Cracked Up To Be by Courtney Summers
Published: December 23, 2008 by St. Martin's Griffin
Perfect Parker Fadley isn't so perfect anymore. She's quit the cheerleading 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.
So, I've been wanting to read this book since around when it came out because it sounded like I could relate a bit, trying to be perfect with school is a lot of pressure. What I found is that Parker is impossible to relate to and an obnoxious person in general. I wanted to like this book at first, but at about halfway through I was done trying to understand Parker and just wanted to know what the heck was wrong with her. That doesn't mean it wasn't a well-written book, but this was not a book I enjoyed.
Reasons I love this book:
- Bailey- Parker's dog is my favorite character in this book- he's the only one that Parker is ever
nicenot a jerk to and even then she can barely manage that. When Parker gets Bailey she starts becoming more human- if it hadn't been for this dog I'm not sure I would've seen any progress with Parker.
- Principal Henley- she's doing the best she can in the situation, with her whole do your work and don't mess up or don't graduate policy. If more people in Parker's life were less lenient she'd probably be in a better place (parents! I don't care if she doesn't want to go to a therapist- she needs one!)
- Parker- Parker is a major jerk to everyone she comes into contact with. She drinks and goes to school hungover when she goes at all, which doesn't make sense because the "huge horrible bad thing" she's reacting to happened the 1st time she ever got drunk. She's even a jerk to people in her head. She's obnoxious and self-centered and hard to relate to.
- Parker and guys- Ok, so she was having sex regularly with her ex (before he was her ex of course), fine, but now she's screwed up and when a nice guy starts liking her despite her being a jerk towards him, she doesn't want an emotional connection because that would be hard so she just goes straight for sex- which I'm pretty sure she knew would be the fastest track to ending the potential relationship
- "the huge horrible bad thing"- didn't even happen to her, it was just something she saw happen and probably couldn't have prevented (even if she were sober). She turned it into a horrible mess by choosing, that night and every day afterwards not to say anything about it, ever, to anyone.
- Four years, two suicides, one death, one rape, two pregnancies (one abortion), three overdoses, countless drunken antics...six months until graduation and no one gets a medal when they get out. - pg. 1
- It figures the last thing I should say is the first thing out of my mouth. The room gets so quiet I can hear the faint sounds of the chemistry teacher shouting formulas all the way down the hall through two closed doors. Henley stops pacing and glances at Grey, and Chris looks like I've slapped him across the face. - pg. 81
This book was not at all for me. The overall plot of a character dealing with the personal fallout of something bad that happened at a party was done much better in Just Listen by Sarah Dessen.