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 AllNobody Would Have Guessed She D Turn Out Like This But Nobody Knows The TruthSomething Horrible Has Happened, And It Just Might Be Her Fault Every time I finish a book by Courtney Summers, all my brain seems to want to do is ponder the meaning of life.It s not even that her books are philosophical, but they re just so raw that I feel emotionally connected to everything, and when I get to the last page, it all comes to a stop.Except it doesn t, because then I want to crawl back into the book and decorticate the main character some And I relate her to myself And then I relate myself to the world And then I relate the world to life.It s a peculiar longish procedure, which is why I don t read Courtney Summers works all that often Not that she has tons of novels written.Why doesn t she have tons of novels written She sure has the talent and imagination necessary and I especially like how she doesn t write what most people love reading about.For instance, Parker the heroine is messed up She did something bad, and she thinks she has to pay for it by sweeping everyone out of her life One by one She wants to be left alone, wallowing in her misery.She s mean She s unpleasantly honest And she s unreliable She ll make us think that we know her, but the truth is we don t Even she isn t always sure what she wants I love these types of characters so much A teacher I once had told us that the best characters we ll come across in literature will be imperfect She said those are the ones readers will be able to connect with You know why Because we re imperfect, yet we still seek perfection.Just ask Parker, she knows all about it She used to be popular, heard of class and strikingly good at everything A perfectionist Before she fell apart.What I also like about Summers books is how she never tries to overwhelm us She paces her novels well and never adds the kind of thick atmosphere that will make us feel uncomfortable or unable to breathe.Her novels are strangely quiet It s all calm until it isn t any and then it s calm again Like the sea But the themes are always so powerful that sometimes we re scared we re not going to be able to get them out of our minds.Sigh I just can t recommend this author enough.BD Blog Youtube Twitter Instagram Google Bloglovin I have no idea what to do with this book I really don t It keeps breaking my heart EVERY OTHER PARAGRAPH. Warning I thought about it over and over, and the only way I feel writing this review includes a great amount of personal information If you don t care about it, if you think that s not a review, if you well, just thought I d warn you You know how when you meet someone and they just give you the impression they re living on this entirely different planet from everyone else That s sort of how I felt when I met you I don t really know what to say I mean, how am I supposed to say that I can relate to Parker without sounding like a bitch Because I do, but I m not, and I wasn t Lost a little I ll explain The fact is, above her actions, what stroke me the most in Parker was her need to be herself, even if the way she chose to do so appeared to be incredibly harsh and selfish at times What I love in Courtney Summers is the way she manages to take the high school stereotypes and to go further, to crack the shells in order to show what s hidden beneath all the craps we re served in so many young adult books You ve made a choice and it s so obvious I see it I accept it, she says Even if no one else can You want to rot and I want to let you If I struggled with Some Girls Are, that s because I found it difficult to imagine the situation there and I know that I m in the minority about this But the truth is, if I never saw groups of people behaving like these assholes in Some Girls Are, Parker sounds real to me, and yes, I can relate If I was never mean to people like she can be, I went through a tough phase when I was a teenager and yes, even if I kept an outgoing facade, people made me cringe at times and if I didn t do what she did to them, I thought about it many times Everything annoyed me, and I didn t even realize it I was so full of shit, frankly, if I could slap my younger self I d do it Well, I never wanted to die, never, and some of her actions were really awful, so I m not telling that I can understand all of Parker s decisions but anyway, I get her I still remember being hurt when the teacher made as big a fuss over my classmates lesser efforts as she did over mine, which was perfect Or maybe not as perfect as I thought Can you understand what she s feeling Because I can No matter how ugly it sounds, oh, man, how I get this feeling I used to, anyway Trying to explain why I need everything to be perfect, being mad when people don t get it Oh, yes, Parker s struggles hit a nerve with me.But let s go some years ago I always was this weird kid who gets straight As and reads a lot, who never breaks the rules because never sees the point in it, whose success is expected, no matter what happens Don t get fooled, I wasn t lonely, as I always could count on a solid group of friends, but I was super serious until senior year My parents weren t really strict because 1 they trusted me and they were right to do so and 2 it was just not their way of raising us But on my senior year, I lost it I started to ditch school so often that school rang my parents twice a week and I developed a hell lot of tips to sneak out school without being caught Yet my rates didn t suffer too much, because I showed up for the tests and I spent my free time reading in France we can specialize in Junior and Senior years, and I was in Literature Philosophy Languages Why did I change all of a sudden The only thing I can say it s that I didn t want to be me any To be frank, I wasn t full of self loathing at all, in fact I think it was quite the opposite Or isn t it the same thing, after all I don t know any God, I was so conceited, as it seems that only teenagers can be I thought I got it all, and I couldn t have been wrong, but the expectations I felt on my shoulders were suddenly