Crank (Crank Series #1)

Crank (Crank Series #1)

by Ellen Hopkins

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Overview

Crank (Crank Series #1) by Ellen Hopkins

Life was good
before I
met
the monster.

After,
life
was great.

At
least
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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781442471818
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books
Publication date: 08/06/2013
Series: Crank Series , #1
Edition description: Reissue
Pages: 537
Sales rank: 30,704
Product dimensions: 9.10(w) x 10.40(h) x 0.50(d)
Age Range: 14 Years

About the Author

Ellen Hopkins is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of fourteen young adult novels, as well as the adult novels Triangles, Collateral, and Love Lies Beneath. She lives with her family in Carson City, Nevada, where she founded Ventana Sierra, a nonprofit youth housing and resource initiative. Visit her at EllenHopkins.com and on Facebook, and follow her on Twitter at @EllenHopkinsLit.

Read an Excerpt

Flirtin' with the Monster

Life was good

before I

met

the monster.

After,

life

was great.

At

least

for a little while.

Text copyright © 2004 by Ellen Hopkins

Introduction

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,

recklessly

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

Alone

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.

Alone,

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.

Alone,

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

fog.

I wonder

when I first noticed

her, slipping in and out

of my pores, hide-and-seek

spider in fieldstone, red-bellied

phantom.

I summon

Bree when dreams

no longer satisfy, when

gentle clouds of monotony

smother thunder, when Kristina

cries.

I remember

the night I first

let her go, opened the

smeared glass, one thin pane,

cellophane between rules and sin,

freed.

Text copyright © 2004 by Ellen Hopkins

Reading Group Guide

A Reading Group Guide to the

Crank, Glass, Fallout trilogy

by Ellen Hopkins

Overall pre-reading questions for the series:

Why might teens begin using drugs like meth even though they know the dangers?

How might drug addiction impact a family?

What scars might drug addiction leave for generations to come?

A Reading Group Guide to Crank by Ellen Hopkins

ABOUT THE BOOK

Maybe it wouldn’t have happened if she had just stayed in Reno for the summer. Or if her father had turned out to be the man she had wanted him to be instead of the disappointment that she found. Or maybe if Adam hadn’t been so beautiful and broken and in need of her love. Maybe then Kristina wouldn’t have snorted her first line of crank and maybe then her life wouldn’t be spiraling out of control. But maybe doesn’t count in the real world, and it certainly won’t save Kristina from the monster.

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS

How would you describe Bree? Is this the same way that Kristina would describe her? Where did Bree come from?

For Kristina, what is the lure of crystal meth? What does it provide for her? What does it take away?

Describe Kristina’s mother, father, and stepfather. Are they in any way responsible for her addiction? Do you think that there’s anything else they could have—or should have—done to help her?

Why is Kristina drawn to Adam? To Chase? To Brendan? In what ways are these three similar and in what ways are they different? How does Kristina’s relationship with each one affect her?

Which boy is most harmful to her?

Why does Kristina decide to keep her baby? What reasons might she have had for giving it up? Do you think she made the right decision?

Why does Kristina always call crank “the monster”? How do you think her renaming of the drug affects her attitude toward it and her sense of responsibility regarding it? Are there other things or people in the story that get renamed? How does this affect the way in which they are regarded?

Kristina sometimes refers to herself and her life before drugs as boring and worthless, yet at other times she seems to regard it as something very precious. What attitude do you think is closest to her true feelings? Do you think those around her would agree with her assessment?

The author chose to write this story in verse. Why do you think that she chose this format? What effect does this have on how you feel about the characters and events?

What is the overall message of this book? Do you think the story will act as a deterrent for teens who are considering drugs?

ACTIVITIES

As we can see in Crank, poetry allows us to express ourselves in new and creative ways. Write a poem or series of poems about something that has happened in your life

Choose a drug—crystal meth or some other drug that you’ve heard of—and research its effects on the user. Find out exactly what it does in the body, how long the side effects last, how much it typically costs, and any other pertinent facts.

Kristina has an alter ego who allows her to be more careless and daring. What would your alter ego be like? Choose a name, list all the character traits s/he would have, and list the things that s/he could help you do. Imagine what your life would be like if you acted more like your alter ego.

Kristina’s baby, like many children of addicts, cries a lot and needs to be held more than other babies. Find out if your local hospital will allow you to volunteer to hold babies born addicted. If your community has no such programs, perhaps you could consider volunteering at a local drug clinic or an anti-drug program at your school.

Write a short story about what you think will happen to Kristina and her baby after the events depicted in the book.

There are several other books about teenage drug addiction, including Go Ask Alice and Smack. Read one of these other books and compare it to Crank.

A Reading Group Guide to Glass by Ellen Hopkins

ABOUT THE BOOK

This sequel to Crank (2004) picks up after Kristina Snow has given birth to her first son, Hunter. Addicted to meth after a brief visit to her estranged father, Kristina thinks that she can manage her addiction—without giving it up—now that she has a baby to care for. A young mother living with her mother and stepfather, who support her and Hunter, Kristina is disheartened with her excess weight and has lost confidence in herself in other ways, as well. Now a high school dropout, Kristina takes a job at the 7-11 and toys with the idea of using again to regain her pre-baby figure. Kristina gives in to the monster again, thinking she can control how much she uses, and begins another gradual spiral downward into hopelessness. Along the way, she meets Trey, a meth user, and moves farther away from her relationship with her baby and the support of her family. Her parents take custody of her son, and Kristina and Trey live rough lives as meth addicts, sleeping in Trey’s car and selling drugs to pay for their addiction. A final discovery leads to yet another challenge that Kristina may or may not be able to handle, and hope for her future, as fragile as it’s become, wears even thinner.

PREREADING ACTIVITY

Ask students one of the following: 1) What do you know about the drug meth? 2) Why might a seemingly “perfect” teen turn to meth? 3) To what extent would you be willing to support an immediate family member who is addicted to meth?

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS

In the opening of Glass, Hopkins reminds the reader of Kristina Snow’s fall “into the lair of the monster,” a metaphor for meth. How is the word monster an appropriate metaphor for meth?

Kristina’s alter ego, Bree, takes over when she is high on meth. What does Kristina mean when she says she made a “conscious decision” to turn into Bree?

Kristina meets Trey, a user and drug dealer, and falls head over heels for him. A year previously she had fallen for Adam, who introduced her to meth. After their relationship, why does Kristina fall for Trey, another drug dealer? What characteristics does he have that draw her in? Why does she maintain this relationship even though she knows Trey has other girlfriends?

Kristina knows that she should resist the monster. Why do you think she lacks the strength? Why might recovering addicts believe they can use again but control their drug habit?

Chase, a boyfriend from Crank, has a minor role in this novel. When Kristina encounters him, she is somewhat tentative. What feelings does she have for him? Why do you think Hopkins develops the scene in which Kristina encounters Chase with his new wife?

Kristina’s mother and stepfather want Kristina to heal. Why does Kristina journey down the wrong path again? What emotions exist between Kristina and her mother? Between her stepfather and Kristina?

Would you describe the way Kristina feels as “empty”? Explain. How much power do Kristina’s parents have to help her? Could they have done anything to prevent her from spiraling downward again? If so, what?

Kristina became hooked on meth when visiting her biological father, a meth user. When her father pays a visit on her birthday, Kristina shares her own stash with him. Describe their relationship. In what ways is her relationship with her father similar to her relationship with her mother? How is it different?

Does Trey genuinely care for Kristina? Does Brad? Cite scenes to support your response.

Does Kristina feel parental attachment to Hunter in the beginning of the story? Explain. Do her feelings toward him change throughout the story? If so, in what way?

Does Kristina grow throughout the story? Why or why not? Cite passages to support your thoughts.

Kristina’s mother “throws her out” and/or refuses to see her while she is addicted. Does her mother take appropriate steps by turning her away?

Glass contains numerous shape poems. Identify two shape poems and explain the meaning of these forms. What effect do they have on the overall story? Why do you think Hopkins chose these shapes?

Glass begs for another follow-up in the series. What might happen to Kristina now that she and Trey have been busted? Will she distance herself from Trey or will they continue their relationship? Will she rejoin her family and resist the monster?

ACTIVITIES

Organize a drug awareness campaign in your school and/or community. You may develop brochures outlining the dangers of meth and invite a guest speaker (ex., adolescent therapist) to your school, church/synagogue, etc., to speak to your peers.

Re-examine the shape poetry found in Glass. Write your own poem in a shape that suits the poem’s theme. You may create a Shape Poetry Collection that when read together convenes a theme or short story.

Research meth and its effects on the body. Develop a blog or wiki on the dangers of meth and include information about where teens can go for help. Share the site with others in your school.

Kristina is the “perfect” girl. She is pretty, smart, and lives a comfortable lifestyle with her family. Why might someone who seemingly has everything turn to drugs? Read nonfiction accounts of teens who turn to meth. Develop a presentation that outlines common reasons teens turn toward drugs.

Volunteer to work for an organization that supports high-risk children such as a Big Brother or Big Sister.

Read a follow-up fiction novel that addresses drug addiction (ex., Candy by Kevin Brooks or St. Iggy by K. L. Going). Compare and contrast the stories. What characteristics do the drug addicts share? How are they different?

A Reading Group Guide to Fallout by Ellen Hopkins

ABOUT THE BOOK

The final installment in the Crank trilogy, Fallout picks up almost two decades after Kristina’s parents assume custody of Hunter. Hunter is in college and has two half sisters and two half brothers. Told in alternating voices, the verse novel concentrates on the lives of Hunter and his two teenage half sisters: Autumn and Summer. All three are being raised by different families. Hunter has a steady girlfriend and struggles to understand and control his anger. Autumn has panic attacks and cannot handle the fact her aunt, Trey’s sister, is marrying and moving away. She turns to alcohol and begins having unprotected sex, even fantasizing about getting pregnant. Summer has been abused at the hands of her father’s girlfriends and does not know she has a sister until she begins questioning her father about her past. Lonely and longing for connection, Summer runs away with her boyfriend, Kyle. Hunter, Autumn, and Summer share the same anger and mixed feelings about their mother. Their lives intersect one Christmas at Kristina’s parents’ home, where they encounter their mother, who has little emotional connection with them. While the three fear they are predestined to follow in their mother’s footsteps, they begin finding pieces of connection and dare to hope for better lives.

PREREADING ACTIVITY

What psychological impact might drug addiction have on offspring?

Is it possible for a drug addiction to be just one person’s problem?

How else, besides drugs like meth, can an addiction manifest itself, especially in the life of a teenager?

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS

Since the birth of her first child, Hunter, how has Kristina changed over the years? How has she remained the same? How has her relationship with her parents evolved?

How are Hunter, Autumn, and Summer alike? How are they different? Which of the three has a better chance at a successful life? Why?

Why is Autumn so careless about unprotected sex? How does she feel about getting pregnant? Is she grounded in reality? Explain.

Summer has feelings for both Matt and Matt’s friend, Kyle. She describes Matt as a nice guy who has never pushed her to have sex and who has never belittled her or yelled at her. However, these positive characteristics “make him boring” How can this be? What characteristics in a boy excite her? Why? What similar responses to men does her mother have? Consider her mother’s relationship with Ron.

Trey and Autumn’s journey to Autumn’s grandparents house is also a journey through Trey’s relationship with Autumn’s mother and, ultimately, his relationship with Autumn, his daughter. Along the way, Trey says, “I’ve/spent the last fifteen/years hating your mother . . . What I couldn’t see/ was that hate controlled me.” What does Trey mean? Give examples. What other characters have been controlled by hate? Explain.

Anger is a recurring theme in Fallout. Hunter reflects on his own rage and wonders why people take it out on those they love. Why do you think those closest often are hit the hardest by rage? Is Hunter’s anger justified? What about his mother’s? Explain.

How might anger be self-contempt? Use Kristina as an example.

Hunter’s mother remarks in the closing pages that she “used to live ‘mad’”. What does she mean and how has she changed? Has she found peace? Explain.

Autumn and Summer both want desperately to be loved. Explain their desperation. Why are they so quick to fall for a boy? Why are they so needy? In what ways are they like their mother? In what ways are they different from their mother? How will they need to change so that they can have healthy relationships with men?

How do Kristina’s children define love? Would you say they “misname” love? If so, explain.

Kristina has hurt everyone she has touched, and she seems to know she has. How does she respond to the pain she has caused?

Will Kristina’s family ever heal? What scars might remain? Explain.

Fallout ends with the phrase, “ . . . look/very long at/Kristina, I see/me/me/me.” Each use of the pronoun me represents one of Kristina’s three older children. What do all three wish for? What are their fears? Will each of them be able to stop the “monster” from destroying their own families?

ACTIVITIES

Draw and/or use computer software to generate a relationship tree, highlighting the key characters in Fallout.

Choose one of the following relationships to research: father/daughter, father/son, mother/son, mother/daughter. What are the characteristics of a healthy relationship between the two? What relationship difficulties might a young teen have if one of these relationships is damaged? Prepare a class presentation based on your findings.

Organize a book read at your school between parents/guardians and their children around a book with strong relationship themes between parents/guardians and teens. Mothers and sons might read a YA novel about a mother/son relationship (ex., Bucking the Sarge by Christopher Paul Curtis); a father and daughter might read a YA novel about a father/daughter relationship (ex., Story of a Girl by Sara Zaar). Adopted children and their adoptive parents might read Whale Talk by Chris Crutcher.

