Title: Cracked Up to Be
Author: Courtney Summers
Publisher: Wednesday Books
Publication Date: February 4, 2020
Page Count: 240
My rating: 3 1/2 stars
About the book:
The high price of perfection is one ‘Perfect’ Parker Fadley always believed she was willing to pay until the devastating events at a party during junior year fractures the lives of her family and friends. A terrible thing has happened and only Parker knows it’s her fault. If being a perfect daughter, student, friend and girlfriend couldn’t keep her from making an unforgivable mistake, Parker hopes becoming a perfect mess will at least keep her loved ones from discovering the truth–until the arrival of a curious new student and the unexpected return of an old enemy threaten her tenuous grip on control. Parker will do anything to keep her secret from surfacing . . . but this time the cost might be more than she can afford.
The book featuring the unforgettable character that started it all, now with a new foreword from the author.
In 2018 Courtney Summers released a novel, Sadie, that was a young adult mystery/thriller which became a big hit with readers. A year and a half later the publisher decided to re-release the author’s debut Cracked Up to Be with a new cover that more fit with Sadie’s to hopefully draw in new readers. Who can blame them really when of course I was drawn in myself?
Cracked Up to Be is a young adult contemporary story with a slight bit of mystery involved. Parker Fadley is the protagonist in the story, she used to be *the* girl at her school. Captain of the cheerleaders and dating the most popular boy Parker’s world was perfect, until it wasn’t. Parker now has quit cheer and is on academic probation after acting out to mask her pain.
Reading this debut novel I wondered to myself if maybe the author was making Parker a bit too unlikable in her defiance. I kept reminding myself while reading that this was obviously a teen in pain about something but when she kept making outrageous move after another it was hard to actually like her. The story deals with a lot of darker elements and in the end I was glad I got to know Parker as she represents a teen dealing with something way too big for someone her age and her struggles are the truth of what some youth face. Overall though I could tell this was a step back for the author and could see how her writing grew by the time Sadie was written and this debut landed at three and a half stars for me.
I received an advance copy from the publisher via NetGalley.
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