Crank by Ellen Hopkins

Oh my…  Started and finished this one in an afternoon!  This was my second verse novel and I have to admit that I REALLY like them.  It really adds another level to the story – you now have a visual to add to the story and the format of the verse also forces you to break at certain points when you read.  I find the verse novels almost easier to read most of the time – but at other times they can be hard.  There was one page in Crank that took me a few tries before I got it right…

Crank is about 16-yr old Kristina who lives with her mom, stepfather and younger brother in Reno, Nevada.  She has everything she needs, an older sister who lives away, great friends and is doing well in school.  However, she is desperate to reconnect with her father who lives in Albuquerque and is granted the right to visit with him for three weeks during the summer.  Those three weeks changed her life.  Kristina and her alter-ego, Bree are introduced to the world of Crank and all of its vices.  In the end, the “monster” takes over her life!

Crank was a scary read!  Why?  Well I read the Author’s Note before I read the story – it was at the beginning of the book…  It gave me a bit of an insight to where the story was going to take me – but what was really scary about it – was that it was based on the author’s own experiences with her daughter.  As a mother of two teenaged daughters – it scared me!  My youngest daughter also read the book before me – she’s the reason I’m reading it because she went on and on about how great it was!  While I was reading it – I kept wondering what she liked about it…  turns out it’s the versatility of the verse.  In the end, as scary and uncomfortable the topic may be for a Mom, it was an awesome book.  I’m always amazed at how much there is to learn from these.

Highly recommended

Ages:  16 and up.


Favourite quotes:

“Flopped onto my back. Found
the keyhole behind my eyes,
squeezed through, into sleep.”      p. 60

“Introspection
would be easy
as a dual-edged
sword. If you
acquaint your
self with your
self, you don’t
always like the person you find
inside.”        p. 443


Hopkins, Ellen. (2004).  Crank. Toronto, ON:  Margaret K. McElderry Books.

Author website: http://www.ellenhopkins.com/

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