Debbie's World of Books
My book reviews, book news & random rants

Cracked Up To Be by Courtney Summers

June 5th, 2009 by Debbie's World of Books


I give this book a 3 out of 5 stars.

Description: Perfect Parker Fadley isn’t so perfect anymore.  She’s quit the cheerleading squad, she’s dumped her perfect boyfriend, and she’s failing school.  Her parents are on a constant suicide watch and her counselors think she’s playing games…but what they don’t know, the real reason for this whole mess, isn’t something she can say out loud.  It isn’t even something she can say to herself.  A horrible thing has happened and it just might be her fault.  If she can just remove herself from everybody–be totally alone–then everything will be okay…The problem is, nobody will let her.

I had been wanting to read this book for ages, ever since I saw the first advanced reviews.  Now that I finished it it’s really hard to gauge how I feel about it.  I can’t rave about it like most of the other reviews I’ve seen.  I could not put it down but it was almost in a morbid sense like not being able to watch a train wreck.  In fact, watching Parker was like watching a train wreck.  She was on a self destructive streak that while she was not the most like-able of characters you had to feel sorry for her.  It was amazing to watch the support she was getting, especially from her ex-boyfriend and the new guy, Jake.

Just as a warning Summers will leaving you guessing until almost the very end trying to figure out what drove Parker over the edge.  I was a little confused at first because Summers would drop these tantalizing hints along the way until the final completion of events that lead Parker to her current state.  This book did make me think about how hard parents and society in general pushes kids these days.  First, it was you had to go to kindergarten and then pre-K and now it’s the “right” educational day cares.  Then there are all the music, dance, swimming, etc. classes.  You have to wonder how many of these kids will grow up to be like Parker and feel the constant pressure to be the perfect student.

Posted in 3 Star Books, Books, Young Adult

6 Responses

  1. kay

    I just read this book this week, too, and I enjoyed it – if “enjoy is the word”. I agree she wasn’t the most likeable character (she didn’t seem to be it even before the events we are learning about, either!). But there was something so desperate about her, that I couldn’t turn away from the book. I read almost all of it in one sitting!

  2. dsuzuki

    Kay-I totally agree. She wasn’t the most likeable but you get drawn to her. I guess sort of like how Jake was. :)

  3. Belle

    I don’t do as well with books where I don’t like the main character, so I’m not sure whether I’ll be adding this one to my list. But I enjoyed your review – watching a train wreck – that’s so very descriptive!

  4. dsuzuki

    LOL. Yeah, I normally don’t care for books where the main character doesn’t click with me but I couldn’t stop. The other book I read where I didn’t like the main character but enjoyed the story was Gladiatrix. I think it had good supporting characters who made up for the irritation of the main character.

  5. Kelly

    I loved this one because I identified with the perfectionism of the main character. I could feel her pain even though she wasn’t being forthcoming about the specifics.

    I’m glad you did enjoy it though!

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