Date Published: October 5th, 2004
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.
Soon, her grades plummet, her relationships with family and friends deteriorate, and she needs more and more of the monster just to get through the day. Kristina hits her lowest point when she is raped by one of her drug dealers and becomes pregnant as a result. Her decision to keep the baby slows her drug use, but doesn't stop it, and the author leaves the reader with the distinct impression that Kristina/Bree may never be free from her addiction.
Genre: Realistic Fiction
When I first picked up Crank, I thought, Yet another amazingly depressing Ellen Hopkins book. Then I started reading. I was confused for the first 50 stanzas or so. After that, I realized how depressing this book is really going to be.
Kristina Snow was an amazing student who cared about her family and friends, that all changed when she met the monster. As a first impression, I really liked Kristina. I continued to like her throughout the rest of the book, I cared about what happened to her. In a way, I pitied her walk with the monster. She could have been such an amazing person, but one wrong choice leads to another, leads to another. One guy leads to another, leads to another.
Adam was the first person to introduce Kristina to the Monster, I was slow to forgive him for it. I thought he was a pretty good guy at first, but then he turned into a sleazy jerk. When Kristina finally returned home, Adam told Kristina that he wanted to date other people but that he still loved her. What kind or guy would tell a girl that? And then there was Chase.
Perfect Chase, sure he was walking with the monster, but at least he had a conscience. He really loved Kristina, cared about her. He kept on loving her, even when she cheated on him with Brendan.
Evil Brendan, I tell you, that man is pure evil! Kristina claims that he's just a meth connection, but what he does to her is malicious, malevolent, malignant, wicked. I wish that he had never come into Kristina's life; he stole what was left of her innocence. And when they all left, Kristina was left methless, I had hope for a while that she might quit. Then Robyn came into the picture.
Skinny Robyn, turns out cheerleaders have their own way at getting skinny. Result: instant meth connection. Robyn's a good kid, besides the whole meth deal, she could go on and be a great person if she quits now, I mean now. Eventually, they all left.
Now I have to stop, else I'll give away too many spoilers. Crank was an amazing book that I will never forget.