Cracked Up to Be: A Novel

Cracked Up to Be: A Novel

by Courtney Summers
4.1 211

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Cracked up to Be 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 211 reviews.
TeensReadToo More than 1 year ago
Parker Fadley was captain of the varsity cheerleading squad. She'd been on the honor roll for the first three years of high school, and Chris, the most popular guy at school, was in love with her, the most popular girl in school. Now, no matter how awful she is to him, she knows he still loves her, but she's not worth it.

Not since the party. Not since her life took a radical one-hundred-and-eighty degree turn.

Her parents have her on a tight leash. Early curfews. Weekly meetings with the guidance counselor. Dinners with sad, yet hopeful eyes turned her way, yearning for a glimpse of the Parker they used to know. Everyone has her on a suicide watch, but nobody knows why. What could have caused Parker Fadley to turn away from everything and everyone?

It's Jake who begins to get under her skin with his unnerving presence and constant questions. How can she possibly be that interesting to him? When Evan comes back to school, she can no longer keep the memories of the events of that night at bay. Whether she wants to or not, she's going to have to find the real Parker Fadley, or risk losing her forever.

The restful cover of CRACKED UP TO BE belies the unrest and turmoil that is Parker. The voice is incredible, similar to that of SPEAK by Laurie Halse Anderson. Courtney Summers doles out the secrets in small portions, teasing the reader, and when the events of the party are finally revealed with nothing held back, the tension is palpable.

