Sunday, January 18, 2009

"Cracked Up to Be"

Courtney Summers lives and writes young adult novels in Canada.

She applied the Page 69 Test to her new book, Cracked Up to Be, and reported the following:
Page 69:

"I'm supposed to be thinking of ideas?" I ask back. "I wonder if Norton knows how dumb this assignment is. Do you think he does? Think he's just fucking with us?"

"I don't know, maybe. So why did you run away from home?"

"Okay, Jake?" I stop; he stops. "I'm going to tell you something and I want you to listen carefully and then every time you want to ask me a personal question, you can just refer back to this answer. Are you ready?"

He nods and his hair falls into his eyes. He brushes it away.

"I'm really fucked up," I tell him. "And I don't like people."

"Got it," he says. "But why?"


Cracked Up to Be is a YA novel about a popular girl with a really terrible secret who goes to great lengths not to be popular anymore just so she can keep it. Her self-destructive attempts to alienate everyone around her sends her spiralling out of control and her friends and family are determined to figure out what's going on. I was relieved to see this reflected on page 69 when I did the test (phew!), although it might give the impression of a more lighthearted book than Cracked Up to Be actually is. In this opening bit, the main character, Parker, is fielding questions from the new guy in town, Jake, who is fascinated by and wants to know why Parker acts like she does. Does he get a straight answer from her at this point? Of course not--it's only page 69!
Read an excerpt from Cracked Up to Be, and learn more about the author and her work at Courtney Summers' website and blog.

View the video trailer for Cracked Up to Be.

Visit the complete list of books in the Page 69 Test Series.

--Marshal Zeringue