Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Cracked Up to Be

Cracked Up to Be by Courtney Smith (NY: St. Martin's Griffin, 2009).

Haunting novel about a girl, Parker Hadley, who is contending with spiraling forces within and outside herself. Parker has prided herself on her control--an obsession with making perfect grades, leading an award-winning cheerleading squad, having the ideal boyfriend. Then there's a party and something happens that's slowly revealed through the course of the novel. Parker retreats, even attempts suicide, and continues to alienate her former friends. A new guy keeps scratching at her defenses, and Parker resists, but finds herself relenting as she slowly faces what she thinks she saw at the party, how she feels about it, and what she should have done--or even if she could have done anything.

Extremely realistic and well written novel that catches the confusion of adolescent angst, but treats it in a serious way. Grades 9&up. Intense & sexual situations, alcohol, language.

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