by Ellen Hopkins
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books
Series: Crank (#1)
Source: Self Purchased
Available as of October 5, 2004
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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.
One of my friends has continuously recommended this book to me for the past six years, and I finally broke down and bought it a few weeks ago. I really wish I would have picked it up sooner. Ellen Hopkins delivered a wonderfully written book dealing with the after effects and addiction that using meth one time can cause.
Kristina's life begins to spiral out of control after just three weeks of staying at her dads. Is it because of the boy she met or because of the other person hiding inside her wanting to break free? Then her time is up and she is sent back to her mom. She attempts to clean herself up, but how long will that last?
Throughout the book Kristina is battling her alter ego, Bree, for dominance. It isn't that she doesn't want to break free of the addiction, it's the monster pulling her back in every time she comes down from a high only to find herself more depressed than she was before that keeps her going back for another hit.
Drug abuse is never an easy topic to cover in a book, but Ellen Hopkins did a wonderful job depicting Kristina's life as she spirals out of control. You can tell just from reading that she did a lot of research and talked to users about what it's like when they are getting their fix. Then you have the way it is written that also makes an impact on the reader. She writes each segment in verse then forms them on a page. For instance, Kristina is coming down from her high and the words will be made into downward pointing arrows or they will be falling across the page at an angle.
For me, this book is very easy to relate to. No, I was never a drug user and never will be, but I have friends who are, who have been to rehab, who still relapse. If I had read this book back in high school, I would have been able to name everyone in my class who was using. Now, looking back, I think of all the signs I missed and wish I would have read Crank sooner.
Crank was a wonderful, enlightening read. I would highly recommend this book to anyone in high school who may be pressured into using any drug.