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Crank (Crank Series #1)

Crank (Crank Series #1)

4.6 1328
by Ellen Hopkins

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Life was good
before I
the monster.

was great.

for a little while.

Kristina Georgia Snow is the perfect daughter: gifted high school junior, quiet, never any trouble. But on a trip to visit her absentee father Kristina disappears, and Bree takes her place. Bree is the exact opposite of Kristina --


Life was good
before I
the monster.

was great.

for a little while.

Kristina Georgia Snow is the perfect daughter: gifted high school junior, quiet, never any trouble. But on a trip to visit her absentee father Kristina disappears, and Bree takes her place. Bree is the exact opposite of Kristina -- she's fearless.

Through a boy Bree meets the monster: crank. And what begins as a wild, ecstatic rid turns into a struggle through hell for her mind, her soul -- her life.

This is Ellen Hopkins's first published work of fiction. Written in verse, Crank captures readers' attention from the first until the very last.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Nonfiction author Hopkins pens her first novel, written in verse, introducing 15-year-old narrator Kristina, who reveals how she became addicted to crank, and how the stimulant turned her from straight-A student to drug dealer, and eventually a teen mom. On a court-ordered visit to see her slimy and long-absent dad, she meets-and is instantly attracted to-Adam, who sports a "tawny six pack,/ and a smile." Soon, Adam introduces her to "the monster" (there, she also unleashes a new personality, id-driven Bree). Her addiction grows, as does Bree's control. Readers get a vivid sense of the highs and lows involved with using crank ("I needed food, sleep,/ but the monster denied/ every bit of it"). Her life changes quickly: Soon she's dating two guys, both of whom use crank; says "Fuck you" to her mom, can't keep up with school, and loses her old friends. There are plenty of dramatic moments: The first time she does crank, for example, her dad joins her. That same night, she stumbles into a bad area and is almost raped, and Adam's girlfriend tries to kill herself. Later in the book, she does get raped and starts selling the drug for the Mexican Mafia. Readers will appreciate the creative use of form here (some poems, for instance, are written in two columns that can be read separately or together), and although the author is definitely on a mission, she creates a world nearly as consuming and disturbing as the titular drug. Ages 14-up. (Oct.) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Various styles of free verse and shape poems tell the story of Kristina, a quiet high school junior who, as with many teens, often feels like a stranger to herself and wants to test her limits. While visiting her deadbeat dad in Albuquerque, Kristina meets Adam and feels something "stir, like a breeze blowing up off the evening sea." She says, "My wind had awakened." To deal with these new and alien feelings, Kristina calls herself Bree and begins to think of herself as two separate people: Kristina is perfect, smart, and in control, but Bree gives her the courage to be wild, spontaneous, and a risk-taker. Adam introduces Kristina to crank or crack for the first time, and of course, she falls under its addictive and dangerous spell. After returning home to Reno, she tries to hide Bree from her family, but late nights out partying and long days sleeping off the effects soon raise their suspicions. The story reaches its climax when Kristina becomes pregnant as a result of being date-raped under the influence. Deciding to keep the baby is a courageous choice, but readers understand that Kristina's eternal struggle will be against the temptation of using crack. Although novels in verse are not new anymore, this one still works. Hopkins delivers a gritty, fast-paced read while effectively portraying the dangers of substance abuse without sounding pedantic or preachy. Teens will relate to Kristina's desire to experiment as well as her difficulty balancing conflicting feelings. Similarities to Go Ask Alice (Simon & Schuster, 1971) are undeniable, but perhaps this more modern version will be more accessible to today's teens. VOYA CODES: 4Q 4P J S (Better than most, marred only by occasionallapses; Broad general YA appeal; Junior High, defined as grades 7 to 9; Senior High, defined as grades 10 to 12). 2004, Simon & Schuster, 544p., Trade pb. Ages 12 to 18.
—Valerie Ott
This devastating story, told in poetry, is even more frightening because it is based on the author's own experiences with her addicted daughter. As the author says in a note at the beginning of the book: "It is hard to watch someone you love fall so deeply under the spell of a substance that turns him or her into a stranger. Someone you don't even want to know." That is what happens to the narrator, a teenager whose life deteriorates after she gets involved with friends who use drugs—she cannot resist crank even though she understands it is destroying her. She will do anything for more crank. She has casual sex, she gets drunk, and eventually she gets pregnant. She thinks she should get an abortion, but at the last minute she decides to have the baby. Her family helps her through the pregnancy and she tries to keep sober, but in the end, after the baby is safely born, she returns to what she calls "the monster." This horrific story is told in many pages, but actually not so many words. Hopkins uses various experiments with word placement on the page to extend the emotional power of the poetry. The last poem is called "Happy Endings," and the narrator says she would like to give us one—but the drugs are calling her away from her baby, out the door. We know there will probably be no happy ending, ever. And we aren't used to YA novels that end in such despair, but we have to face the truth that many addicts do not recover. I hope the author gets some comfort from sharing this story with others. KLIATT Codes: SA—Recommended for senior high school students, advanced students, and adults. 2004, Simon & Schuster, 539p., Ages 15 to adult.
—Claire Rosser
School Library Journal
Gr 8 Up-Seventeen-year-old Kristina Snow is introduced to crank on a trip to visit her wayward father. Caught up in a fast-paced, frightening, and unfamiliar world, she morphs into "Bree" after she "shakes hands with the monster." Her fearless, risk-taking alter ego grows stronger, "convincing me to be someone I never dreamed I'd want to be." When Kristina goes home, things don't return to normal. Although she tries to reconnect with her mother and her former life as a good student, her drug use soon takes over, leaving her "starving for speed" and for boys who will soon leave her scarred and pregnant. Hopkins writes in free-verse poems that paint painfully sharp images of Kristina/Bree and those around her, detailing how powerful the "monster" can be. The poems are masterpieces of word, shape, and pacing, compelling readers on to the next chapter in Kristina's spiraling world. This is a topical page-turner and a stunning portrayal of a teen's loss of direction and realistically uncertain future.-Sharon Korbeck, Waupaca Area Public Library, WI Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Hypnotic and jagged free verse wrenchingly chronicles 16-year-old Kristina's addiction to crank. Kristina's daring alter ego, Bree, emerges when "gentle clouds of monotony" smother Kristina's life-when there's nothing to do and no one to connect with. Visiting her neglectful and druggy father for the first time in years, Bree meets a boy and snorts crank (methamphetamine). The rush is irresistible and she's hooked, despite a horrible crank-related incident with the boy's other girlfriend. Back home with her mother, Kristina feels both ignored and smothered, needing more drugs and more boys-in that order. One boy is wonderful and one's a rapist, but it's crank holding Bree up at this point. The author's sharp verse plays with spacing on the page, sometimes providing two alternate readings. In a too brief wrap-up, Kristina keeps her baby (a product of rape) while Hopkins-realistically-offers no real conclusion. Powerful and unsettling. (author's note) (Fiction. YA)
“[Hopkins] creates a world nearly as consuming and disturbing as the titular drug.”
From the Publisher
“Hopkins creates compelling characters in horrific situations.”
Children's Literature - Heather Robertson Mason
Kristina is a good girl. She's shy, studious, and eager to be liked. But that's before she discovers meth. That's before Bree. Before Adam. Before addiction. This novel in verse depicts Kristina's descent into drug addiction. It starts because she was bored and wanted to impress a cute guy, but quickly morphed into a controlling influence on her every decision. Told from Kristina's point of view, the story lacks any kind of melodrama. There is no "poor me" type of language. The author does, however, create a complex character who alternately arouses the reader's empathy and dislike. When she tries to reconnect with her friends you hope she will succeed, but her lying and stealing to satisfy her addiction are despicable. There is little action in this story, no great climax, no major realization of her situation. The story consists only of Kristina's thoughts, sometimes self-reflective, sometimes calculating. While this shouldn't make for a great YA story, it is somehow fascinating and readers will be drawn into it. There are graphic and detailed scenes of drug use and sex, so be wary when recommending it to less mature readers, but for others, it earns a definite place on the shelf. Reviewer: Heather Robertson Mason

Product Details

Margaret K. McElderry Books
Publication date:
Crank Series , #1
Edition description:
Product dimensions:
5.00(w) x 6.90(h) x 1.60(d)
720L (what's this?)
Age Range:
14 - 17 Years

Read an Excerpt

Flirtin' with the Monster

Life was good

before I


the monster.



was great.



for a little while.

Text copyright © 2004 by Ellen Hopkins


So you want to know all

about me. Who

I am.

What chance meeting of

brush and canvas painted

the face

you see? What made

me despise the girl

in the mirror

enough to transform her,

turn her into a stranger,

only not.

So you want to hear

the whole story. Why

I swerved

off the high road,

hard left to nowhere,


indifferent to those

coughing my dust,

picked up speed

no limits, no top end,

just a high velocity rush

to madness.

Text copyright © 2004 by Ellen Hopkins


everything changes.

Some might call it distorted reality,

but it's exactly the place I need to be:

no mom,

Marie, ever more distant,

in her midlife quest for fame

no stepfather,

Scott, stern and heavy-handed

with unattainable expectations

no big sister,

Leigh, caught up in a tempest

of uncertain sexuality

no little brother,

Jake, spoiled and shameless

in his thievery of my niche.


there is only the person inside.

I've grown to like her better

than the stuck-up husk of me. She's

not quite silent,

shouts obscenities just because

they roll so well off the tongue

not quite straight-A,

but talented in oh-so-many

enviable ways

not quite sanitary,

farts with gusto, picks

her nose, spits like a guy

not quite sane,

sometimes, to tell you the truth,

even I wonder about her.


there is no perfect daughter,

no gifted high-school junior,

no Kristina Georgia Snow.

There is only Bree.

Text copyright © 2004 by Ellen Hopkins

On Bree

I suppose

she's always been

there, vague as a soft

copper pulse of moonlight

through blossoming seacoast


I wonder

when I first noticed

her, slipping in and out

of my pores, hide-and-seek

spider in fieldstone, red-bellied


I summon

Bree when dreams

no longer satisfy, when

gentle clouds of monotony

smother thunder, when Kristina


I remember

the night I first

let her go, opened the

smeared glass, one thin pane,

cellophane between rules and sin,


Text copyright © 2004 by Ellen Hopkins

Meet the Author

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Crank (Crank Series #1) 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1328 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
it was written so beautifully,and as soon as i read this book, i couldnt help but finish the other one following this book-glass. her stories are beautiful and loosely based around her real life, which makes this read all the more compelling. if you liked go ask alice this is a must have read.ever since i have read this book i have been hooked to her writting style.a great great great book.
Jessica_Walker More than 1 year ago
It's what it grabs when you hear the story of a wonderful girl who trudges down hill thanks to the likes of meth. The story is fantastic and I may only be a sixteen year old, but when it comes to reading I am extremely picky. I read this book in less then a day. I couldn't put it down. I read it in class, through the halls, on the bus. It followed me everywhere the day I got it from my library.
JESSZAMBRANO More than 1 year ago
There are no words to describe this book. I think every teenager should read this. It's honest and brutal and really describes the horrors of the addiction without straight up describing it. Through Crank, Ellen Hopkins has created this astoundingly true world that exists right outside my door or yours; almost in a way regardless of age, and there is just no way to truly describe what this book did for me. Even though I've never touched drugs or wanted to, it just seemed to hit. I found myself deeply relating to Kristina, feeling the issues with parents but never saying a word, working to keep that A average, etc. But I also understood the allure of Bree because, no matter how smart a person is, sometimes the desire to just let everything go can start to overpower a person. Even not knowing the feelings and effects in which the drugs instill in Bree, the way Hopkins goes about describing her highs and lows, fall outs and blow ups it makes you feel as if your right in the same state of mind she is in. I also believe that the way in which she actually composed the book, through the short stories/ poems the thickness of the book dissolves much like you do into the pages. The way Hopkins writes about serious subjects like drug abuse and suicide, which make her a frequent target of book banners. One of her most popular books, Crank is based on her own daughter's struggle with drug addiction which leaves more doors open to the thought of "don't drag myself into something like that", rather than opening a door to experimenting. If nothing else, I will continue reading the sequels and every other book by Ellen Hopkins I can get my hands on. Especially since they're not only wondrous, but very quick reads.
KoryPetersen More than 1 year ago
This book was simply amazing. I couldn't put it down till I was finished with it. I was extremely pulled into the book because I felt for what Kristina was going through. Each thing that happened made we want to read more. I started to feel for her and realize the struggles she was going through were far worse than what words can describe. Crank is about a teenage girl that falls into substance addiction. The main character's name is Kristina. She heads over to Albuquerque to visit her dad and meets new friends that show her the wrong path. She becomes more and more addicted to crank. She had a great life during this time but it eventually caught up to her. She struggles to try to go without crank but the not having it eats her alive. This path lead her to a relationship that gave her an unwanted child. When the baby is born she sees how much she really does want her child. Kristina is a seventeen year old girl who is very shy and wasn't all that great with boys. She was a perfect and gifted student, straight A's and everything any parent wants from