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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.

Published: Macmillan Publishers on
ISBN: 9781429948104
List price: $9.22
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Cracked Up to Be provided a change of pace for my reading habits. I believe I bought this on a whim when the ebook was on sale. As I read through the first chapter, many theories about what may have happened to Parker and her friends danced through my head. Summers provides glimpes into what happened through pieces of flashbacks which seem to occur when Parker experiences some sort of panic attack. I enjoyed how this part of the story flowed. The main plot left me desiring more from some of the characters, and sometimes I really hated Parker since I'm not a mean spirited person myself. I understood that Parker really needed some help. Thakfully, it seems that she will finally receive that help. This is definitely more for high school YA readers. :)more
I read this really quickly, easily getting into the character and her story, but it really fell apart in the end.Parker is a former perfect kid: honor roll, cheerleader captain, most popular, girlfriend to most popular boy. But now it's senior year and Parker's in danger of failing thanks to no homework, missing days, alienating everyone she knows and coming to school drunk. When new kid Jake shows an interest in Parker, she finds herself drawn to him, despite her conviction that nothing good happens to those around her. She keeps trying to push him away (by mean, snide, rude and usually hilarious comments made to everyone - this part of Parker is, strangely, what makes her likable for me), but she can't keep herself from remembering the night that's gotten her to this desperate point in her life.The big reveal - the thing that's hung over Parker's head for months and made her wish she were dead - is...a let down. While it is devastating, the way the writer handles it is ridiculous. Parker's revelation of what she's been hiding is treated as catharsis instead of as the opening of a police investigation as it should be, which meant I ended the book with a very frustrated "WTF?!"Up til that point, though, I was intrigue and felt sympathy (and some admiration) for Parker. Crap ending, though...more
A dark and gritty novel that chronicles Parker as she struggles with the disappearance of her best friend, Cracked Up To Be is addicting and haunting. I finished it in one marathon sitting and it left me breathless.more
I've heard nothing but praise for this book...and I felt let down. While there were some comical lines (and some did make me laugh out loud), I just couldn't connect with Parker. The only reason I continued reading this book was to find out what the big secret was, why Parker suddenly started drinking, attempted suicide, and pushed everyone away. CS drops flashback scenes here and there, but it didn't help much. I wasn't even remotely engrossed until after the first hundred pages. Then the flashback scenes became more intense, so I continued reading. Parker's friend Jessie has been missing for a year, which is the basis of Parker's problems. Even after knowing what happened the night Parker lost it (the night Jessie went missing), I still don't feel for her. Everything was blown out of proportion. Parker blabbed to Jessie that Jessie's boyfriend, Evan, was cheating on her and that's when shit hit the fan. Jessie rebounded with some college guy at the party, but they disappeared. When Parker found them in the woods, Jessie was being raped. My problem with this is: why didn't Parker stop what was happening? Why didn't she say something--anything? Better yet, why did she lie to the police by saying she didn't know where Jessie was? Another problem that nagged at the back of my brain was the fact that Parker had an ex who still cared about her, and a guy who was falling for her. Yet she teeter-tottered between the two, like she couldn't make up her mind. Exes are exes for a reason. And the new guy couldn't be more awesome. Dude puts up with a LOT of smartass comments from Parker. So much so that I'm convinced any normal guy would've been uninterested after the basic "fuck off" hint. I hate to see strong protagonists just stand back and not do anything, not even try to make things better, especially when Parker had an assortment of individuals who still cared about her well-being. This was well-written, and the voice was definitely there, but as a whole, the book irritated me.more
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Reviews

Cracked Up to Be provided a change of pace for my reading habits. I believe I bought this on a whim when the ebook was on sale. As I read through the first chapter, many theories about what may have happened to Parker and her friends danced through my head. Summers provides glimpes into what happened through pieces of flashbacks which seem to occur when Parker experiences some sort of panic attack. I enjoyed how this part of the story flowed. The main plot left me desiring more from some of the characters, and sometimes I really hated Parker since I'm not a mean spirited person myself. I understood that Parker really needed some help. Thakfully, it seems that she will finally receive that help. This is definitely more for high school YA readers. :)more
I read this really quickly, easily getting into the character and her story, but it really fell apart in the end.Parker is a former perfect kid: honor roll, cheerleader captain, most popular, girlfriend to most popular boy. But now it's senior year and Parker's in danger of failing thanks to no homework, missing days, alienating everyone she knows and coming to school drunk. When new kid Jake shows an interest in Parker, she finds herself drawn to him, despite her conviction that nothing good happens to those around her. She keeps trying to push him away (by mean, snide, rude and usually hilarious comments made to everyone - this part of Parker is, strangely, what makes her likable for me), but she can't keep herself from remembering the night that's gotten her to this desperate point in her life.The big reveal - the thing that's hung over Parker's head for months and made her wish she were dead - is...a let down. While it is devastating, the way the writer handles it is ridiculous. Parker's revelation of what she's been hiding is treated as catharsis instead of as the opening of a police investigation as it should be, which meant I ended the book with a very frustrated "WTF?!"Up til that point, though, I was intrigue and felt sympathy (and some admiration) for Parker. Crap ending, though...more
