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Crank by Ellen Hopkins
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's review
Oct 14, 10

bookshelves: young-adult, fiction, book-reviews, read-2010, favorites, tough-issues, read-own-hardcopy
Read from October 03 to 09, 2010 — I own a copy

Check out this review at Smash Attack Reads!

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 ride turns into a struggle through hell for her mind, her soul -- her life.

I was introduced to Ellen Hopkins when the blogosphere was enraged over a teen lit festival uninviting her from the event. I wrote about that particular situation here. I became immediately interested in what she had to say because banning books is something that seriously pisses me off. Having no prior experience with Hopkins’ work, I wasn’t prepared for the poem-esque writing. I must say though, it worked so well and brought such depth and emotion to this story. She is a fantastic writer, and so very different than others in the YA genre.

This story isn’t for the faint of heart. It’s about a straight-laced teenage girl name Kristina who has never stepped a toe out of line. She visits her not-so-heavy-on-the-morals father who is pretty much a stranger to Kristina. Her father lives in the same building as Adam. And Adam is hot. Kristina has never approached boys before and is nervous as hell...

Enter Bree, Kristina’s alter-ego. Bree takes over, Kristina is gone. Adam likes Bree and quickly introduces her to his friend, the monster. AKA, Crank. Kristina’s life quickly spirals out of control as she enjoys her roller coaster ride with the monster. Unfortunately, her dad doesn’t help steer Kristina back to the shallow end of Hell, as shown by the scene where he enjoys crank with his daughter and friends in the back of the bowling alley where he works. Nice role model.

Kristina enters into a reality that no parent wishes upon their child. A reality full of divorce, addiction, rape, suicide, teen pregnancy. All the things we wish to shield our children from. However, shielding them from reality only hinders their ability to deal with it, should they find themselves in Kristina’s situation. You definitely need to gauge the maturity level of your child before you allow them to dive into Hopkins’ mind, but I think allowing them to see this harsh reality through a book – rather than personally experiencing it – is a much better route to take. I can’t imagine an adolescent putting this book down and looking forward to a date with the monster…

As someone with a background involving ‘party drugs', as I like to call them, this book was very personal and is so very important. While I never shook hands with the monster or any of his seriously sadistic friends, I have friends who did. One of my good friends in my Social Work cohort is a recovering meth addict. He was able to escape his relationship with the monster. Not everyone is so lucky.

I’ve read in various places that this story is loosely based on Hopkins’ daughter’s struggle with crank. That makes this book personal, and it shows.


But it is Mom’s low, level threats I best remember.

You do not deserve these children and
when I’m through with you in court
you ‘ll be lucky to get visitation.

She was right.
And I still had not forgiven her.
Maybe he wasn’t perfect
But he was still my dad.


I keep to the shadows,
observing the game
I hadn't dare play,
absorbing the rules
with adhesive eyes


No bowling, no small talk,
just plain, empty time,
I walked down to
the corner store for
Pepsi and Cosmopolitan.
Guess who was buying
cigarettes, copper skin
glistening bittersweet
summer sweat. One
look, I was Play-Doh.


Just Before The Drop

You know how you
stand and stand and stand
in line for the most
gigantic incredible roller
you’ve ever dared attempt.
Anticipation swelling,
minute by minute by minute,
you choose to wait even
longer, to ride in the front
and finally it’s your turn.
They buckle you in, lock the
safety bar with a jolting clunk!
Hook engaged, the chain jerks
you forward. You start to
Cresting the top, time
moves into overtime
as you wait for that scant
hesitation, just before you
You know how you feel
at that instant? Well, that’s
exactly how it feels when you
shake hands with the


Like an Idiot

I took one too.
Things went from
weird to worse.

I mean, there I was,
snorting crank
with my dad,
my boyfriend,
and his other

Something majorly
wrong with that picture.


Okay, I Looked Awful

To anyone else,
he probably looked worse.
To me, he resembled an angel.
A poor, sad, beautiful angel.

His hurt swallowed mine,
like space swallows time,
and the two intertwine.
We tangled together.
I'm sorry.
Me too.
I'm just so confused.
I do know I love you.


Girls get screwed.
Not that kind of screwed,
what I mean is, they're always on the short end of

The way things work, how
guys feel great, but make girls feel
cheap for doing
exactly what
they beg for.

The way they get to play you,
all the while claiming they
love you and making you
believe it's

The way it's okay to gift their heart one day, a backhand the next,
to move on to the apricot
when the peach blushes and bruises.

These things make me believe God's a man after all.

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Reading Progress

10/03/2010 "I've been really looking forward to reading this book!"
10/03/2010 page 166
31.0% "Wow. This book ain't no joke!" 2 comments
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