Saturday, September 22, 2012

Review: Cracked Up To Be by Courtney Summers

Title: Cracked Up To Be
Author: Courtney Summers
Published: December 23rd 2008
Source: Purchased
Genre: Young Adult
Buy: Amazon ~*~ Barnes & Noble
Add to your Goodreads shelf
Caution: Does contain some spoilers

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 conselors 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.

~synopsis from Goodreads

My Thoughts:

I had high hopes for this one. There’s a lot of Courtney Summers love out there. So I went into it expecting it to be this magnificent piece of adolescent dilemmas. One of those coming of age stories that makes you sit back and think. Instead, I came out of it not impressed.

Our protagonist, Parker Fadley, was not a character I could connect with at all. She left very little to be desired in her actions and her attitude. Jake, the guy who starts to fall for her, gets treated like absolute crap. And he’s a nice guy! A very nice guy. I didn’t really understand why she couldn’t see it, or why he couldn’t see her for who she really was. He just kept chasing after her. It’s like that saying: Insanity is doing the same thing again and again and expecting a different outcome.

It’s not just the way she deals with him, it’s also how she treats her former cheerleading squad. How she treats the captain that replaced her, Becky. And her ex-boyfriend (which is now Becky’s boyfriend), Chris. And her family, and everyone else trying to help her. Throughout the story are flashbacks to the night when something horrible happened. That was the only thing keeping me going, wanting to know what happened to make her such a jerk. Was what she did in the past an excuse for her present actions? Absolutely not.

Sigh. Well, Cracked Up To Be wasn’t all it was cracked up to be. I did like Jake a lot, he was a good guy. And in the end Parker sort of has an epiphany about the way she acted, which made it slightly better, but didn’t change my mind. Courtney Summers can write very well. I just couldn’t get into this story. Maybe if Parker wasn’t so cruel, I could have enjoyed it more. It is what it is. At least I gave it a try!

My Rating:

It's Okay: It can wait until tomorrow


  1. oh wow Jake sounds like such a nice guy and I can't stand it when nice people are bullied.

    - Juhina @ Maji Bookshelf

    1. He was. :) I feel the same way about people getting bullied!

  2. Angsty characters that are just too angsty never work for me either. I loved your pun, btw. :)

    1. Some angst is okay, a lot is too much. I'm glad somebody loved it! ;)

  3. What a shame! I hate it when books you're looking forward to disappoint you. I realize all characters can't be tra la la happy and perfect, but I hate un-redeemable jerks. They're hard to take in real life, let alone in books, which are like our escape, you know? I can't remember if you've read This is Not a Test by Courtney Summers? It was really good - not what I was expecting at all. I've been curious to see what Summers' other books are like and although I might still someday read this - maybe when my tbr pile gets smaller which will be day after NEVER lol - I'm not in any hurry now.

    1. Exactly--when a book is supposed to be like an escape, I want a more likeable protagonist! I probably should still try This Is Not A Test. I did hear a lot of good things about that one. It could have just been this book for all I know. At least, I'm hoping. From the synopsis of the other ones, they may be better than this one. :)

    2. This is Not a Test is unbelievably emotional - it'll rip your heart out and tear it to pieces. I'm usually on the fence about books like that, but it was really well done. I'd say it's worth getting to...someday. ;-)

    3. Hmm... Yeah, I think I'll read that one someday. I like books like that once in awhile. ;)

  4. I love Courtney Summers' This is Not a Test, so I've been trying to find a second book by her that comes highly recommended. I'm sad this one didn't work out for you. It is sad when people are bullied or mistreated. It's real life, but I don't like reading about it, especially when the one doing the bullying is the main character (unless fabulous life lessons are learned). Hopefully you'll still try another one by her!

    1. Oh, I'm definitely planning on reading This Is Not A Test, I heard a lot of good things from friends on that one. :) I wish this one was better though. I haven't tried any of her other books, but I have heard good things about all of them from at least some people. :D


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