Book Review

Book Review: What Goes Around: Cracked Up to Be and Some Girls Are by Courtney Summers

What Goes Around: Cracked Up to Be / Some Girls AreWhat Goes Around: Cracked Up to Be / Some Girls Are by Courtney Summers

publisher: St. Martin’s Press


Man, being a teenager is hard. Reading these brings back so many memories. Luckily I didn’t experience some of the things these girls experienced. Flailing, feeling like what your peers think is the most important thing in the world, feeling like no one understands you, not having anywhere to turn… those are universal teenager experiences that this book, really these two books, address.

In Cracked Up To Be, Parker Fadley was once one of the golden children of her high school. Popular and feared, she was captain of the cheerleading team and part of a power couple with Josh. But the pressure to keep it up, to be perfect and meet expectations, gets to her. When she has an experience that shakes her perfect world, she doesn’t respond very well. She shuns everyone and is destructive to herself. Cracked Up is all about her coming to terms with what has happened and finding a new ground where she can be herself and be happy.

In Some Girls Are, Regina Afton also goes from top to bottom when her big-girl-on-campus “best” friend Anna’s boyfriend Donnie tries to rape Regina at a party. Regina turns to a girl she bullied for being overweight who tells Anna that Regina slept with Donnie and they proceed to destroy her. They create YourSpace pages for hating on Regina and spread vicious rumors. Regina responds the only way she knows, by fighting back. When she again turns to some old friends who she destroyed to get win Anna’s approval, she realizes how it feels to be on the receiving end of that kind of “fun”.

I picked up this title because of the recent book challenge to Some Girls Are at a high school in South Carolina. Here is a BookRiot article about the challenge:…

The response by the Internet was fantastic! Over 800 copies of the book were donated and sent to the local public library who gave out copies to the teens in the community:…

Summers lays out a no-sugar-coating of how tough it can be in high school. It continued to amaze me how clueless these girls’ parents seem to be. They had to face these battles completely alone. Luckily, through all of the horrible times they faced, they both seemed to have a beacon of hope in a friend. These are not easy books to read but provide an honest look at bullying and pressure as a teen.

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