too hard to stand I m not saying I was right, that s only what it was Why am I telling you that Because I think that s why I can relate to Parker I can understand why she s acting out of character, or accurately, out of what others assume to be her personality Because sometimes, we need to destroy a part of ourselves to evolve, because the way we are seen is suffocating us And yes, we are hurting people who love us when we are acting that way, because we disturb the way they see us and what s unsettling than seeing our best friend, our girlfriend, our daughter suddenly changing Although I truly think that we mustn t lie to ourselves and never deny who we are, I can t deny that it s fucking difficult to deal with these changes when we are the people who are around Anyway, it took me years to learn to be less perfectionist, in my studies, in my work, in my life I never was like Parker about my appearance, though Because in the end, we realize that in addition to make our lives an hell, we make other lives an hell, and by others I mean people we care about No one will notice how wrong you are if everything you do ends up right Perhaps you think that it s not a review Let me disagree if I can relate on such a strong level, that s only because Courtney Summers s characters are so fleshed out I feel I can grab them and see a part of myself in them Parker sure doesn t make it easy to love her, she is unapologetic, smart ass, and straight on bitchy at some point But I I cared about her, deeply, as I did about Jack, Chris, and even Becky They feel so real to me that I can t help As usual, her writing is raw, beautiful and compelling, and I was hooked from the beginning Indeed her books are such page turners that I always know that I ll end reading them in a sitting Not to mention that we can t help but wait to know what happened to Parker to explain why she lost it view spoiler and yes it s awful, and difficult to not hate her for this, but to me that s not the point here hide spoiler Based on what I ve read so far, Courtney Summers is easily one of my favourite young adult authors Her books are incredibly raw and emotional and her talent for getting inside the mind of troubled teens isn t very common in young adult literature.I admit that I didn t like this book quite as much as Some Girls Are but that isn t saying a lot, it was still powerful and moving I expected to not like this novel as much because of the lower average rating than Some Girls Are, but I think the main reason for that is due to Parker Fadley being difficult to relate to if you re a teenage girl reading this.In Some Girls Are we understand the protagonist, we feel her pain when she is ostracised by people she once called best friends, and we also understand what she must be feeling to have no friends any and to want to be part of a crowd in high school Parker, on the other hand, wants none of this She is moody, sarcastic, she is that character in many young adult books that is put there for you to hate, seemingly nasty for no reason.But what if that girl who puts people down as soon as she meets them wasn t just a throwaway character meant to incite hatred What if she was a person with thoughts and feelings and reasons.This is what Courtney Summers does best She takes the cliche, the stereotypical high school bitch, and she gets inside her mind And it s a sad, lonely and eye opening place to be There has never been a bitch , high school or otherwise, that came out of her mother s womb that way.I truly love reading these books and I can t wait to read by Courtney Summers If you re just getting started with her novels, I recommend reading Some Girls Are first, mainly because I think that one speaks to a wider audience than Cracked Up to Be, which will suit some and not others.But whatever you do, do not make the mistake that these are typical high school novels with cute boys and mean girls, the covers can be misleading that way. After reading Sadie and became speechless, numb, screaming for two days in pain, I learned from the experience, this author is a shining gem at the literature s treasure box And I promise myself everything Courtney Summer writes even they re shopping list, ridiculous post it notes, greeting cards or restriction order against me for being half witted fan, I m going to write them without questioning As soon as I heard this book s republishing, instead of reading the previous works yes my tbr list already threatens me to explode into my face any second and it s getting fatter than my husband s belly reminds you of an elephant s belly after eating his girlfriend of writer including All the Rage I swear I ll read next week I m telling same thing every week and another Arc copy hits on my face and distracts my attention and This is not a test So when I saw this book s arc copy on the Netflix, I clicked the request button, feeling myself like a Voice judge, turning her chair at the blind audition As soon as I saw it on my library, I began my salsa moves and in the mean time I dived into without waiting any further It was fast pacing, intriguing, interesting and brilliantly written book I should give it 3.5 stars and round them up Wait What If I love the writing, why am I cutting points What the hell is wrong with me Wrong question I wanted to ask the same one to the anti heroine Parker Fadley from the beginning of the book I wanted to say Hey, you self absorbed, mean, manipulative, lying, shameless bitch Why are you acting like that Why are you self sabotaging yourself by alienating your friends, your family She didn t treat well to her new dog, which made me pissed off and I wish I could jump into the book and slap her several times and come back after getting my hate out of my system Parker was shining star of her high school before she goes nuts and turning her life into a mess She was cheerleader captain she quit , Chris, most popular guy of the school s girlfriend stole his money and broke up with him , future valedictorian now she steals her friends essays and copies them Something is really really really wrong with her but she denies to