Cracked Up to Be by Courtney Summers

Courtney Summers’s debut novel, cracked up to be, is everything it’s cracked up to be! The first three sentences, graphic but darkly humorous, hooked me immediately and set the tone for the rest of the story. I loved Parker Fadley’s sarcastic quips and witty observations. She’s a smart girl with a sharp edge, and I liked her.

Summers’s prowess as an author is so subtle, I didn’t realize how far I’d been pulled in until wham! Near the end, she blindsided me with something I didn’t know was coming, yet made perfect sense. It was the stroke of a master.

There are so many quotable lines in this novel. Here are the lines that open Chapter Four: “I’m a fantastic crier. Everyone’s on suicide watch.” You can see how sardonic Parker is about her own condition; it’s as if she’s an observer as well as the actor. And though Parker indicates the crying was a deliberate act, I couldn’t help but wonder if this quipping was indeed the part of a slightly unreliable narrator—that maybe Parker is a little more scared than she’ll even let herself know.

Summers lands the book on a solid ending. I recommend this book for YA readers, especially fans of Jay Asher’s Thirteen Reasons Why.

And I can’t close without urging you to view the trailer for cracked up to be (online at It’s awesome!


Christina Farley said...

Sounds like an awesome book! I can't wait to read it.

courtney said...

Thank you so much, Danette. This means a lot to me. :)