their child. At first the most important things to Kristina were good grades and perfection, but after her trip to Albuquerque she had some new things that are important to her. The most important thing to her after going to Albuquerque was drugs. Anything that she could use to get high was important to her. Drugs are also the thing that motivated her to do the things she did. While going through all these things she learned a lot. Kristina learned about the "dark side" and changed. Afterwards she tried to get rid of her addiction and tried to get better. She learned a lot of things through this experience and one of the most important things was that drugs affect your life and the lives of the people you know. The book is actually based on a true story. Ellen Hopkins' daughter was addicted to crystal meth and this book portrays the point of view of a teenager addicted to these types of drugs. These drugs not only affect the user but affect everyone around them. Everyone from family, friends, relatives, and just kids you know. This path can lead to serious injury or death in some cases. The theme of this book is that the choices you make not only affect you, but affect everyone around you. Kristina's parents knew what she was going through and it caused them to make different choices as well. The biggest things that Kristina did was having her child. That completely changed her life and her entire family's life. Her parents had to take care of her son because Kristina isn't old enough to know how to. Kristina's story is worth telling to prevent these sorts of things happening to more and more teenagers. Kristina is the perfect example of what happens when you continue down the wrong path and continue to do things that hurt yourself. This book definitely deserved its spot on the bestseller list because of how amazing it is. I could really feel what was happening to Kristina as if I was her. Ellen Hopkins did an amazing job portraying the life of a substance abusing teenager. Crank is beyond words. It tells a touching story, pulls you in, and you can't stop reading it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Hopkins' second novel in verse about the troubled Kristina is compelling and heartbreaking at the same time. Kristina wants what most eighteen-year-olds do: independence, income of her own, a place of her own, and love. But how she goes about trying to achieve it is not the path many would take, and as she takes that first step towards the monster, readers can't help but hope for the best and be frustrated at her stupidity and thoughtlessness. The scariest aspect of Glass is how, as the story goes on and Kristina becomes even more hooked, it becomes increasingly apparent that there can be no happy, clean ending, and the struggles and dependence on drugs will always be a part of Kristina's life. This is a gut-wrenching, dark read that reveals the power of true addiction and the pain and havoc it can wreak. Though this book focuses on some of the toughest issues facing society today, it is important and could be used as a tool to educate teens on the horrors of addiction and how easily things can spin out of control. This engrossing, horrifying, and painfully honest book will make you cringe, but also make you laugh with its surprising moments of humor, oftentimes dark, but mostly it'll have you hoping that against all odds, somehow Kristina will straighten up. You had better have Glass on hand for when you finish Crank, because you'll most definitely want it.  Basically, when you read this, you get a feeling for the child, for the surroundings, and for the turmoil that brews inside her life. That makes it understandable when it comes to her meeting with her "father" and why she needs her alter-ego, not to mention the drug itself. Combine that with the beautiful workmanship, the story within the story, and you have something really well worth mentioning.    
ElliePatterson More than 1 year ago
It was so good.
I couldn't stop still I finished.
BOOKADDICT116 More than 1 year ago
I loved this book. One of those types of books where at some parts you find ur mouth friggin drop. its awesome but i certinely wudnt let a lil kid read it lol (:
MicheleLeesBookLove More than 1 year ago
Reviewed for Monster Librarian as part of Banned Books Week Crank is Ellen Hopkins' quite controversial, but sorely needed poem-form novel about Kristina Snow, whose life changes forever when her father and the boy she's crushing introduce her to meth. Unlike Impulse, which is raw and shredding in its emotion, Crank is almost cold at times, brutally showing a girl on the edge of being a woman who should by all means have the kind of life that discourages drug use, time after time choosing to ride with the monster. Likewise the people in her life who should be able to step in, fail, leaving Kristina alone to fight a beast most adult are defeated by. Crank is a difficult book to handle, but it's far closer to reality than any drug awareness program I went through in school. Hopkins books are strongly positioned to be of great value as fiction, as poetry, and for their education value, boldly stripping away pretenses and sensitivities to show addiction as the cruel master it is. Highly recommended for public collections as well as recommended reading material for those whose lives have been scarred by the real life monsters on our streets. Contains: sex, drug use, rape, language
cupcake_curls More than 1 year ago
