Author: Courtney Summers
Published: December 23rd 2008
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
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!
It's Okay: It can wait until tomorrow