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Cracked Up to Be

3.74  ·  Rating details ·  16,653 ratings  ·  1,814 reviews
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.
Paperback, 240 pages
Published February 4th 2020 by Wednesday Books (first published December 23rd 2008)
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Average rating 3.74  · 
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 ·  16,653 ratings  ·  1,814 reviews

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Cristina Monica

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 more. And I relate her to myself. And then I relate myself to the world. And then I relate the world to l
Nilufer Ozmekik
Jan 30, 2020 rated it really liked it
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
L A i N E Y
I have no idea what to do with this book. I really don’t...

It keeps breaking my heart EVERY OTHER PARAGRAPH.

Chelsea Humphrey
Jan 30, 2020 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Chelsea by: St. Martin's Press
It's fair to note that I'm an adult, and therefore NOT the target audience for this book, but I whole-heartedly believe that Cracked Up to Be is the book I needed as a teen. Also noting that this is a re-release of a novel first published in 2008, I found it incredible in the sense that it's thematic issues transferred over to the present time flawlessly, although this partially could be due to some updates in the content to bring the story into the current decade's level of technology. All that ...more
Alienor ✘ French Frowner ✘

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 sa
Emily May
May 23, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

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 m
Jun 03, 2019 added it  ·  (Review from the author)
The Cracked Up to Be reissue is officially out!

Click here for a secret:
Here for a playlist:
Here for a confession:
& Here for some gratitude:

I'm so thrilled to share Parker's story with new readers, and those who were there from the beginning, in this revamped package which features a beautiful new cover and interior design, updated tex
Aj the Ravenous Reader
"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 anymore and
Apr 09, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ya-books, 2020
Parker Fadley is perfect. She has perfect grades, she's captain of the cheerleading squad, dating the most popular boy school and has a bright future ahead of her. Until it all goes wrong and Parker finds herself starring in a new role - that of the perfect mess.

I read this book in 1 sitting. It wasn't as compelling a read for me as Sadie but I was hooked and emotionally invested in finding out what had led to Parker's unraveling. I really enjoyed the way Courtney Summers wove in the back story
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
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 boo
Nov 03, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ya, read-in-2011
So, I guess I just read these in opposite order…3…2…1. It’s hard to pick a favorite but this one definitely hits the closest to home. I don’t know why, but I had it in my head that Cracked Up to Be and Some Girls Are were going to be similar novels – like twin manifestos on the psychology of mean girls. Parker and Regina may both sort into the mean girl category, but they are completely different, as are these two novels. I think that Some Girls Are is a book about moving forward and away, but t ...more
Feb 08, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: kindle, netgalley
3.5 stars
Originally published in 2008, the publisher decided to re-release the book after the recent popularity of Sadie. A book that I had crowned my favorite read of 2018! In Cracked Up to Be, we meet the unforgettable and very unlikeable Parker Fadley. Parker is a cheerleader that doesn't cheer so much anymore and in fact, speaks biting words to all around her. Her parents appear to tiptoe around her and there are many illusions made in the story that Parker's behavior is linked to her bes
Nov 03, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: those readers who do not require their characters to be likable
Recommended to Tatiana by: Emily May, Catie
Shelves: ya, 2011
As seen on The Readventurer

3.5 stars

The more of Courtney Summers I read, the more her work reminds me of Sara Zarr's. They write vastly different characters - Zarr's are more subdued, quiet; Summers' are often in-your-face obnoxious and loud. But what is similar about these two authors is how well-realized their narrators' voices are. Zarr's and Summers' characters are unique and real, often unlikable, but always unforgettable.

The protagonist of Cracked Up to Be, Parker, is hard to like. She is
Em Lost In Books
Seeing all these high ratings and that promising blurb, I was very excited for this. After my last YA read turned out to be a mediocre one, i had high hopes for this but sadly this too was just another story which I would forget about in few months.

I know there was something dark in the Parker's past which turned her life upside down. I gave Parker a lot of time to know her better, understand her but she just ruined it in the end. if she was unable to help someone at a certain time then she wa
Jul 20, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: contemporary
I will try to write something that makes sense about this book, unlike what my old self wrote years ago *cries in cringe*

This book was my least favorite Courtney Summers even when I first read it, but at the time I had just started reading and reviewing books on here. Which means I didn't really know how to explain why I liked or I didn't like a book, and my reviews where biased... ha ha, fun times. I'm glad to see I was still able to notice if a book was well written or not, though.

I didn't rem
Parker Fadley used to be head cheerleader. She had perfect grades and a perfect boyfriend. Fast forward a few months and she is drinking heavily, treating everybody like crap (though this hasn’t changed much), broken up with her boyfriend, and missing every single homework deadline. What happened to cause her decline?

When I was in high school, I had to wear a uniform. Since it was an all-girls Catholic school, my morning went something like this:
6:00—alarm goes off. Snooze.
6:15—alarm goes off.
This is one of those times when I seem to have read a completely different book from everyone else.

It was uninteresting and pointless. It sure wasn't moving or emotional to me.

We get into the mind of the bich/ex-"perfect" girl at school. I had the feeling that I was supposed to be sorry for her once we knew what her thoughts were, but that didn't happen for me. So what? It's not as if we don't know everyone has feelings no matter how good or bad they are. What she was thinking and feeling toward
may ❀
these books are too real to be fiction. whY DOES EVERYTHING FEEL SO REAL. I DONT WANT THIS KIND OF PAIN


#4 and last book with saunta in our buddy and reread binge
Jan 07, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
4.5 stars.