A dark and gritty novel that chronicles Parker as she struggles with the disappearance of her best friend, Cracked Up To Be is addicting and haunting. I finished it in one marathon sitting and it left me breathless.more
I've heard nothing but praise for this book...and I felt let down. While there were some comical lines (and some did make me laugh out loud), I just couldn't connect with Parker. The only reason I continued reading this book was to find out what the big secret was, why Parker suddenly started drinking, attempted suicide, and pushed everyone away. CS drops flashback scenes here and there, but it didn't help much. I wasn't even remotely engrossed until after the first hundred pages. Then the flashback scenes became more intense, so I continued reading. Parker's friend Jessie has been missing for a year, which is the basis of Parker's problems. Even after knowing what happened the night Parker lost it (the night Jessie went missing), I still don't feel for her. Everything was blown out of proportion. Parker blabbed to Jessie that Jessie's boyfriend, Evan, was cheating on her and that's when shit hit the fan. Jessie rebounded with some college guy at the party, but they disappeared. When Parker found them in the woods, Jessie was being raped. My problem with this is: why didn't Parker stop what was happening? Why didn't she say something--anything? Better yet, why did she lie to the police by saying she didn't know where Jessie was? Another problem that nagged at the back of my brain was the fact that Parker had an ex who still cared about her, and a guy who was falling for her. Yet she teeter-tottered between the two, like she couldn't make up her mind. Exes are exes for a reason. And the new guy couldn't be more awesome. Dude puts up with a LOT of smartass comments from Parker. So much so that I'm convinced any normal guy would've been uninterested after the basic "fuck off" hint. I hate to see strong protagonists just stand back and not do anything, not even try to make things better, especially when Parker had an assortment of individuals who still cared about her well-being. This was well-written, and the voice was definitely there, but as a whole, the book irritated me.more
Courtney Summers is a great author, I really enjoy her books. This won’t be my last book from her, and I do regret not buying Some Girls Are when I first saw it and instead getting a sequel book to a book that I don’t have. Which is a fail on my part. This book is about Parker Fadley. On a side note here, I actually didn’t realize that her name was Parker, thought people were calling her by her last name. So it made me wonder, ‘I wonder what her real name is.’ And then I realized. Parker is/was the most popular girl in school with the popular boyfriend, good grades and such. But something happens, which now becomes a secret she carries. And it might just be her fault.So her parents are keeping her on watch. The school is on watch. Suicide watch that is. And Parker pushes them away because she doesn’t want help. Not since it happened of course.Now Parker is probably a person in real life that I would detest very badly. But Summers’ awesome writing, and this was her debut novel by the way, made me root for her, want good things to happen to her. The plot was very good, some things I really liked, some things I was disappointed in and others I didn’t expect to happen. This reminded me of Speak at times actually. Now the thing I was disappointed in was one word: Romance. I’m not saying the romance is bad, I’m just saying that I didn’t like the romance thing. Meaning I wanted Chris to be with Parker because I just do. I’m not saying that Jake’s a bad person, he's a great character. I just wanted Chris to be with Parker. It's just my personal preference.The characters were nice. I didn’t like Becky as much as I wanted to. Jake was very interesting. Chris, no matter what things Parker will do to him- he’ll still love her and she knows it. Also about that secret thing, the only thing I can say is this. I won’t really tell you anything other then the fact that there was a party, beer, and the woods. I was surprised by what happened, I thought it was something else because there was a flashback of a hotel and I was reading a review about a hotel so to put it simply: I was confused.One more thing. The other thing I was disappointed in was quite minor. It doesn't really sway my feelings for this book. It was hotel scene and then Chris crying over her scene. It was a flashback, but I wanted it longer and written out for some reason. Again, it's my personal preference.The cover of the book is a good cover. I really like this one.more
Plot: Parker used to be popular. She was a straight A student, captain of the cheer leading team, dating the most popular guy in school. Perfect. But then something went wrong. So wrong that she couldn’t fix it and it changed her for ever. Now she’s barely graduating and is doing a good job of alienating anyone who ever liked her. The more people try to help, the more she pushes them away. But the new kid, Jake, isn’t so easily discouraged. He likes her and he’s willing to take a lot of abuse in his quest to get close to her and to understand her.Parker is not a likable character. She doesn’t want to be. But Summers does a good job of portraying her conflicted emotions, emotions that Parker herself doesn’t always understand. My main problem with the novel is that I don’t like stories that create suspense by withholding information that the first person narrator knows. Still, it was interesting and realistic and one scene in particular had me bawling my eyes out. It wasn’t my type of book but if it is, you’ll probably love it.more
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