Review of Cracked Up To Be by Courtney Summers
Genres: Contemporary, Mystery,
Publisher: St Martin's Griffin
Release Date: 12/03/2008
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When "Perfect" Parker Fadley starts drinking at school and failing her classes, all of St. Peter's High goes on alert. How has the cheerleading captain, girlfriend of the most popular guy in school, consummate teacher's pet, and future valedictorian fallen so far from grace?
Parker doesn't want to talk about it. She'd just like to be left alone, to disappear, to be ignored. But her parents have placed her on suicide watch and her counselors are demanding the truth. Worse, there's a nice guy falling in love with her and he's making her feel things again when she'd really rather not be feeling anything at all.
Nobody would have guessed she'd turn out like this. But nobody knows the truth.
Something horrible has happened, and it just might be her fault.
Cracked Up To Be is one of those stories that makes you want to keep reading, even after the story has ended. It's a fairly short book, being a contemporary read, but it manages to pack a lot in it without anything feeling rushed or any characters left under-developed.
Parker has become one of my favourite characters in a book and she's certainly one of the most memorable! I like girls that don't act cute and pretty, the girl next door types. There's far too many of them. Parker is a complete bitch to everyone and gets away with it every time, because her friends know how she used to be and want that Parker back - the popular girl, the captain of the cheerleading team. I laughed on more than one occasion at people's reactions to her. I found it quite interesting just how much they didn't like this 'new' Parker, considering they never stopped getting at the old Parker either. The only person that seems to accept her for who she is is the new guy, Jake.
I pretty much hated Chris though. He's a whole suitcase of douchebag. It did show that if a girl does or says certain things, they're basically ostracized from society but Chris gets away with far, far worse than Parker did in my opinion and he was never given more than a slap on the wrist for his actions. There was nothing at all remotely likeable about him, no matter how hard he tried to pretend that he cared about Parker.
Every so often, Parker has a panic attack or remembers scene from before the major event that caused her PTSD happened, and we slowly get a picture of what it was that happened. I really enjoyed this, books are usually spoiled quickly for me because I guess the plot twist in minutes but I didn't guess this one at all! I was really surprised. It's a good twist too, I think my jaw dropped open when I got the final piece of the puzzle.
I recommend this book if you love good high school dramas, snarky main characters and a lot of mystery that will keep you guessing right to the very end of the book!
Posted by Vickie Ramage