Monday, March 19, 2012

"Crank" by Ellen Hopkins (Book Thoughts)

"Kristina is the perfect daughter, gifted high school junior, quiet, never any trouble.
Then she meets the monster: crank.
And what begins as a wild ride turns into a struggle for her mind, her soul-her life."

When Kristina visits her father in Arizona for the summer, she finds out that her vision of him as the "Prince of Albuquerque" may have been just adream, and wonders whether the resentment she feels towards her mother, for keeping Kristina and her sister away, is misplaced.

Left alone in her father's shabby apartment building, Kristin meets Adam, aka Buddy, and introduces herself as Bree, her carefree alter-ego, who makes all the choices that Kristina would never make. In turn, Buddy introduces her to the monster.

When she returns to her family in Nevada, Kristina is forever changed, and the monster has already taken hold. She seeks out the monster and Bree appears more often. The higher she gets, the harder she crashes, making her ability to escape the clutches of the monster, ever harder.

Crank is Ellen Hopkins' debut novel. While this novel in verse is a work of fiction, it is loosely based on a true story-her daughter's.

The book is thick, about 537 pages thick! But the word count is less than 35,000. Every word is carefully chosen. The paragraphs are strategically placed on each page. Crank does not have much dialogue, but where there is any, the words get the point across with impact.  

As a mother, I found the book heartbreaking and eye-opening. I hoped Kristina would somehow see the light and ask for help with her addiction. But remembering back to when I was a teen, I remembered that feeling of invincibility. I recommend this book to both teens and parents, because you just never know, it may happen to you or someone you love.

Crank has a very fitting, less-than-happy ending. That's the way life is, isn't it?

Ellen Hopkins warns the reader that crank is indeed a monster and to "Think twice. Then think again."