Book Title: Cracked Up to Be
Author: Courtney Summers
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary
Page Count: 214
Find it at: Courtney Summers's Official Website
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My Rating: 5.0 out of 5.0
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.
Two words: mind-blowing!
The first time you read the synopsis, it might make you think this would be 'one of those cheesy high school stories', but guess what? It's all wrong! Because Ms. Summers does a VERY GOOD job in delivering what teenagers go through in high school, and how they feel when nobody understands, and instead belittles, narks them of how they are not up for life challenge and how they can do much better than this one.
Parker Fadley is an unconventional character who is not supposed to be loved by the readers. It was not the author's intention at all. You can feel how the author is incredibly honest in developing Fadley's character. The first 80% of the book does not even tell you what really is going on in the story, it makes you keep wanting more and more.
I guess, this book is a really must-read for parents and high school teachers. I can only think that one message that concludes the book perfectly: Don't think that high school problems are that petty. Wear their shoes and walk a mile on it.
I'd like to deliver my greatest gratitude to Courtney Summers for writing such a book. Especially when I was in a reading-crisis, hopeless in finding great books. This book completely healed the syndrome. One thing for sure, I'm officially Ms. Summers's fan now. I'll always be hugely anticipating her works.