Cracked Up to Be by Courtney Summers

When I received a review copy of Cracked Up to Be, I wasn’t sure when I would have time to read it.  Between school reading, Cybils reading, and reading up on Dublin (for my trip next week!), I placed the ARC on a pile and planned to read it next year.  But a few weeks ago I needed a break from my “required reading” and picked up Cracked Up to Be.  I was not disappointed!   


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 counselors 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.

-Via Courtney Summer’s website


The story takes place a few months after a terrible event, something Parker never wants to talk about again but that haunts her every waking and sleeping moment.  What bothers her the most is the fact that everyone else seems to have gotten over what happened and acts like there isn’t a huge void in their lives and school.  But Parker feels guilty about what happens and blames herself.

I found that I couldn’t put this book down.  Parker wasn’t always likable (in fact, I wanted to smack her upside the head a lot of the time), but I was dying to know what the tragic event was.  I read this in one sitting because I just needed to know!  Parker is constantly reminded if that horrible night, but she pushes the memories away so quickly that we only get a brief hint of what might have happened.  I keep making guesses, trying to pinpoint the exact event, but I was wrong in all of my predictions.  Courtney Summers has written an important, emotional, powerful book that you won’t want to put down.

In some ways, this reminded me of Speak: 10th Anniversary Edition by Laurie Halse Anderson. I didn’t find it to be quite as powerful as the first time I read Speak, but I think it tells just as important a story. This should be required reading for teens!

Cracked Up to Be will be released on 12/23.


6 Responses

  1. I love your blog-the discussions, the ideas, the reviews, etc. Thanks for all the great info.
    I gave you an award on my blog.

  2. […] “Courtney Summers has written an important, emotional, powerful book that you won’t want to put down.” – The Reading Zone […]

  3. I read this book yesterday after grudgingly borrowing a book from the teen section. I normally don’t like many books there, though that is what my age group is supposed to be reading. Apparently. In any case, I read the back of Cracked Up To Be and it seemed promising, but I just walked past it the first few times. I finally picked it when the library announced it was closing, and read it later that night. I started at 12:30, and ended around 3. It was so emotional, so relatable, but not in the way that generic teen books always seem to be. It’s become one of my favourite books, and I can’t stop reccommending it.

    It’s one of those books that you’d love to see become a movie, but hate to see butchered by Hollywood. It was a sincere story, right down to the very end, and though I may not agree how it ended (more like I want to know more), I do like the way Summers ended it. I’m going out to buy it later this week, and I hope she continued writing. Always good to see influential Candian writers.

  4. I absoluty love this book. I read it in less then 48 hours. I fell inlove this it. The characters and the whole romance is just what a teenage girl wants to read. I’m so glad I found it. This is a book worth reading over and over again. I would recemond this book to anyone that loves to read about the drama of a teenage girl and the hard times.The romance between Parker and Jake, Parker and Chris is so entertainging. I loved it.

  5. i just finished reading this book for the 6th time. its amazing, and literally brings tears to your eyes.

  6. […] The Reading Zone The Compulsive Reader Little Willow Karin’s Book Nook Steph Su Reads […]

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