And no matter how many hints Ms. Summers drops, you'll never be able to guess Parker's terrible secret. This debut author is just that good.
TeenageGirl More than 1 year ago
Now, personally I read a lot and always find myself lost in books and their characters. Let's just say I've been depressed for a couple days now. This book is about a girl who knows something and has to carry this huge weight around with her everywhere... She wants to die. She tried once and, unfortnately, failed. But now she's preparing to go again, slowly detaching herself from everything, everyone, but still desparetly wants to graduate. She (understandably) fell behind in school and if she screws up much more she will lose any chance of graduating with her class in a few months... Then there's the new boy who keeps talking to her and following her around even though she hasn't given him any encouragement... I just found this book amazing. I was very into the charaters and felt everything they did... I don't know what to say, just read it! But be warned, this is not a 'light' read. It swears a lot, there's sex and drinking... Nevertheless, a great read with tons of emotions.
TheBookResort More than 1 year ago
I find it hard to believe Cracked Up to Be is Courtney Summers' debut. The writing is breathtakingly unforgettable. Cracked Up to Be is definitely not a light~hearted read. I was stunned speechless. Summers stretched her literary muscles & crafted not any "teen angst fluff", but a lyrically spellbinding tome! I'm not going to summarize the plot for fear it will ruin your reading pleasure. In fact, I don't want to discuss much of Cracked Up to Be for fear of tipping off too much. Courtney Summers is an author that has a natural gift for telling a story; she doesn't need bells & whistles to get her point across. As I was burning through the pages, I kept wondering, "where on earth has Courtney Summers been?" Courtney's riveting prose will hypnotize you from the first page. The players lining Cracked Up to Be are mesmerizing, but Parker is resplendent w/ every hue shimmering like stained glass. Parker's narration is nourishingly illustrative, which Summers generates deftly. Parker seems to "have it all" but things aren't always what they seem. Parker has a fierce longing for approval & a hunger for love which isn't over the top or wishy washy. Kudos to Ms. Summers for hitting a home run w/ Cracked Up to Be. Cracked Up to Be is a profound story w/ rich layers you unearth while turning the pages! I thought I had it all figured out, but I didn't. I'm usually spot on but Summers got me good! Summers vividly showcases that it isn't all that it's "cracked up to be" being a youth in today's society. Summers' somber view makes you sit up & take notice. Cracked Up to Be is an alarming introspection into the barbarity of high school life. Cracked Up to Be is definitely a novel to remember long after you close it. Grab a copy of Cracked Up to Be. Definitely a novel to remember look after you close it.
bookworm720 More than 1 year ago
this book is incredible. the main character is completely screwed up and the story is deep. its not a "oh i'll bring this to the beach and read just for fun, stupid silly book." when i described what the book was about to my friends, they all thought it sounded depressing. I brought the book into school and they'll all read the back cover and were hooked. All of them have borrowed and loved it. Its perfect if you dont like UNrealistic puff stories where everything ends up happily ever after. the book shows flawed characters and that is probably my favorite part is the unique characters. DEFINITELY RECOMMEND! i've reread several times.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The message was unclear to me in the book. I know books don't need messages but this stills seems to need one. It starts out with a girl holding a huge load of guilt on her shoulders. She really wants to kill herself but wants to graduate first. I read this because it was in my teachers classroom. The charectors all have clear intentions but I am still depressed days after I have read this. Not for young minds, or middle school minds even. I shouldnt have read it in 7th grade.
moises-lover More than 1 year ago
so i read cracked up to be. The first thing i have to saw is that it is an awesome and amazing book. now a problem that i had with it is that well it was hard to get into it about the first 3 chapters i hated and it was like "is this going to be the whole book" i was about to quit. I am so happy i didn't. though the book isn't that long it made me think about my life and how i treat people. and what if my best friend went missing and how would i take it. I think the best books are ones that make you think about what you've read and when you relate it to your own life. which this book totally did. Almost after every single chapter i'd sit and think. "wow" i also thought "am i wasting my life worrying about the little thing and not seeing the whole picture" i mean i worry about what i look like and how people see me and i don't care so much about people's feelings. So this book really made me think of that so im glad that i read this book and yeah. I think that every person should read this book :)
bre-z More than 1 year ago
This book like I said wasn't that amazing. I found it hard to get through, and now its currently sitting on my bookshelf, half-read. I dont know what I didn't like about it. I think it was that fact that I found Parker alot different then myself, and ready to argue about anything. Or say something nasty to anyone. Most teens might like this book. But like myself others might find it hard to relate to.
bymidnight12 More than 1 year ago
Excellent book. I loved the Parker and I felt I could relate to her. She was funny, adventurous and pretty much everything in between. This book made me laugh and cry. I loved how original the characters were; especially Jake and Parker. I was always expecting religion to jump in (I hate when authors do that). But it didn't and that always kept me going. I finished it in one day. Amazing. I recommend it everyone.
epicrat More than 1 year ago
This is definitely not a light-hearted read, and perhaps that is why I did not fall too hard in love with it. After reading so many fun and fuzzy YA books, I was probably unprepared for the different change of pace in cracked up to be. The main character Parker is brutal, and quite frankly I don't think I could be friends with her. She scares me - to be fair, she scares the other characters as well! However, as the story progresses, I saw that her hard exterior masked a very broken interior. I could appreciate her obsession with perfection (being a haphazard perfectionist that I am) and how hard she is on herself. Courtney Summers does an amazing job with teasing us with bits and pieces of why Parker is trying to remove herself from everybody's lives. With each new piece of information - both useful yet still vague - I found myself with a new theory each time and a whole lot of second-guessing. When all the puzzle pieces fell into place, I cannot say that I had a OMG moment, but it definitely explains Parker's path to self-destruction a whole lot better.
BooksaremypieceofHeaven More than 1 year ago
Best book I've read in a while!
Lauren Marie Edge More than 1 year ago
You wanna keep reading just to figure out what the big secret is thats ruined parker but thats pretty much the only reason its a page turner. It was very frustrating and depressing and I was shocked by all the great reviews cuz I didnt like it but maybe I just didnt get it idk but not for those who like happy books
hitleli13 More than 1 year ago
The story was a bit ongoing-entertaining, but you just know you are in the middle of her life. Parker has a great personality, the ability to just say what's on her mind is so humorous! I really liked her, and I really liked the book. I wish the athour would have given a more detailed ending, but I can live with what she gave me! It's a good read.
k_collins More than 1 year ago
I found Cracked Up To Be a very exciteing book, it left you wanting to read more as you read. The emotions of Parker can be felt with every chapter and even some of her emotions the reader his or herself have felt at least felt once in their lives. I recomend this book to anyone who finds the trails of teenage years readable.
Zadunajsky More than 1 year ago
I really liked this book, and was surprised about the ending. A must read!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Sandy5 More than 1 year ago
Parker’s falling and although she says she doesn’t want assistance, you can’t help but feel there’s a part of her that reaching out for someone. Perhaps it’s the bottle of Jack Daniels that she keeps in her locker at school, hidden front and center or the way she reminisces back to her previous life, the way she shined for herself and those who mattered. For now though, she is crumbling, she can’t keep her head above water, she failing in school, her friends and her family are concerned for her welfare and she really doesn’t care about anything. What caused this sudden change in the girl who had everything going for her? As Parker muddles through her life now, we are given flashbacks into Parker’s previous life, Parker the perfectionist, the girl who was on top and we witness just how fast someone can tumble. There were times I found myself talking to the characters, committed and attached to them I was now consumed and attached to their lives. Just like in the other novels that I have read by Courtney Summers, the emotions and the drama were front and center, and as a reader I was wrapped up inside these pages and forgot the world outside.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was a really great book! The ending was completely unexpected, I did not predict that would happen. This is a must read!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
You should definetely get this. AMAZING?
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
YoungMensanBookParade More than 1 year ago
"Cracked Up To Be" by Courtney Summers is a book about a teenage girl coming to terms with an event involving the downfall of her best friend that she believes to be her fault. The book has enough suspense to keep you on the edge of your seat without being a horror, and the romantic element is subtle, but there enough to be relatable for a high school student. I would recommend this book for high school students, because it is written from that perspective and that it may not be suitable for younger children. This book also contains alcohol abuse, sexual references, and mild profanity, so while a good read for a mature teen, young child might want to be suggested a different book. I enjoyed this book because it had a very different layout from other books that I have read and has a mature plot. It shows how one would cope with an incredibly tragic situation. The only downfall of this book is that due to its unique writing style it gets a bit difficult to follow. Review by Jessica A., age 15, Northwest Florida Mensa
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Def read
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago