Crank by Ellen Hopkins

Title: Crank
Author: Ellen Hopkins
Pages: 537
Genre: YA/Teen
Source: Library

Kristina is a good girl.  She's intelligent, has a bright future ahead of her... so why is there a Bree?  Bree is Kristina's alter-ego - she has been lying dormant for years.  But things are about to change - Bree wants out.  

On a trip to visit her estranged father, Kristina or should I say Bree, meets Adam.  He's someone Kristina would never think of dating, but Bree sees Adam and knows he must be hers. When Adam introduces her to Crank, Kristina knows he is no good for her, but instead Bree finds freedom and bliss.   Kristina never would have made the choices Bree made. But who cares about Kristina... Bree is in control now. 

Ms. Hopkins does an excellent job of making you, the reader, feel as if you are falling headlong into the deep, dark hole that Kristina finds herself in once she encounters Crank, or as she calls it, the monster.  Told in verse, this story, although heartbreaking and even depressing, is masterfully told.  Ms. Hopkins' words are sparse but they carry quite the punch.  As someone who was recently introduced to a story told in verse, I can honestly say, that I found Ms. Hopkins storytelling enthralling.  I was captured from her introductory paragraph before I had even started the story.  I was not aware that this story was inspired by events that occurred with her own daughter - making it an even more powerful and emotional read. 

I really felt that the use of verse was particularly effective in this novel. Even the formatting of the paragraphs is significant - taking all sorts of shapes, changing of fonts, etc., used to depict how Kristina/Bree is feeling (whether it be the high from drugs, a music rhythm, her lack of sleep, or even her need for booze or cigarettes).  

All in all, Crank was a riveting read.  It's obviously not something for everyone - but I believe it realistically captures a teens struggles with drugs, sex, alcohol and addiction.  When I first heard of Crank I was a bit intimidated by it.  The subject matter is not one to take lightly and have you seen the size of this thing - at 500+ pages, I was a bit worried that I would feel overwhelmed by it.  I have to say that this was not the case.  Instead I devoured this very quickly.  As a mother, I feel that Crank is a learning experience.   I would recommend for parents to read and then pass on to their teens.  It is a great book than can lead to some very important discussions.

My Rating:


Brent Taylor said...

Ellen is one of my favroite writers, and an idol. Her stories amaze me.

So glad you enjoyed CRANK. ;)


Mrs. Q: Book Addict said...

I have this book but I haven't gotten around to reading it yet. It sounds like a great read. I will have to pick it up soon.

Martinson said...

Ellen is one of my favroite writers, and an idol. Her stories amaze me. So glad you enjoyed CRANK. ;) Brent

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