Review: Cracked Up To Be



Cracked Up To Be
Courtney Summers
St. Martin’s Griffin
2009
978-0-312-38369-5 

I’ve been meaning to read more Canadian YA, since most of what I’ve been reading is American. I’ve wanted to read Courtney Summers’s novel Cracked Up To Be, which was nominated for the White Pine Award, for a while, and I am glad I did. The novel’s heroine, Parker Fadley, used to be perfect: she was captain of the cheerleading squad, dated the most popular guy at school, and got good grades. But one fateful night turns Parker’s life upside down. Now, she’s showing up at school drunk, failing her classes, and pushing everyone who cares about her away. All she wants is to be left alone, but new guy Jake won’t back down so easily, forcing her to face what happened that night.

This book is definitely a page-turner. Summers uses flashbacks to slowly reveal the events leading up to Parker’s breakdown, keeping the reader in suspense. Parker isn’t the most likeable character, but she’s not supposed to be. Her prickliness is part of her attempts to push others away because she feels she doesn’t deserve her perfect life anymore. The reader does get glimpses here and there of her wish to be loved, accepted…normal. Summers’s writing is sharp and her characters edgy and realistic. I look forward to reading her other novels.

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