Friday, 26 July 2013

[Review] Crank by Ellen Hopkins

Crank by Ellen Hopkins
Published October 1st 2004 by Margaret K. McElderry Books
Paperback, 537 Pages
In Crank, Ellen Hopkins chronicles the turbulent and often disturbing relationship between Kristina, a character based on her own daughter, and the "monster," the highly addictive drug crystal meth, or "crank." Kristina is introduced to the drug while visiting her largely absent and ne'er-do-well father. While under the influence of the monster, Kristina discovers her sexy alter-ego, Bree: "there is no perfect daughter, / no gifted high school junior, / no Kristina Georgia Snow. / There is only Bree." Bree will do all the things good girl Kristina won't, including attracting the attention of dangerous boys who can provide her with a steady flow of crank.

My Thoughts: 
“Wow” was my initial reaction after reading this book/poem. Ellen Hopkins has created poetry for the modern mind; I was hooked from the first page and read it within hours. I knew what I was getting myself into but I didn't expect to love Hopkins style as much as I did.

I hadn't read any of Ellen Hopkins books before so I thought that Crank would be the best place to start as it was her first. Just like the rest of her books, Crank is written in verse. I really enjoyed how the verses were placed differently on each page as it added to the uniqueness (is that even a word?) of the book. Hopkins is able to bring out a lot of raw emotion in so little words, this helped me understand what the main character was feeling throughout different stages in the plot.

In a way this book reminded me of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde as we see two sides to our main character. There’s Kristina, a good girl who would never do anything remotely bad and then there’s Bree. Bree’s a thrill seeking, adrenaline junkie who welcomes danger with loving arms and a warm smile. On a summer trip to her dads we say goodbye to Kristina and soak up in the essence of Bree, for the first time in her life we see Kristina exposing herself to drugs, alcohol and love. I don’t think I've ever read a book based around addiction so not only was it interesting but also insightful. Kristina’s character is based on Ellen Hopkins own daughter and her dealings with the monster, this makes the book a lot more personal to the author herself. I respect her for sharing this story with us as I think that it shows us readers how drugs not only effect a person but also the others around them. 

It was intriguing to see the hold the monster has on Kristina and how it affects her wherever she goes. We get to see its destructive nature and how it gradually changes her as a person. I would've liked to have read a book like this while I was at school as I think it’s a great way to show young people the effects of drugs and how they ruin lives.

I cannot put into words how wonderful this book is and the impact it’s had on me. I feel that my words do not do it justice; it is definitely one of the hardest books I've ever reviewed. This book is sculpted to perfection, eerie and haunting but one I definitely won’t forget soon. I plead that everyone gives it a chance, even if you don’t like it you’ll still come out with something, an important, powerful knowledge of addiction and the downward spiral that comes with drugs.

1 comment:

  1. I have heard so much about this book. BUT I've been so hesitant to read it for two reasons. One being that it is really heavy depressing material and the other being that I have a total fear of poems. (Not even kidding its a real thing.) I think after reading your review I might have to conquer that fear. The content in this book is so real and current. It's what's happening today and I think that it definitely seems like a book that I just need to pick up and read. Thank you so much for this awesome review! (And sorry for the long comment about basically nothing, I've been really rambly recently...)


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