Mar 19, 2010

Monkey Review: Cracked Up To Be, by Courtney Summers

Synopsis (from

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 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.

My Opinion:

THANK YOU Shesten (I Heart Monster) for having sent this to me!
EVERYONE in the blogging world talked about this book when it came out, like it was The Greatest Book. And let me tell you, it's more than that.

A while ago I complained here how US books took forever to get to LA (Latin America). If they got here it was with months, sometimes years of delay.

CUTB was first published in 2008, and I really think it should be published in Spanish. I think every teenager in North, Central and South America should read this book. That's how good this book is. And the themes in it are great to discuss in and out of schools.

CUTB tells the story of an eighteen year-old teen, Parker Fadley, and what happens to her after Certain Event changes her life drastically.

Cracked Up To Be is the perfect title for this novel. After finished reading it we realize Parker Fadley is not at all cracked up to be.

An Event has twisted her life forever, leaving her taciturn and lonely. Summers does a great job hiding this Event throughout the book -we only discover it, or begin to guess at it towards the end of the book. I had my suspicions after having only read 75 pages, and I'm proud to say I wasn't that mistaken.

Parker won't let anyone get close to her. She wishes to die alone, literally. Having tried it once, she's constantly watched to prevent it from happening again.
She meets with her Student Counselor and is threatened by her principal: if she fails to catch up with her asignments, she won't graduate, and what she wants most is to leave that school forever and be left alone. Her parents are strangers to her now, and she practically has no friends since That Event that changed everything for her.

At the beginning we don't know why Parker wants this things, nor what happened. And don't try to guess it, 'cause I can tell you, it's completely unexpected (well, I did guess the global Why, not exactly What).

And here comes Jake, the new kid. He gets close to Parker and she starts to change, to open up.

This book deserves all the high praise it's getting and more.
It's a real book with characters that might as well be. It reels you in and doesn't let you go. I read it in two days. And stopped 'cause I had to get some sleep...

The problems that Parker deals with are entirely believable, and Summers' narrative (going from present to The Event) makes the pace of the book fast, keeping it really interesting.

Now I want to read Some Girls Are!

Monkey Rating: 5 Monkeys
Cover: 3 Monkeys
Writing: 5 Monkeys
5 Monkeys

Visit Courtney Summers' website.
Follow Courtney on Twitter.

3 monkey thought (s):

Nina said...

Great review. I recently read this book for myself and I thought it was very good too. I just had to read it after all the positive things I kept hearing and I'm so glad I did. Hopefully they may even translate this book into Spanish and Dutch.

Caitlin said...

Love your review... Just wanted to stop by and say hi... BTW I gave you two blogger awards on my ...

I Heart Monster said...

Oh, I'm so glad you loved it!! :o) I bought myself a copy too, and guess what? I still haven't read it. And it's not even in Spanish, geez.


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