Book Review: Cracked Up To Be – Courtney Summers

Title: Cracked Up To Be
Author: Courtney Summers
ISBN: 9780312383695
Pages: 224
Release Date: December 23, 2008
Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin
Genre: Teen/YA
Source: Personal Copy
Rating: 4.5 out of 5

Summary:

Parker Fadley was a straight A student, head of the cheerleading squad, girlfriend to a guy everyone wanted, and one of the most popular girls in school.  Then, one night, everything changed.  Now Parker is destructive to both herself and those around her.  She’s stopped doing her homework, broken up with her boyfriend, and abandoned her friends – she just wants to be left alone.  But the new guy, Jake, doesn’t take her hints, and tries to break through the walls she has created around herself.

Review:

I don’t read much contemporary YA anymore, but I so enjoyed Courtney Summers’ Some Girls Are that her debut, Cracked Up To Be, has never retreated from my TBR list.  I was expecting a riveting and emotional novel, and I was shocked at how heart-wrenching I found this book.

Parker should be an unlikeable character.  She’s mean to everyone around her, she uses people, and she is very self-destructive.  But for some reason, I was instantly drawn to her.  Summers shows the reader how damaged Parker is, while at the same time making them understand that she wasn’t always this way.  There is a Parker crying for help underneath this strong and difficult façade and it’s up to the reader to make their way through it to understand what really happened.  As a result, at the same time Parker is being mean, she’s showing how much she’s hurting.

Summers does a wonderful job exploring the world of teens in Cracked Up To Be.  She doesn’t spare the reader, letting us know exactly what is in Parker’s head at any given moment.  Alcohol, sex, and drugs surround Parker, but it is her mental state that really causes anguish for the reader.  It’s clearly that Parker is balancing on an edge, and it wouldn’t take much for her to fall.  What is heartwarming, though, is how Jake and Parker’s ex-boyfriend Chris refuse to give up on her and show her the meaning of real friendship.

I was hooked onto Cracked Up To Be and read it in one sitting.  Parker’s journey was such a tumultuous one, and as a reader, I was very emotionally invested in her story.  If you’re looking for a gripping, quick read, look no further than Cracked Up To Be.  With it, Courtney Summers has earned a place on my must-read authors list.

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Comments

  1. I have heard such good things about Summers. I really should pick up one of her novels. This sounds like a good one.

  2. I have heard such good things about Summers. I really should pick up one of her novels. This sounds like a good one.

  3. Wow, great review! This book sounds like a good one for the read-a-thon coming up in April.

  4. Wow, great review! This book sounds like a good one for the read-a-thon coming up in April.

  5. It sounds like Summers can remember what it’s like to be a teen! I really want to read one of her books.

  6. It sounds like Summers can remember what it’s like to be a teen! I really want to read one of her books.

  7. Wow! What an exciting review 🙂 I don’t usually read that much YA, but your review is so compelling that I think I have to branch out more!

  8. Wow! What an exciting review 🙂 I don’t usually read that much YA, but your review is so compelling that I think I have to branch out more!

  9. I don’t remember the last contemporary YA I read but this sounds interesting. I’ll probably try Some Girls Are sometime soon.

  10. I don’t remember the last contemporary YA I read but this sounds interesting. I’ll probably try Some Girls Are sometime soon.

  11. This sounds terrific. I’ll add it to my list!

  12. This sounds terrific. I’ll add it to my list!

  13. This is a genre that I don’t generally read but you have got me interested with this review. Thanks for the post.

  14. This is a genre that I don’t generally read but you have got me interested with this review. Thanks for the post.

  15. I also don’t read a lot of books in this genre, but something about this one sounds extremely compelling. I want to find out what’s at the bottom of the protagonist’s anger after reading your review.

  16. I also don’t read a lot of books in this genre, but something about this one sounds extremely compelling. I want to find out what’s at the bottom of the protagonist’s anger after reading your review.

  17. I have read Courtney Summers’ two other books but not this one yet! It’s going to be in my next book purchase and I can’t wait.

  18. I have read Courtney Summers’ two other books but not this one yet! It’s going to be in my next book purchase and I can’t wait.

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