Cracked Up to Be

Author: Courtney Summers
Pages: 214 
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin 
Format: Paperback 
My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Summary (from Goodreads): 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.

My Summary: Parker used to be the typical queen bee, always in control. Every aspect of her life was planned, posh, and perfect. 'Perfect' Parker Fadley ruled her school and her squad with an iron fist. 

But it turns out her empire wasn't as stable as she thought. As Parker begins to self-destruct, everything she thought she could count on disappears. The only thing on everyone's mind - the only thing nobody seems to be able to figure out - is why the girl who had everything seems so content to throw it all away. 

My Thoughts: I've been on a little bit of a contemporary YA kick lately, and when I asked for recommendations a bunch of you guys suggested I pick up anything by Courtney Summers. I'd never read anything by her before, but I trusted you guys... so glad I did! 

In almost every genre the main character is someone near the bottom of the social ladder - someone without a lot of friends or popularity to deal with. It was really refreshing to have a MC who knew what that world was like, and the way the author portrayed Parker's 'fall from grace' was incredibly realistic. Summers definitely knows how to write her characters.

The mystery behind Parker's transformation was really well-done as well. I was hooked; I ended up finishing the book in practically one sitting, needing to find out what had happened. 

Final Thoughts: I recommend this novel to anyone who enjoys edgier contemporary YA or realistic fiction.

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