Published by St. Martin's Griffin on 23 December 2008
Source: Purchased Physical Copy
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.
Thoughts: I’ve been meaning to read a Courtney Summers book for years now, and Cracked Up To Be made me glad I finally did. This book is the kind of contemporary I adore: edgy, angry, and authentic, with an incredible voice. The narrator’s pain is what kept me flipping pages; she is easy (for me) to relate to, and I needed to make sure that she was going to get through this part of her life.
There is a secret that the story builds up to, but for me it was anticlimactic. However, I could completely understand why this secret would destroy the main character, and I was relieved when she finally got to the point where she was capable of dealing with it. I also appreciated that everything wasn’t tied up in a nice neat little bow. Some things change you and the best you can hope for is a new normal. This book doesn’t lie about that, but it also promises that the new normal doesn’t have to be as bad as you think.
Favorite moment: I kind of loved every moment that the narrator was a terrible person to the people around her. I mean, I’m glad she dealt with her issues, or got to a place where she could deal with her issues, but her meanness was honest and I appreciated those scenes.
Overall: I read this book by accident in less than a day, so you better believe I will be reading more books by Courtney Summers.