Thursday, October 10, 2013

Crank by Ellen Hopkins | Book Review

Ellen Hopkins

Genre: Realistic Fiction, Poetry
Publication Date: 1 October 2004
Number of Pages: 537
Source: Purchased
My Rating: 

In Crank, Ellen Hopkins chronicles the turbulent and often disturbing relationship between Kristina, a character based on her own daughter, and the "monster," the highly addictive drug crystal meth, or "crank." Kristina is introduced to the drug while visiting her largely absent and ne'er-do-well father. While under the influence of the monster, Kristina discovers her sexy alter-ego, Bree: "there is no perfect daughter, / no gifted high school junior, / no Kristina Georgia Snow. / There is only Bree." Bree will do all the things good girl Kristina won't, including attracting the attention of dangerous boys who can provide her with a steady flow of crank. (Goodreads)

I absolutely loved this book. It's really intense and it really got me up close in personal to a side of life that I've never even been close to before. And as someone who has seriously considered going into counseling before, this book was especially interesting to me. I don't pick up a whole lot of books that deal with such human, realistic problems but I usually find I'm happy with them when I do. And Crank is at the top of that list.

My first note is this book is not for everyone. It deals very closely with some very intense, triggering, and sensitive topics. I personally found it very enlightening. The way that the book is written in the free poetry style helped get the story across, especially with the emotions and feelings that come with addiction. Pages could be choppy or chunky or slow or fast depending on if Kristina was coming down or high as a kite. There were also places where extra sentences and ideas were put across by reading singled out words down the line instead of just reading the sentences.

However, the free poetry was also probably the biggest hump to get over while reading though. I found that every time I picked up the book it took me a couple pages to get into the flow of things. This wasn't a big problem. More like a tiny, minuscule footnote to include at the bottom of the page. I also found that once I got into it, the book was very hard to put down because there weren't really "chapters".

I've seen reviews where people talk about how little secondary character development there is, but whether on purpose or not, I feel like this only adds to the book and feeling of addiction. Because an addiction makes the rest of the world matter a whole lot less compared to if a much more stable narrator was telling the story. To Bree, the next hit is a lot more important than how people are doing.

I think this book is a great read for anyone who feels up to diving into a dark, realistic world. I gave it a 5 out of 5 stars, but with a warning of sensitive topics.

Have you read Crank? What did you think of it? Let me know in the comments below!


  1. Many thanks for the great review. You're absolutely right, BTW. CRANK is all about the thought processes of a meth addict. Other people don't count for much in Kristina's eyes.

  2. #1 Ellen Hopkins responded to your review that is way too cool. and #2 and I am so glad other people enjoyed this book as well. Most of the reviews I read are negative or lukewarm at best, but I really got into this when I read it and have been planning on reading more of the series and Ellen Hopkins books in general but just haven't got there yet.

    Ps. have you picked up 13 reasons why yet? I read it years ago but now that theres the show and it is so popular I gave it another read. Its similar to this, different style of course.