Cracked Up to Be

Reader: Elizabeth
Age: 15
Title: Cracked Up to Be
Author: Courtney Summers
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
Pub Date: 12/23/2008
Galley: Yes
Nominate for Teens’ Top 10: Yes
Annotation: Parker Fadley was perfect; she was popular, captain of the cheerleading squad, had a hotboyfriend, and achieved honor roll grades. That is, until something happened that was completely her fault, and drove her to become twisted and on the verge of expulsion.
Recommend: Yes
Compelling Aspect of the Book: The best part of this book was Parker. She was biting and cruel but you grew to care about her. As she revealed more and more of herself and her situation, you got to knowher, and it made the book that much more heart-wrenching in the end. I also liked how the reason for Parker's change isn't directly said until the end. Everything builds until the moment when you find out why she changed from perfect to troubled. I liked that everything wasn't spelled out, because it helped to get to know Parker better as the book went on.
Did you finish the book: Yes
Were you disappointed with the book: I was a little disappointed with the beginning of the book. It felt really shallow and I just didn't get into it as much as I'd hoped. I hated Parker; I felt she was annoying and selfish, but maybe that was on purpose. I just wasn't as absorbed with the beginning of the book as I was in the middle and end. I think it was just the introduction of the characters and plot that got too long and boring.
Did the cover reflect the content: The cover of this book made me not want to pick it up. Despite the fact that the girl lying on the bench has appeared on at least one other book I've seen in the galley group, I just didn't want to pick up a book with a girl in private school uniform. It makes the book seem shallower or fluffier than it probably is. Despite that, I feel like the cover fits the book if I actually put some thought into it. Parker goes to private school, and she would probably be seen lying solo on a bench.
Age Range: 14-15, 16-17, 18 up
Quality: 3Q Readable
Popularity: 4P Broad general teen appeal

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