Saturday, January 31, 2009

Cracked Up To Be by Courtney Summers

What's the worst thing you've ever done?
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.
(Summary from back of book)

I was kind of debating whether to write a review for this book or not. I mean, I'm relatively late reading it and there are already a gajillion reviews out there validating CUTB's awesomeness. So consider this short little post my affirmation and agreement with those reviews. 

I picked this up this morning because I was kind of expecting it to be a quick read and I wanted to see if I could get one more book in before the month of January was behind me. Boy was it quick. From the first paragraph, I was hooked. For me, it was Parker's voice that swept me along. She sounded so real. The writing had that awesome gritty teenager feel. Which is definitely a good thing. I don't know if the book would've been as good if it had been told any other way. I just can't picture reading this story from some other character's point of view or even in second person. It just wouldn't work. 

The weird thing is that in this novel everything fit perfectly. It seems like it's an enormous coincidence that it turned out as great as it did. Everything just FIT. The characters, the writing style, the flashbacks, the build up, the events, the conclusion, everything. Even the failed and depressed romances had their place. 

I'm the type of person who wants to read about wonderfully successful love. I'm a sucker for cheesy unrealistic endings. CUTB's ending is so far from that that I'm uber surprised I came out satisfied. 

And with all of the insanely dramatic build up, I wasn't let down. Throughout the whole book, you get these teasers and flashbacks of the event that changed everything in Parker's life, but it's not until the very end that you finally get it all shoved in your face. Based on that event, I was able to connect with Parker so much more because I finally got to see why she was the way she was. She was already a really complex character but learning the truth added a whole different angle. I loved it.

Cracked Up To Be deserves all of the praise it's been getting, and more. For a debut author to write a book like this her first time around, is astounding. Courtney Summers knows how to expertly knit a story together and she knows what kind of characters will complement that story best. It's an art form that she's already mastered. 

This is definitely going on my favorites list.
If you haven't already read CUTB, please do. You won't be able to put it down.  


  1. Great review Liv! I know what you mean about the ending, I love happy lovey endings too but after I finished I thought about it and decided it couldn't have ended any other way! When the big secret was revealed I sat straight up and said OH MY GOD.

  2. Great review! I liked this book as well - her voice was just so compelling! And I agree with Alea - I was kind of hoping for a happy ending because the book had been so brutal up to that point, but how effective would that have been?


  3. Awesome! I really need to read this. I wanted to get it one day at Borders, but nooooo they didn't have it. I'll get it as soon as I can though. It sounds amazing!!



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