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The Compulsive Reader: Cracked Up to Be by Courtney Summers

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Cracked Up to Be by Courtney Summers


Parker Fadley used to be perfect: Captain of the cheerleading squad, perfect boyfriend, and great grades. But that was back before last year when something so awful, so unspeakable happened, that she withdrew from everything and everyone around here. Now all people see is a deeply sarcastic, obstinate girl. But they don't know why—they don't realize that Parker is the way she is now because everything that happened is all her fault.

There is something about Parker Fadley that makes her impossible to resist. Despite her indifferent, caustic attitude about things both insignificant and significant, you can't help being drawn to her, her pain, and her secret. The novel is stuffed with sarcastic wit that will have you laughing one minute, and catch you off guard the next. Summers slowly unravels the mystery of the cause of Parker's pain through skillfully placed flashbacks throughout the novel, while at the same time forcing her to confront her feelings slowly, through her parents, the boy she likes, her ex boyfriend, and even her dog, in a realistic and affecting manner. Cracked Up to Be is just as unassuming and as straightforward as its protagonist, and refuses to sugarcoat anything, making this book a breath of fresh air for many teens. Courtney Summers is an author to watch.

Cover Comments: I do like this cover--the dark green really stands out, and I like how the model is positioned. I know a lot of you guys out there really hate the headless cover trend (I don't mind it), but it's fitting for this book. I also love the font used--so cool!

13 comments:

Emily said...

I love the headless cover trend! I think it brings a sense of mystery and it lures me to reading it.

Liviania said...

I didn't enjoy this one as much as most people . . . but I will admit that the conclusion of the dog storyline made me cry.

Kate said...

Awesome review!
If you don't already know, you have some blog awards:
http://anotherbookblogwhore.blogspot.com/2009/05/blog-awards-yay.html

Mik said...

I loved this book. Nice review, and yeah, I agree with what you said about the cover.

Becky said...

I've wanted to read this one for a while but my library doesn't have a copy...is it worth buying?

The Compulsive Reader said...

Yes! And it's paperback, so it's under $10!

Janssen said...

You've sold me! I just requested it at the library.

anotherpageisused said...

I acually really love the headless cover trend. It's mysterious yet really cute(:

And you really made me want to read this book.

I'm gonna buy it now!

Thanks!

-Lexi(:

Lehcarjt said...

I feel like I've already read this book (perfect girl changes due to giant, hideous secret). Not that this ruins it for me, but it makes me want to know if the 'secret' is something different (something other than having been raped basically). Please don't post the secret, but if you liked what it turned out to be (or were surprised) I'd like to know.

The Compulsive Reader said...

I felt surprised when I finally got to the end. There were hints, but still.

a flight of minds said...

I personally like the headless cover trend too. It's usually cute and interesting- and also, it's like mannequins. It's easier to imagine yourself as the person on the cover if there's no head.

Great review! I also really liked the book. :)

- Alex

infiniteshelf said...

I read this last week and absolutely loved it! I like the cover, too. :)

Laina said...

Do you know that there are like 6 lookalike books for this?