Title: Cracked Up To Be
Author: Courtney Summers
Publisher: St. Martins Press
Reading Level: Young Adult
Publication Date: December 2008
Plot - 18/20
Characters - 18/20
Writing - 19/20
Originality - 17/20
Entertainment - 10/10
Recommendation - 10/10
Perfect Parker Fadley isn’t so perfect anymore. She’s quit the cheer leading squad, she’s dumped her perfect boyfriend, and she’s failing school. Her parents are on a constant suicide watch and her counselors think she’s playing games…but what they don’t know, the real reason for this whole mess, isn’t something she can say out loud. It isn’t even something she can say to herself. A horrible thing has happened and it just might be her fault. If she can just remove herself from everybody--be totally alone--then everything will be okay...The problem is, nobody will let her.
Months ago, like September/October, I heard about this book. I went in search of it, and found an excerpt of it. I read it. I was not impressed. I felt it was rushed and Parked didn't impress me and, well, yeah. To say the least: Not a very good first impression.
But, then, around December. Reviewers started reading it. And there were reviews of it! And, my gosh, they were fantastic reviews! A reviews! A+ reviews! I HAD to get a copy of it! (And everybody, give a round of applause to Carol for lending me it!)
So, to begin with. I was shocked. I mean, not completely mouth-dropped-to-the-floor shocked, but shocked. I had no idea, and let me tell you, I thought of everything. Everything it could've been, and I never thought of what it was. Kudos Ms. Summers.
Summers writing was fantastic. Very much the high point of the novel. Summers wrote with intense and creepy, but definitely interesting, emotions. Fantastic imagery, real ideas, and strong, deeply strong, feelings. Unpredictable. Heart wrenching. Nothing is sugar-coated. This novel is one ride this is far from joy. This novel is a story that attacks you and makes you read and finish it because of it's intensity and the deep mind-set. This is a story you will not forget. It's mind-blowing good.
Characters. The characters were great. Parker was mean, rude, cruel, and unusual. She was a fantastic character. The supporting characters were great, but not as great as Parker. Scintillating, extraordinary, atypical, but remarkable. Truly.
Read this, you won't regret it.