Monday, March 28, 2011

Review - Crank by Ellen Hopkins

Title: Crank (Amazon)
Author: Ellen Hopkins
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry
Release Date: 2010
Pages: 544
Genre: Y/
Source: Library

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. (Goodreads)

Kim’s take – If you’ve ever read Go Ask Alice, then you’ll really like this book. It sounded really good but when I opened it to read it, I noticed right away that it was written in verse and I didn’t think I would get into it. It quickly became no problem because the story grabbed me right away.

The novel is based mostly on the author’s experiences with her daughter who began the downward spiral into the world of crank while visiting her estranged father. It took just one night for her to become completely hooked.  What was once a perfect, good-girl is switched into a drug seeking addict who does whatever she has to do to get her fix. Crank, and how she is going to score it, becomes her life. Nothing else matters. It is tragic how this girl from a good family, who had so much going for her, descended so quickly and destroyed her future.

She is raped by one of her drug dealers and becomes pregnant. Deciding to keep the baby, she attempts to quit the drug completely. But she often can’t stop herself and uses sometimes. Three months after the baby is born healthy, she cannot resist the pull and lure of the drug and walks out the door. That is how the book ends and will pick up in the sequel, Glass. I can’t wait to read it!

This book was excellent at delving into how easily one can get into a world of drug addiction and the things they will do to obtain their drug of choice. There were absolutely no boring parts which made it even better. It was very easy to identify with her daughter. Though not everything is based on actual events, the author states, very correctly, that any fictional events are entirely possible.

I’d recommend it to anyone. Though it is 544 pages, I read it in an evening since it is written in verse which makes it a quick read. The only reason I give it four stars instead of five, is that the story would have been just as good without being written is verse form which may turn off some readers.

Kim’s Rating – 4/5


  1. I am definitely one of the ones that was turned off by the verse format. I think it would've been far better had it not been written that way.

  2. I've never read a book in verse format. I always see this book in the nearby bookstore but never paid attention to it because I didn't like the cover and it was too lengthy.
    I must say I was wow-ed by your review. I would've never known what kind of book Crank is if I didn't read this. So thanks for the review. I'm a bit reluctant to give this a go, though. The protagonist's problems seem too heavy for me.

  3. I LOVED this book. I was really nervous as this was my first novel in verse but it was AWESOME! I still need to read Glass but it's on my shelf so hopefully I'll get to it soon!

  4. This is one book in my TBR list because my students LOVE these books. I have a hard time reading verse novels, though, so I have put it off... Someday!

  5. Great review! I have seen this book in the store before, but have never read up on it. It sounds really interesting. I have to check it out now! :)

  6. The author is a wonderful woman who hails from the same place I do. She's friends with my mother! Her books are fantastic. :) I feel tingly when I see her doing so well.


  7. I just picked this one up at a Goodwill a few weeks ago, and I'm so excited to read it! I've actually never read anything by Ellen Hopkins, but the general consensus in the blogosphere seems to be that she's a phenomenal author! Can't wait!

    Stopped by from the Comment Exchange Program!

  8. I have heard marvelous things about Ellen's writing. My sister, who we were worried about going down a bad path herself, read this book and it completely changed her ways! Her books don't sound like my thing but I may have to pick up a copy soon.

  9. I tried to read this book a few years ago. I had read several novels in verse form and really liked them, but for some reason, I couldn't get past the format of this one, even though the story was really good.

    I think I'll pick it up again and give it another go.

  10. Yikes! I didn't realize this book was based off of a true story.

    I did like Go Ask Alice, so I was interested in Crank when it came out. But, I have to admit, the verse format turned me off to reading it. After reading this review, I'm thinking I should give it a try.

  11. It sounds like a very hard book :( I've heard lots of praise for Ellen Hopkins books, but honestly they don't really sound like my kind of book (I run toward fluff).

    Still, I'm glad you liked it so well.

  12. I thought that this book does a MUCH better job than Go Ask Alice at deterring drug use. Meth (Crank) is a HUGE problem where I live, and there is a large campaign throughout my state and the neighboring state to basically try and scare kids away from meth. It's nasty. This whole book was like that for me! Ellen Hopkins is a genius! The other books (Glass and Fallout) are just as, if not more, compelling and powerful.

  13. I've been meaning to read this book, but it seems like I can just never find the time! This is a lovely review, though, and you've really won me over. It sounds so gritty and compelling. I'll try to fit this one in during the next month's reading :) Thanks so much for the review!

  14. I've never been interested in reading her books...I just don't know why! Not sure if I'm ever going to read them or not...Great review! :)