From School Library Journal
Grade 10 Up—Parker Fadley has it all-head cheerleader, honor roll student, Winter Ball Queen, perfect boyfriend, Chris. Then at a wild "school's out" party, she catches her friend Jessica's boyfriend kissing another girl and tells Jessica, who retaliates by hooking up with an older guy who crashed the party. The next day Jessica is missing, and Parker, suspecting that she could have done something to help her, nosedives into a downward spiral, drinking heavily, and attempting suicide in a motel room. All of this is revealed in flashback as Parker begins her senior year at her Catholic high school. She cuts class, goes to school drunk, ignores assignments, and goes out of her way to make everyone leave her alone. New guy Jake, intrigued by her self-destructive determination to be ostracized, persists in trying to get inside her head. The problem is that what's inside Parker's head is a fear she can't even admit to herself—that she knows what happened to Jessica and could have stopped it. Summers creates a gritty world of teenagers living on the edge, complete with explosive interactions and rocky relationships without getting mired in angst. Parker narrates the story, darkly fascinating in her turmoil as she slowly lets herself remember details from the drunken night of Jessica's disappearance. In her relationships with Jake, Chris, archrival Becky, her parents, and even her dog, Parker struggles with self-revulsion and a desperate need for love and acceptance. Marked by explicit language and frank sexuality, this compelling read is taut with tension.—Joyce Adams Burner, formerly at Hillcrest Library, Prairie Village, KS
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"Courtney Summers is a writer who pulls no punches and Parker Fadley is a character you won't forget. Together, they create a novel that will keep you on edge, turning pages long into the night."
--K.L Going, author of Saint Iggy
"Told in beautifully rendered, spare, haunting prose...Courtney Summers has written a remarkable debut. I thought about this one long after I'd reached the end,"
--Alyson Noël, author of Saving Zoë
"Summers expertly navigates the dangerous waters of high school, leading her readers on until she reveals the grim secret that led her troubled heroine to the brink of suicide. Fans of Lois Duncan and Chrisotpher Pike will appreciate this dark tale."
--Martha O'Connor, author of Bitch Posse
"Cracked Up To Be gives you Parker, her world, her friends, straight up, no chaser. You won't forget her."
--Kathe Koja author of Kissing The Bee