Cracked Up to Be

Cracked Up to Be by Courtney Summers


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.


Jake and Chris talk through art and discover they have so much in common it's amazing. Like. They Could Be Boyfriends If They Didn't Like Vaginas So Much Amazing.

Something weird happened after I finished this book. Usually I like writing reviews when I'm still all emotional about a book (I always think it makes those reviews much more vivid) but I finished this book and just … couldn't. The thing is that reading usually has a very emotional impact on me, especially when it's a book about psychological trauma of some sorts. Especially when I relate, on some level, to the struggle of the protagonist (it only has to be a little part of the bigger picture for me to be completely drawn in). Meaning: Just the fact that Parker had panic attacks had me all wrapped up in her psychology, which really, really isn't the place to be. So, yeah, this book packs such a punch that I had to take "the day off" for me to recover and get back into my own brain.

Even before Jessie disappeared, I never understood how I was supposed to work as a person or who I was supposed to work with other people. Something was very wrong with me, like I felt wrong all the time. I longed for some kind of symmetry, a balance. I chose perfection. Opposite of wrong. Right. Perfect. Good.

I have to admit, though, that I was kind of disappointed with the ending. It felt extremely rushed which really upset me because the pacing seemed to be down to a tee – until the ending happened. I get why it was "rushed" at the point it was and I get why the book ended on that note but that doesn't mean I liked it. I'm aware of this criticism being a solely personal one which is why I can't stress enough: I 100% recommend this book. You should definitely read this.

But why? You might ask. Well, my dear reader, the answer is manyfold: This story is an incredibly raw and honest portrayal of a character you usually only meet as antagonist in teenage stories (the over-achieving, super-popular highschool-bitch), it's intelligently written – you're not only tricked by the narration, the narration is tricked by the protagonist and the protagonist is also tricked by herself making it a book of so many layers it's hard but also immensely interesting to follow, and it's generally an, almost to an uncomfortable degree, intense reading experience. I especially recommend this book when you're "intrigued" by characters who struggle with a mind-boggling amount of mental problems.

Honestly, this story had me on the edge of my seat. Whenever it was lying near me I automatically wanted to grab it and just start reading, without even really knowing what I was doing – I'm a really focused person so there are a couple of scenarios where I just do things without realizing but even I don't usually just start reading when I'm spending time with people. Obviously, this effect was supported by the fact that I very much related to her panic attacks and coping mechanisms. I needed to see whether she'd learn to get it under control or whether she'd open up or whether she'd just kill herself. Sounds harsh? Yeah, that's kind of what this book is about.

Totally unexpectedly (I'm kidding because, if anything, I was waiting for it), I started to cry about halfway-through. I'd start crying a little bit, dry up, start crying again a little worse, dry up again, cry even worse … until I was the mess that had to start learning to cope with the world all over again. You'd think this book was too short to have so much mystery and hurt and angles in it as it has.

"You were so …"
Perfect. She never finishes, but I know if she had, that's what she would've said. Perfect. You were so.


Well … Honestly, I don't know. It would be a good rating but I just, I don't know, I can't decide. Anything kind of sounds wrong. Maybe I'll be able to pick a rating at some point but for now: Just read this book for yourself.


Name: Cracked Up to Be
Author: Courtney Summers
Publisher: Griffin Publishing
Pages: 224
Where?: Amazon


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