What's the worst thing you've ever done?
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 along, to disappear, to be ignored. But her parents have placed her on suicide watch and her counselors are demanding the truth. Worse, there's a nice guy falling in love with her and he's making her feel things again when she'd really rather not be feeling anything at all. Nobody would have guessed she'd turn out like this. But nobody knows the truth.
Something horrible has happened, and it just might be her fault.
One word to describe Parker before the incident would be 'perfect'. After the incident, it would be 'careless'. How could a person like Parker become a suicidal, self-absorbed person who doesn't care anymore? Everything revolves around 'the incident' or 'the accident'. Parker has many obstacles thrown at her, and everything goes wrong. Her relationship with her friends is slowly crumbling and her feelings toward Jake seem to be growing...awkwardly. Has Parker finally cracked?
Cracked Up To Be is an amazingly realistic and suspenseful debut novel. Parker is a character that will absorb the reader into her daily life and problems. Readers will be itching to find out her secret and what she did. Parker's life has turned into one big mess because of one thing that completely and utterly changed her life.
Many contradicting and controversial issues are brought up in Cracked Up To Be. Parker deals with suicide, drugs, alchohol, and pressure. Summers delivers every single one of these issues, straightforwardly without sugar-coating them. Just plain and raw in its most simple form.
The mystery of Parker's grief is slowly, and smoothly unraveled through a series of strategically placed flashbacks. As her secret is carefully revealed, she is forced to deal with all her surroundings and obstacles. Will the thought of never living with herself take over her completely? Or is she still the same Parker that can overcome anything...perfectly?
The Bottom Line: Cracked Up To Be was an emotionally-draining read for me! It will take me longer to read something like that again...even though I read this one in an hour! It was so depressing for me to read about all her problems. She was suffocating in them...literally! I felt I was too! A devastatingly perfect read! A+ :-)
My reaction/enjoyment: 9/10
Total Score: 96.5/100 (A+)