Cover Image: Pop!


Pub Date:   |   Archive Date:

Member Reviews

Pop was a brilliant middle grade book that was immersive and exciting with high stakes complimented by amazing writing!

The story followed Queenie who has the Mac-Tonic formula that had been lost. She is offered millions to return it but when she is kidnapped, she realises the bigger plan of the corporation.

This book reflected on modern day issues that are very real. It was inspiring yet realistic and showed how big corporations can ruin the planet for the sake of profit. The story's theme of taking action and making your voice heard was inspiring and I think that the middle grade audience will love it!

Overall this was a fantastic read and I would recommend it!

Thanks to netgalley and the publisher for the E-arc. All opinions are my own.
Was this review helpful?
This is a book which veers between the ridiculously silly and serious concerns about climate change.   It did make me laugh a couple of times out loud, but I couldn't decide whether it was aimed at adults or teenagers or both.    Worth a read if you believe that big businesses don't care about our world.
Was this review helpful?
I was instantly drawn into this book right from the off. We join the story with Queenie and her family in their rundown Californian coastal home and a discovery that set’s off an adventure that will change her life.
Mitch Johnson has created a thrilling adventure novel that doesn’t shy away from big themes, including corporate green and climate change. There’s always the chance of coming unstuck when covering big themes, but boy does he pull it off. 
With characters and a plot that keep you hooked throughout and a satisfying ending, I highly recommend adding this to your reading list!
Was this review helpful?
Unlike anything that I’ve read before which made this book a breath of greasy air. You couldn’t get any more different to Mitch Johnson’s first book, Kick. 
With major issues such as caring for our planet, being responsible for our actions and standing up for what is right interwoven so beautifully throughly this book, you would be mad not to use it in any upper primary classroom.
Was this review helpful?
A thought provoking story that looks at the impact of fizzy drinks on people and the planet as Queenie discovers the priceless recipe for the world’s most favourite carbonated drink. A fantastic, funny adventure with serious ideas and issues underneath.
Was this review helpful?
A wonderful tale of modern greed and major corporation propaganda.

The world is dominated by two fizzy drink manufacturers: Mac-Tonic and Delixir. The recipe for Mac-Tonic is only known to two trusted members of staff, who coincidentally, and tragically, are flying at the same time and their planes collide. Imagine a world without Mac-Tonic?! Riots and chaos ensue as addicted consumers storm every retail outlet to stock up on their beloved drink...

The recipe finds its way into the hands of a young girl called Queenie, who is quickly abducted when the value of her knowledge is recognised and a huge bounty is placed on her head. Queenie meets Todd, and the two young people have to find a way to restore the recipe into the right hands. Todd has his own tale to tell and reasons for being so invested in the recipe of Mac-Tonic.

This is an amazing tale of corporatism, capitalism, propaganda, espionage, consumerism, friendships and adventure. There are high speed chases and high octagon energy all through this brilliant story. 

This would make a great class read: there are so many issues to explore and discuss. Highly recommended!
Was this review helpful?
I was instantly hooked on this full-throttle adventure questioning the power of corporations & consumerism in a MG-friendly way.  Addiction, pollution,   racism, aliens & spies, this is packed with bants that UKS2 kids will relate to & get angry about. Willy Wonka meets MIB🥤🕵️‍♂️
Was this review helpful?
This book started in a non fiction way and i thought it was talking about real life corporations, but soon realised it was fiction and the tale got really exciting very quickly. I read this book in a day, it rsally gripped me and would be good for any 9+ child  The end part talks about the environment and making a difference.
I loved every part of this, 5/5 and would definitely say to buy and read this  I will keep an eye out for any by the author too.
Was this review helpful?
When the two people who know the secret formula to MacTonic disappear, the world is sent into turmoil. As America is descending into panic and chaos, Queenie stumbles across the formula. From this moment, Queenie’s life is changed forever. Our reluctant protagonist is kidnapped and hunted, but during her crazy adventure she is befriended by a boy called Todd. Together,  they become acutely to aware of the ruthless corporations destroying the planet purely for profit. 