Slight spoilers follow…

“I’d rather be certifiable than perpetually boring.”

Initial Final Page Thoughts.

High Points.
I loved everything: the writing, the characters, the emotions, the subject.
*bats off hands*

Low Points.
This book was so small it could get lost in my back teeth.
I’m just being selfish because I wanted to spend more time with this book but hey, if book reviewers can’t be selfish then who can?
That is the real question, I think.

You know how I really l
Apr 18, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ya-na
This could have been easily a 4 star read for me apart from the ending.

I did not know what to expect when I started with this, the cover makes it feel like a light YA read, the blurb makes it sound more serious.

The sum it up, this is about Parker and the changes that have come in her life because of something that has happened to her.... This was the suspense bit, which is revealed at the end and did not somehow add up with the overall story for me..

Parker is beautiful, top of her class, goi
destiny ♡⚔♡ [howling libraries]
This was really good. Looking back at this debut so many years later, it's truly no wonder that Courtney Summers evolved into the incredible author that brought us one of my all-time favorites, Sadie. I'm going to have to let this one settle a little before I can form a review, but let me go ahead and say that I strongly recommend reading it.

content warnings for (view spoiler)
Jun 22, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobook

Why this book?

Seemed like a book for me

What I thought

I had alot of feelings reading this book but mostly I was frustrated. Parker is such a bitch I just wanted to punch in her face! I get the self loathing but did she really need to treat Jake like that? Speaking of Jake I absolutely loved him, I felt so sorry for him though. Even with my dislike of Parker I gotta say I enjoyed this book. The writing was superb and it had a great premise. The characters were also extremely well fleshed
Cortney LaScola - The Bookworm Myrtle Beach
This wasn't an easy book to read... it was sad and upsetting, but I'm really glad I did. There is something about Courtney Summers' writing that is just so real. Even with how self-destructive Parker was, you couldn't help rooting for her.
Cracked up to Be by Courtney Summers is probably one of the more difficult reads I’ve encountered in the YA genre. The protagonist, Parker Fadley, was flawed, damaged and on a downward spiral. In most cases, that’s enough cause to have me sympathize for a main character, but the way the story developed, she never really pulled at my heartstrings. I carried more angst for her ex-boyfriend Chris, and the new guy Jake that was dumb enough to fall for her. She really put everyone in her life through ...more
Apr 04, 2010 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
i couldn’t have cared less about any of the characters, especially our main character – parker. none of them were likeable, because there was nothing to like. i don’t think courtney summers could have done a better job at that! it probably wasn't even the point, because you were supposed to develop empathy, not sympathsize with her.

parker was nasty and only wallowed in her self-pity.
chris was pathetic,- i have this crazy feeling that when he told parker he loved her, he only meant he loved getti
Aug 27, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobook
Already being a big fan of Courtney Summers since I read This Is Not a Test, I knew before going into this that it was going to be a ride with a lot of feels! So much feels!

Parker is the definition of a snarky bitch. She has an attitude you want to slap her for, but as a protagonist she's especially amusing and definitely entertaining. The used-to-be cheerleading captain turned angry emo tells us that something has happened to this girl to change her so drastically. This "something" is told to u
Chelsea ❤Peril Please❤
*I Don't Know How Many Stars*

Guys. I am so lost for words. This book made me feel things I just can't even...can't even. I liked it and I hated it. I loved it but wanted to punch it. I was obsessed with it and I wasn't obsessed with it. I couldn't put it down but when I did I felt a little bit lighter. I don't even know what to say, so how should I understand how to rate it?

Jake should know-well, everyone should know-there's no such thing as a decent human being. It's just an illusion.
And when i
“I take a deep breath. It smells suspiciously like bullshit in here.”
― Courtney Summers, Cracked Up to Be

Review to follow.

I feel badly giving this book two stars. I do. It was a dark thought provoking read, fascinating in it's way. But I had some issues with it.

I do wish Goodreads did half stars. But they don't.

So I had read another book by this author, "Some girls are'. I loved it! This one took me longer to read and though I was moved, here are some of my issues.

First off..SPOILERS:

Second off
Apr 22, 2011 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2011, ya
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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Around the Year i...: Cracked Up to Be, by Courtney Summers 3 15 May 05, 2017 05:49AM  
YA Buddy Readers'...: Cracked Up to Be by Courtney Summers — Starts July 23, 2014 37 30 Jul 25, 2014 09:38AM  
German reading ci...: [Part 4] Kapitel 21 - 27 12 20 May 25, 2013 06:14AM  
German reading ci...: [Part 2] Kapitel 7 - 12 15 17 May 21, 2013 09:08AM  
German reading ci...: [Part 1] Kapitel 1-6 7 24 May 21, 2013 06:57AM  
German reading ci...: Getting started 16 32 May 21, 2013 06:54AM  
Young Adult Book ...: Parker 19 167 Nov 01, 2012 08:19PM  

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Courtney Summers is the bestselling author of several novels, whose career in writing began in 2008, when she was 22. Her work has been released to critical acclaim and multiple starred reviews, received numerous awards and honors including the Edgar Award, the John Spray Mystery Award, the Cybils Award, the Odyssey Award, the Audie Award, and has enjoyed the recognition of many library, state, 'B ...more

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