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Cracked Up to Be Paperback – Bargain Price, July 20, 2011
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Top Customer Reviews
The book takes place a good time after some sort of upsetting event has occurred. Everyone has gotten over it to the best they could except for Parker and that's because she finds herself guilty for some reason and no one else knows about it.
When reading this book you literally see Parker fighting with her memories. Everyday things bring up the memories of that night and we only get a little taste before they are pushed back out of her mind. Because of the way this is written you can't put the book down and also can't pinpoint what this upsetting event is. You can guess, but you are probably wrong.
I was so wrapped up in this book that in the end when that night is fully explained and I found out just what has happened, I sat up and said out loud, "Oh My God" for me that moment of understanding Parker was very powerful. Everything came full circle and I found myself identifying (to a less severe degree) with her feelings of guilt and loss of control.
This book is amazing. Just read it, immediately. I could talk about the tons of other things I liked, like Parker's sassy Veronica Mars-like attitude, the great secondary characters etc. but I rather you read the book and fall in love with it just the way I did!
The slowly unraveling mystery/crime story is shown as Parker starts to collapse, her carefully crafted world falling apart. It's often hard to tell what she really feels because she's so busy trying to keep those who care about her at bay, with plans to escape. She hates herself so much, yet doesn't do much to make herself likable.
Courtney Summers has written an outstanding first novel with an unusual, guilt-ridden heroine who is dealing with issues far beyond her years. She's tender and tough and when she is forced to confront her feelings, whether for Jake, Chris, or her dog Bailey, she starts to slowly crumble. As she owns up to her feelings, as dark and ugly as they are, she starts to see that there is life beyond that one fateful night. I don't want to give too much away, but this book is definitely worth reading, but be prepared to read straight through.
I really like FALL FOR ANYTHING, so I was particularly disappointed when this book by Courtney Summers didn't measure up.
The protagonist is Parker Fadley(obviously she has to have an unusual name and be super alluring to everyone, though I cannot for the life of me see why??) In any case, I couldn't stand her. Nor did I feel for her, because what her big break-down is based on didn't happen to her exactly, rather to someone else. I couldn't sympathize with her at all, which was rare, because I can generally find at least something in a character that intrigues me, even if I don't like them. Parker just got on my nerves. She treated everyone with such disdain, although they were patient and understanding. The plot is thin and the big reveal comes too late and with too small an impact, as the build-up is limp as well.
I won't say I will not give another book by Summers a try, because, like I said, FALL FOR ANYTHING was quite thoughtful and well done, but I cannot recommend this book, unfortunately. The only reason it gets two stars is because I guess I was curious enough to finish it and that's worth something, I suppose.