I have honestly never read a more emotionally gripping story in my life. Although many people skip out on her books because they are "controversial", they are missing a powerful lesson. Ellen pulls you in Kristina's dark world of addiction, and it is terrifying. I can't imagine myself going near any drugs now, the addiction is just too scary. Through the whole story she gets more addicted, and she has absolutely no control. I'm fourteen years old, and if I am mature enough to look past adult themes; so are you.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is, well.... Ironically addicting. I just couldn't stop, no matter how hard I tried. I gobbled down the whole series in less than four days. It's heart pounding, captivating, and beautiful in many ways. However, some parts are a bit over-dramatized, as well as under-dramatized. For example, every turn of a page resulted in suspenseful love affairs and close-to-getting-caught events. But at the same time, it was kind of hard to believe. I mean, a seventeen year old girl, who used to be so enraptured in her career and school, just suddenly goes downhill like that? And by the third book, Fallout, she has like five kids and several boys who would kill to have her for themselves. I don't know. It just seemed a bit far fetched. Other than that, Hopkins writes brilliantly. Elegantly. Hauntingly. This series, and this first book, are wonderful reads. Just make sure you're mature enough to handle them; sex, drugs, and rape are prominent and sort of described in detail. Reader discretion is advised. But, if you enjoy picking up unique pieces of literature, please read this. You won't be sorry. I have mixed feelings about this book and the series, but it's fantastic once you make the commitment.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Every parent should read this! Hopkins provides insight into the temptation and addiction this generation of kids faces. This story hit close to home and is a must read! I wish I would have read it years ago when my family went through a similar struggle with another "monster". Thank you Ellen for sharing your family's story with the world!
nilma More than 1 year ago
This book is captivating! I am not going to lie to you, when I started reading it and noticed it was written in verse not prose I was kind of disappointed. The reason: I have never read poems with such "matter-of-fact" power and depth. As I got into the story, I realized why it needed to be written in verse! Understanding Kristina's psyche and why would she turn into "Bree" to justify what Kristina "knew", was wrong, was screaming for verses! Excellent book! I think schools should include this in their curriculum for students to read. Maybe this would help with the problem of drugs in adolescents for them to "see" what experimenting with drugs is not a good choice.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
You connect to kristina so much and once you read crank you have to read glass because you feel as if you know kristina.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
One of those reads you can't put down, one that I could not stand to put down. It shows you the side that addicts want you to see, and the side that really is. Definitely one of the best books I've read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
My sister had read these books when i was younger so i thouht id try one. From the moment i first started i was hooked. Hopkins has a way of portraing her characters and event sin the most descriptive way. I just started readin git and im already half way throuh. It looks like a semi thick book but because of the layout its probably only half the size. I deffiently reccomend this book or any by this author Identical was also awesome!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I rarely ever give 5 star ratings but this book was awesome! It was so hard to stop reading this book once you start. I read this book in 4 days! Drug addiction stories always strike my interest and this story was very interesting. Its sad how such a straight edge girl ended up having a rebellious alter ego that caused her to get hooked on meth. While your reading, you keep wondering what awful things are gonna happen next. I got the sample first and I was close to not buying this book. The writing style is different than what I am used to. But I got over it quick and really enjoyed reading something different. I am definitely gonna read the next two in the series! Onto the next!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The formatting is all screwed up and makes no sense. I want my money back. On the other hand, the book is interesting and good. The ebook version needs work!
TwlohaMC More than 1 year ago
this book was very intense and grabbing from the very first pages, do not be intimidated by the thickness of the book it is written i poem format and i read the book within a week. Very good book with real life situations
