Hopkins, Ellen. Crank. New York: Simon Pulse, 2004. Print.
Written by: Ellen Hopkins
Reviewed by: Solomon Kim
Recommended Audience: High school and over
Crank, is a terrifying yet gripping novel that portrays the disgusting effects of methamphetamine to the human body and mind. The main protagonist is a prestigious high school student named Kristina who spends 3 weeks of her summer vacation with her absent father. You can imagine that the whole airplane and car ride is extremely awkward as Kristina does not want to be where she is, especially with her dad. After arriving at her temporary home in New Mexico, she comes in contact with a key character named Adam that introduces a whole new darker world, drugs. Initially, Kristina is driven away from the thought of putting toxic substances into her body and runs away from the whole scene. Shortly after, she is confronted by three men in an alley that attempt to take advantage of her. Coincidentally, Adam comes to the rescue and comforts Kristina. After this point, Kristina and Adam forms a boyfriend and girlfriend relationship. Throughout the book, Kristina exhibits an innocent persona but is quickly interrupted by her alter ego. Kristina is reborn as “Bree” after snorting lines of crank with Adam in a small room. After her short stay at Albuquerque, Kristina (Bree) returns to Reno, Nevada addicted to crank. This recipe of trouble brings readers to think about the infinite outcomes.
What really shines in this novel is the real possibility of someone’s life flipping upside down with drug usage. Not only does Ellen Hopkins depict fear in a first person point of view, but also the pleasures of intoxicating one’s anatomy. Readers will be hooked instantly after Kristina’s first encounter with Crank. The neurological imbalance appear after every single page in a fast-paced fashion. From an innocent straight A student to a rowdy junkie, readers see that drugs are not something to joke about. The whole progress and transformation is grim and readers will begin to feel grateful for the blessing of an independent thinking brain. This book contains strong language, sexual themes, and drug topics, therefore I recommend this to a young adult that is curious about the human’s perception to a perilous addiction. You might not be addicted to meth but you will be addicted to Crank.
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