Plus, there’s a vegan cake recipe. It’s just the best thing ever.

Buy PopCo on Amazon