Emily May's Reviews > Cracked Up to Be

Cracked Up to Be by Courtney Summers
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it was amazing
bookshelves: young-adult, 2011, contemporary



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 more 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 anymore 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 more 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.
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Reading Progress

May 23, 2011 – Shelved
August 23, 2011 – Started Reading
August 24, 2011 –
page 35
16.36% "I love how Courtney Summers creates characters that are so imperfect and real."
August 24, 2011 – Finished Reading

Comments Showing 1-9 of 9 (9 new)

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Giselle I've never read anything by this author I might give her a try. Good review!


Emily May Thanks Giselle! I just had a quick look at your shelves and I think you might like it based on your reading tastes :)


Giselle Thanks! It seems like a story I would like. I tend to give everything a try.


Brandi I've become very enamored with Courtney Summers. Some Girls Are was so intense and hard to read! I cried several times. I think I'm going to get this one and read it next because I can't get enough of the way Summers writes.


message 5: by Valerie (new) - added it

Valerie Zink I love your reviews!


Emily May Thanks :)


Lindsay Fouts I loved All the Rage, so this one fell flat for me. Love your reviews.


message 8: by Ramona (new) - added it

Ramona I feel absolutely the same way!


Latanya (CraftyScribbles) I liked this one better than Some Girls Are. I got a better sense of her future, and items were placed in a cleaner position; whereas, Some Girls Are's ending created an incredibly rushed ending.


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