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.
Cracked Up to Be is the debut novel by Courtney Summers. It is the story of 17 year old Parker. She used to be popular, she used to be captain of the cheerleading squad, she used to be a straight a student until she went to a party and something horrible happened. She thinks it's her fault and if she just is alone she will be okay so she pushes everyone away and hopes they will leave her alone.
I really enjoyed reading this book. I really got a sense of what Parker was going through. I couldn't put the book down because I wanted to find out what happened and why Parker blamed herself. It was sad and raw and sometimes tough to read but that's what made it so good.
Courtney Summers did an excellent job of showing us the pain and anguish that Parker was going through. Yes Parker pushed people away, self medicated, and had other self-destructive behaviors but that's realistic. Yes her thinking was not clear but somebody dealing with a trauma is not going to think clearly.
This is not a feel good book but it is a realistic portrayal of a teenage girl dealing with a trauma. There is a hopeful ending. I highly recommend it.