This is a gripping tale, which I’m sure will be a favourite in our library for upper KS2 - I can’t wait to share it.
Was this review helpful?
Pop! by Mitch Johnson is an action packed tale that has a battle between good and evil at its core. However, it has so many more threads running through it. It is so much more than that. Pop! gives opportunities to discuss capitalism, sugar addiction, the ills of the corporal world, gun possession, conspiracy theories / fake news, propaganda, plastic pollution, business ethics, the legal system ... I could go on! As with other books written by Johnson, it is multi-layered and cleverly written. Queenie is a firecracker of a main character and there are twists and turns along the way that will make you gasp and wonder how Queenie will get out of the situation she finds herself in. This book is gritty and sometimes that is just what children need to open up discussions about the world they are growing up in and to see that they have the power to change it for the better. ‘It’s your world too.’
Was this review helpful?
This book is the first I've read by Mitch Johnson, after hearing many recommendations for him. It tells the story of Queenie, a young girl caught up in corporate politics following the loss of the secret recipe for Mac Tonic. She stumbled on the recipe and her life gets turned around.
I have to admit, the theme seemed a little strange to begin with and I wasn't sure I would like it. However, the writing is such good quality that I was completely sucked in to the world of Mac Tonic and Queenie, wondering how on earth things would work out. Not only that, but the book has some important messages about big corporations and taking care of the environment. A good read.
I will certainly be looking out for other books from this author.
Was this review helpful?
I was hooked on this book from the very first page of the disclaimer at the beginning.

What would happen if the secret recipe of the world's favourite drink was lost? What would happen if you found it?

Queenie finds the secret recipe and it lands her in an adventure where she does not know who she can trust, will she survive the experience?

I liked that the book touches on pollution and the responsibility of the big corporations without labouring the point, and how it is also up to everyone to look after the planet.
Was this review helpful?
From the writer of Kick - always a shop bestseller, this is a new rip roaring adventure, involving a girl on the run after coming into possession of a soft drink secret formula. With action and electrifying set pieces this is a thriller with heart and an ecological message. A well done romp that will appeal to girls and boys.
Was this review helpful?
A book as additive as the fizzy drink it features! Pop is a fast-paced, action-packed book, which packs a mighty punch about the environmental, and personal, impact of big corporations. 

Set in a frighteningly dystopian future, where climate change, plastic pollution and the greed of big companies reign supreme, Pop tells the story of the loss of the secret recipe of the world’s most popular drink. When Queenie stumbles upon the secret formula, her life is immediately at risk. Kidnap, assassination attempts, bounty hunters and angry mobs intermingle with new friendships, finding out what really matters and standing up for what is right. 

I thoroughly enjoyed this story and guzzled it down in one sitting. I found it entirely unpredictable, frighteningly believable and utterly refreshing. It’s an adventure story but it could easily be read as a mystery, a sci-fi thriller or a moralistic tale. It was enjoyable from beginning to end.

Thank you to NetGalley for providing me with this ARC.
Was this review helpful?
Wow, what a thrill ride! A hilarious satire about pepsi and coke, with a strong environmental message. I thoroughly enjoyed this as an adult, and children aged 9+ would love it. Although it touches on important themes, none of it felt too adult for kids to read and understand. The plot recovers around the secret formula to a high sugar, high caffeine fizzy drink, Mac Tonic, which is lost at sea. It washes up in a plastic bottle, and the girl who finds it ends up in a web of kidnapping, conspiracies, black helicopters and car chases. It makes clear how companies will put brands and making money ahead of ethics, but in a really amusing and easy to access way. Will stir up environmental feelings in anyone!
Was this review helpful?
Fast-paced, entertaining but with deep and important messages. Mitch starts with assumptions that so many consumers hold, and takes them on a journey through thinking about consumerism, capitalism, competition and the destructive hold big business can hold on us. I can't wait to share this important message with my young readers, and especially with schools!
Was this review helpful?
When 2 planes crash over the Pacific, the unthinkable happens: The secret recipe for the world's favourite soft drink, MacTonic, is lost. As the Great Thirst begins, young Queenie de la Cruz finds the ingredients list washed up in a bottle written on a label. This is an action packed adventure charting Queenie's kidnap, escape and a chase across the country. With an unlikely friend, Todd, to help her, will she return the list to the MacTonic Corporation, or will others get to her first?
I was quite surprised at how quickly this book gripped me and I read it in the space of 24 hours. There were parts that felt quite futuristic (after all we don't currently have advertising on the moon) but also very much present day with the key theme of pollution and littering. I would probably recommend this book to readers in key stage 3.
Was this review helpful?
Imagine a world without Coca Cola, then step into  a world without MacTonic. Queenie finds herself at the centre of a fast paced adventure to save her precious MacTonic drink. Full of twists and turns, action and dilemma, this is guaranteed to appeal to a wide range of readers as it’s a book you don’t want to put down. Themes of family, friendship and looking after our planet also feature strongly throughout the book.
Was this review helpful?
Pop! is an action packed. gripping, highly addictive adventure that once you start reading you cannot get enough. A really fun and laugh out loud hilarious read.
Was this review helpful?