talk about even though everyone tolerates her antics and remains patient with her The author chose to create a heroine WE PASSIONATELY LOVE TO HATE HER But we were hooked from the first page because we understood that something happened at Chris party and Parker s close friend Jessie disappeared at that night Parker keeps a big secret and she keeps treating the people around her like hell to try helping her Especially new guy Jake who recently transferred to their school turns into a punch bag of her Oh Parker, you gave me so much reason to drag you throughout the school halls by pulling your hair So you keep telling yourself WHAT THE HELL IS WRONG WITH HER The author s tricky story telling for giving us some quick glimpses and special sneak peeks from the night is the smartest way to keep our attention intact We want to know the reasons, we want to know where the hell Jessie is and we want to know how far this crazy bitch Parker can go for self destruction And BAMMM we got the answers The ending is realistic, satisfying but not so much emotional or heart wrenching as I expected And yes, I understand Parker s motives but I still cannot empathize with her Overall It was realistic, questioning, unconventional, riveting reading even though there are too many characters with unlikeable behaviors and too much flaws It was a great, fast YA fiction book Not my favorite Courtney Summers book but it s still so much better from too many books I ve read from the same genre.Special thanks to NetGalley and St Martin sPress Wednesday Books for sharing this fantastic ARC COPY with me in exchange my honest review. The sooner you make a mistake and learn to live with it, the better You re not responsible for everything You can t control the way things end up Behind the sarcasm, teenage angst, and melodrama is this very powerful story and intense read that will ultimately give a very important message especially to many of our young people today obsessed with the idea of popularity and perfection.Parker, an eighteen year old teenager, suddenly decides that she doesn t want to be popular any and so she does the complete opposites of what she used to do as the most popular girl in school The reason behind this bravado or is it just bravado Well, read the book to find out I honestly admire Courtney Summers for her boldness and somewhat carelessness in her writing For instance, the use of abrupt transitions made the story even gripping and intense The way she managed to pique my curiosity from beginning until the very last page is fascinating.It s also a very rare talent to be able to portray an angsty, sarcastic, and bitchy teenage girl in a totally non annoying way and the author did exactly that while also managing to make the character sarcastically humorous that it was never a bore reading this The tone is actually a perfect combination of humor and grimness contributing to the originality of the entire story I don t see the point of being a guidance counselor in high school if you can t have a gun The characters although stereotyped are very effectively portrayed and you can t help but relate with them There s also one character by the name of Jake that I completely adore view spoiler I love his persistence, humor and his weirdness over women s monthly period Lol hide spoiler I m thrilled to share that 12 years after its original publication, Cracked Up to Be will return This updated edition will include A stunning new cover designed by Kerri Resnick and illustrated by Agata Wierzbicka An interior design to match A foreword written by meOut February 4th, 2020 and available for preorder now.More info links I did not expect for that to happen at the end Despite the slow and boring buildup in the first half, I ended up enjoying the second half a lot especially, when the story started unraveling 3.5 stars because I was extremely bored during the first half of this book, but afterwards it picked up and I started to enjoy it immensely and almost cried I was supposed to be done reading this a year and a half ago but I didn t so here I am reading this now I m 70 pages in and so far it s very meh I m just reading about Parker s everyday life and I m kind of bored, ngl I hope something interesting happens soon. This book was everything that I hoped it was going to be and then some And I wish that I was a good writer so that I could write a review worthy of this book Why can t I just say that I loved it and that it was one of the most compelling books I ve ever read and that just be enough Because really I don t know why I like any book, I just do But if I must, I guess I will The writing If I hadn t known that this was Summers debut novel, I wouldn t have believed it One of my most favorite books of all time is Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson, and this book parallels it s greatness, it may even surpass it Yeah it s that good I hope to be reading Summers in the future, she is an author to watch I don t want to get into the plot so much, because I want everyone to go in without any predispositions, well at least I don t personally want to give anything away, I m sure if you do some digging you can find some things out, but believe me, you don t want to I will say this much, I thought I had it figured out and I was wrong wrong wrong, and that is usually not the case I found this somewhere and I don t remember where, but it totally sums this book up A frightening and sobering look at the cruelty and viciousness that pervade much of contemporary high school life, as real as today s headlines Yeah I really wish I had written that myself This book does not have a sugary coating Which only makes me like it even And the characters, particularly perfect Parker Fadley, make this book an UNFORGETTABLE read Would I recommend it, absolutely Have I already been recommending it, you better believe it Who knew it was so hard to be perfect. FYI, this book is being re released with a fresh cover and added content Many thanks to the publisher for providing my review copy.
- 240 pages
- Cracked Up to Be
- Courtney Summers
- 21 July 2018 Courtney Summers