Tuesday 17 February 2009

Cracked Up To Be / Courtney Summers

Summary - 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.

Review - To be honest, there is not a lot that I can say about this book that hasn't already been said on every YA blog on the web. This book is an amazing debut effort by Courtney Summers and should be lauded as such. In fact, my lovely friend ShabbyGeek even wrote an insight review for this book already.

I am going to keep it short. Parker is like a squid. I can hear you querying me already but I do have a point. She's hard to get a handle of - she's constantly moving, manoeuvring and slipping out of any box you'd like to put her in. She's brittle and yet malleable. Parker can bombard you with an onslaught of lies, disarm you with a nicety and then hurt you with a blunt statement of fact. And yet all of that is a inky veil to keep herself isolated, the way she wants because she feels she doesn't deserve anything positive. She wants to stay in the shadows, in the pit because the darkness is punishment and her solace.

Parker's a car crash that one can't look away from. She's consistently horrid to all those around her and as such it's a testament to Summers, that I liked, no loved, Parker as much as I did.

I loved the way this book came together. Particularly that the flashback built upon one another like Lego blocks. Each extending the former until you had something completely different to what you initially anticipated. Summers established a strong, unique and (most importantly) consistent voice in Parker. More impressive is that despite the traumatic event that is revealed in this book, Parker really didn't alter that much from her former self. There is no miraculous good girl/bad girl conversion here. Parker wasn't all that nice to begin with, she just transferred her energy from forcing people to like her to forcing them to keep a distance. Despite all that, she is magnetic and this is the reason so many people continually reach out to her.

I loved this book. I cannot wait to see what Courtney Summers: Twitterer (Tweeter?) Extraordinaire comes up with next. I would also like to suggest that an Aussie publisher hurry up and buy the distribution rights for this book, it's a great buy!

Published: 2008
Format: Paperback
Publisher: St Martin's Press
Origin: USA
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