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Review: Crank by Ellen Hopkins

Title: Crank
Author: Ellen Hopkins
Year Published: 2004

Genre: YA Fiction
Pages: 537
Rating: 4.5 out of 5

Geography Connection (my Google Reading map): Arizona, USA

FTC Disclosure: I borrowed this book from my high school library

Summary (from the back of the book): Life was good before I met the monster. After, life was great, at least for a little while...

Kristina is the perfect daughter: gifted high school junior, quiet, never 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.

Review: Students at my school read this book and the others by Ellen Hopkins SO MUCH! And I have been meaning to read it for years and I am glad that I finally did. I am not usually a fan of books written in verse, but Ellen Hopkins does an extraordinary job of it. The text isn't just in verse, but the verses take on shape that matches the mood or the words themselves. It's not just reading, it's viewing.

Katrina is a good girl, as it says in the summary, until she goes to visit her absentee dad. She finds an "alter ego" named Bree who is willing to flirt, to take risks, to date "bad boys." And when Kristina/Bree lets down her defenses, watch out. She tries crank and likes how it gets rid of her inhibitions. She is looser, lives more dangerously, and gets addicted quickly. The addiction leads her to take even more risks as she makes new friends, visits new neighborhoods, and gets in with some dangerous people.

This book is based on the author's experiences with her own daughter and others they have met through support groups. That is evident in that it feels so very real. The emotions, the actions, the worries, the blindness of the parents, and the way the drugs affect Kristina. It is depressing, scary, and so realistic while showing how easy it would be for someone to get all caught up in it all.

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