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crackeduptobeCracked Up to Be by Courtney Summers

Published by St. Martin’s Griffin

Pages: 224

Ages: Young Adult

Publishers Summary: 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.


“When I finished Cracked Up to Be last Sunday I was at a loss for words. I still am. Most of the struggle I’ve been having with writing my review boiled down to not wanting to giveaway too much. It’s essential that you don’t know certain things about the book or it will change the way you read it entirely!

“There is a reason this book recently won the Cybils Award for Best Young Adult Fiction for 2009. It’s a beautiful and dark book that deals with difficult topics. Also, Cracked Up to Be is a book that will have every parent questioning the friends their children chose, the activities they participate in and the types of relationships they have with them. You won’t want to put it down, but at the same time you’ll keep wishing things were going to go in a different direction.

“One of my favorite paragraphs in all of my reading, ever, happened in the opening chapter of the book (available for viewing here):

Imagine four years.

Four years, two suicides, one death, one rape, two pregnancies (one abortion), three overdoses, countless drunken antics, pantsings, spilled food, theft, fights, broken limbs, turf wars–every day, a turf war–six months until graduation and no one gets a medal when they get out. But everything you do here counts.

High school.

“As for the writing and story…it’s not one to be missed, as you can tell from the above paragraph (just perfect in my opinion). Courtney Summers makes 224 pages seem like 50 and this makes it next to impossible to want to put down. Her main character, Parker Fadley is anything but likable most of the time. Parker has annoying ticks, personality quirks, angry outbursts and numerous other issues that make you want to tell her to just “deal with it” most of the time. But there are these little moments Parker has, when you see that they experience of everything she has lived through (not just the “horrible thing”, but even before that) has made her a different person. Parker just needs to get through what has happened.

“It’s a brilliant book. Not for the feint of heart, but well worth the couple of hours you will spend reading it.  There is a bit of bad language, but truthfully, who went to high school with out it? It’s a book about life and the things that happen along the way that you can’t change but have to get through some how. I highly recommend this book.”

The1stdaughter Recommends: Parents of teenagers everywhere should read this book and teens over 15/16.

Don’t take my word for it…Other reviews of Cracked Up to Be:

The Reading Zone
The Compulsive Reader
Little Willow
Karin’s Book Nook
Steph Su Reads

For the comments: What was it about high school you loved or hated? Me – that it was high school.

This book was purchased for our home library.
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6 Responses to Cracked Up to Be by Courtney Summers

  1. Gina says:

    Nice review! I haven’t actually heard of this title, but you’ve definitely peaked my interest. It sounds as if real life issues are addressed but in a bit safer enviroment, i.e. the literary world. May have to take a look at a little closer…thanks for sharing! Happy reading!
    .-= Gina´s last blog ..Food for Thought: Books-to-Movies, Part Deux =-.

  2. Caitlin says:

    Hi loved it!!! and I love your layout you have an award at my blog 🙂
    .-= Caitlin´s last blog ..Oh Lovely Blog Award =-.

  3. I really liked your review. I have trouble sometimes writing my reviews, especially when the book sort of knocks me out. I always feel I will not be able to begin to do it justice. I will be getting this one to read for sure.

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