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Crank details the story of Kristina Georgia Snow, a typical 16 year old girl who lives in Reno, Nevada. When she asks her mother to visit her absent father, Kristina is thrown into a rollercoaster of a trip. She meets Adam, christens her new self as 'Bree' and becomes addicted to Methamphetamine also known as 'crank' or even by the nickname, 'the monster.' Once Kristina comes back home, she works hard to keep her addiction a secret from her family and tries to score more crank with her new friends, Chase and Brendan. While her new persona is more promiscuous and troublesome, Kristina's new life may finally catch up with her as she strives to get more crank. With terrible consequences that will come to play, Kristina's personal life spirals out of control as she tries to live with her addiction to the monster and letting Bree have full control over her life. The novel is written in verse form and flows very nicely with each situation in which the author is writing about. Ellen Hopkins writing is very unique to many other books, but the style helps depict a more personal connection with Kristina. With many examples of drugs, sex, underage drinking and rape, Crank may hit close to home for some of its readers. I thoroughly enjoyed the novel and loved just how vivid Kristina's crashes were and how she viewed life while she was high. It is a very quick read and will become addicting to the reader. Overall, it is a great book to read and may be helpful to some who seriously consider doing illicit activities by showing them the real life effects that may happen.
Casey88 More than 1 year ago
I'm not sure what I thought Crank was going to be about, but it wasn't what I expected. The description on the back of the book isn't too detailed, and I guess you could say that I assumed what "monster" meant. I was wrong though. Crank is about Kristina battling her drug addition and the fight going on within herself. Kristina was just like any other teenager: good grades, good kid, and followed the rules. Then one day, she just got mixed up with the wrong kind of people, which led to her trying and getting hooked on crystal meth. The more she used it, the more she wanted it. I love the idea of this being written in verses because it seemed to add more emotion to the story. Not that there isn't already enough emotion going on when it comes to drugs, because there is. But not only does drugs effect the user, but it also effects the user's loved ones, just in a different kind of way. I haven't ever been involved in drugs but I know some people that have, and no one wants to sit back and watch someone they care about slip farther and farther from reality - relying solely on their next high to get them through the day. Crank is a very raw, and terrifyingly real story. It shows what someone's life will become like when addicted to drugs. Crank is just an amazing and so full of truth read that I recommend this to both teenagers and adults. Also, there is a sequel, Glass, which I will definitely be reading. And a third book, Fallout, which is due to release in 2010.
bootzie_bday More than 1 year ago
In Crank, this happens to be both. Kristina's father allows her to take drugs, as her mother deeply cares for her. Through out this novel, you will learn to understand that drugs can and WILL ruin a person's life. It's a journey, and Kristina is willing to take this ride of a lifetime. Written in only poetry, Ellen Hopkins perfectly words this story of a teenage girl's life. With many obstacles, Kristina has too many decisions. What would you decide? I recommend reading the sequel, Glass, if you like Crank. (:
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I think Ellen Hopkins is an outstanding writer of poetry. I like the way she writes, but a lot of people say her writing is a waste of paper because of how little is on a page.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is great. Crank and Glass are just marvelous. Can't wait for Fallout. In Crank, I was a bit mad that Kristina/ Bree chose to do Meth. Her life really did spiral down. And, in Glass I was incredibly frustrated with the fact that she practically abandoned her Son, Family, and Old Friends. She was also a bit of a whore. She chose to have Sex with Brendan (Even though he Raped her), Chase, Brad, and Trey. Quite honestly I don't think she cared about her baby. But above all, great book. Looking forward to Fallout in 2010!
BookGeek08 More than 1 year ago
Crank has definitly opened my eyes to a lot more now. Hopkins really discribes the struggles and addictions that come with drugs. She illustatres what it can do to your life and your body. Even your personality. For any teenager or aduly curious about drugs, i am sure that is book will give you more than one reason to say "No". Like i said before, Hopkins really tells how drugs can change a person and get them into a lot of trouble.
skeleboy More than 1 year ago
Harrowing, captivating, exciting, addicting; four words that flash through my mind as I walk through a bookstore, stopping to pick up a novel; I have found in the previous few years that, indeed, tons upon tons of fiction has gone downhill---we no longer see any Charles Dickens, Michael Chrichton (and I will admit I find myself thrown into the works of horror masters Dean Koontz, Stephen King, as well as Anne Rice---before her Christ books), no more Agatha Christie. But as soon as I softly closed the white pages of the five hundred fourty four paged novel, Crank, I at once knew this was an absolute classic by a first time writer, Ellen Hopkins, a gifted story teller.
Crank tells the haunting story of a young girl in her mid- late-teens, whom, while visiting her drug-addict father, discovers crystal meth. In the story, you will sometimes laugh (not that often), cry (more often), and feel the ups and downs of an addicted teenager; a shocking twist at the end will delight readers. This will surely fit in with other novels, such as Go Ask Alice, Rats Saw God, and Rx. I definitely recommend this novel, and will be sure to drop by my local book seller and purchase the second novel in the series, Glass. More by Ellen Hopkins include Burned, Impulse, and recently released Identical. Ellen Hopkins represents the true meaning of "fiction, at its best."
-------Brendan Kerestes--------