Read a nonfiction account or a biography about a child growing up in a foster home (ex., Three Little Words: A Memoir by Ashley Rhodes-Courter) and share your reactions to the reading with the class.

Crank guide written by Cory Grimminck, Director, Hillsdale Community Library, Hillsdale, MI.

Glass & Fallout guide written by Pam B. Cole, Professor of English Education & Literacy, Kennesaw State University, Kennesaw, GA.

This guide has been provided by Simon & Schuster for classroom, library, and reading group use. It may be reproduced in its entirety or excerpted for these purposes.

Introduction

A Simon Pulse Guide for Reading Groups

Crank

About the Book

Maybe it wouldn't have happened if she had just stayed in Reno for the summer. Or if her father had turned out to be the man she had wanted him to be instead of the disappointment that she found. Or maybe if Adam hadn't been so beautiful and broken and in need of her love. Maybe then Kristina wouldn't have snorted her first line of crank and maybe then her life wouldn't be spiraling out of control. But maybe doesn't count in the real world, and it certainly won't save Kristina from the monster.

Discussion Questions

• How would you describe Bree? Is this the same way that Kristina would describe her? Where did Bree come from?

• For Kristina, what is the lure of crystal meth? What does it provide for her? What does it take away?

• Describe Kristina's mother, father, and stepfather. Are they in any way responsible for her addiction? Do you think that there's anything else they could have — or should have — done to help her?

• Why is Kristina drawn to Adam? To Chase? To Brendan? In what ways are these three similar and in what ways are they different? How does Kristina's relationship with each one affect her? Which boy is most harmful to her?

• Why does Kristina decide to keep her baby? What reasons might she have had for giving it up? Do you think she made the right decision?

• Why does Kristina always call crank "the monster"? How do you think her renaming of the drug affects her attitude toward it and her sense of responsibility regarding it? Are there other things or people in the story that get renamed? How does this affectthe way in which they are regarded?

• Kristina sometimes refers to herself and her life before drugs as boring and worthless, yet at other times she seems to regard it as something very precious. What attitude do you think is closest to her true feelings? Do you think those around her would agree with her assessment?

• The author chose to write this story in verse. Why do you think that she chose this format? What effect does this have on how you feel about the characters and events?

• What is the overall message of this book? Do you think the story will act as a deterrent for teens who are considering drugs?

Activities

• As we can see in Crank, poetry allows us to express ourselves in new and creative ways. Write a poem or series of poems about something that has happened in your life.

• Choose a drug — crystal meth or some other drug that you've heard of — and research its effects on the user. Find out exactly what it does in the body, how long the side effects last, how much it typically costs, and any other pertinent facts.

• Kristina has an alter ego who allows her to be more careless and daring. What would your alter ego be like? Choose a name, list all the character traits s/he would have, and list the things that s/he could help you do. Imagine what your life would be like if you acted more like your alter ego.

• Kristina's baby, like many children of addicts, cries a lot and needs to be held more than other babies. Find out if your local hospital will allow you to volunteer to hold babies born addicted. If your community has no such programs, perhaps you could consider volunteering at a local drug clinic or an anti-drug program at your school.

• Write a short story about what you think will happen to Kristina and her baby after the events depicted in the book.

• There are several other books about teenage drug addiction, including Go Ask Alice and Smack. Read one of these other books and compare it to Crank.

About the Author

Ellen Hopkins is a poet, author, and freelance writer. She has published more than 300 articles in local, regional, and national publications and has written 20 nonfiction books for children. Crank is her first published work of fiction. Ellen lives near Carson City, Nevada, where she enjoys hiking, biking, skiing, and raising German Shepherds. She is currently at work on her second verse novel for Simon & Schuster.

Crank

By Ellen Hopkins

0-689-86519-8

Simon Pulse

Available wherever books are sold.

Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing

1230 Avenue of the Americas

New York, NY 10020

www.SimonSaysKids.com

This reading group guide has been provided by Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing for classroom, library, and reading group use. It may be reproduced in its entirety or excerpted for these purposes.

Ellen Hopkins has been writing poetry for years.  Her first novel, Crank, released in 2004 and quickly became a word-of-mouth sensation, garnering praise from teens and critics alike.  Ellen's other bestselling novels include Burned, Impulse, Glass, Identical, Tricks, and the upcoming Fallout, a companion to Crank and Glass.  She lives with her family in Carson City, Nevada.  Be sure to check out Ellen Hopkins online at ellenhopkins.com and myspace.com/ellenhopkins.

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Crank (Crank Series #1) 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1333 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."
(5/5)
-------Brendan Kerestes--------