Book Review – Crank by Ellen Hopkins

I was very skeptical about this book for several reasons. One, I am not a fan of this kind of book – I felt wound up, tense and short of breath the entire time I was reading it. Two, I was not sure that a book written in verse could actually tell a whole narrative tale. However, I found that the format was perfect for this story. The story is beautifully told, but it is horrific – Kristina is a 17 year old who visits her druggie dad for a few weeks and tries crystal meth for the first time. The rest of the book is about her relationship with the “monster” as she calls it, which is an appropriate name for it. The story was riveting – I breezed through the first two thirds of the book in about a day. However, after the first 2/3s, I had to put the book down for a few days and stop reading. I rarely do that with a book that I’m enjoying, and yet I *had* to with this book. At every turn just about everyone in the book makes terrible decisions, and I spent a lot of my time wondering why no one was realizing how horrible their decisions were. In many ways, the book was painful, painful, painful, which is clearly the point, given the topic. It is a true story – Ellen Hopkins says the story is much like the story of her daughter, and it is an important story, but it is incredibly, horribly, brutally difficult to read. I don’t think that I will be able to read any other of the books in this series. I do hope that Hopkins writes something else, because I really enjoyed her writing immensely.

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One comment on “Book Review – Crank by Ellen Hopkins

  1. Molly Sall says:

    I first read Burned by Hopkins, and then Crank. I read all of her other books until identical (which was contrite, whiny and predictable) and after Burned and Crank it gets pretty bad. She doesn’t write particularly interesting characters most of the time and tends to rely almost entirely on interesting situations (like getting addicted to meth, rehab, etc) to move the story along. While Impulse is fairly good, eventually you kind of get tired of how much she piles on the characters–I doubt she could carry an interesting story without the use of a controversial situation. I was also never a fan of how radical and unwarranted all of her transformations seemed to be: how dynamic the characters are struck me as unrealistic, and she kind of reuses that one female lead in every book. Burned is by far her best book, followed by Crank, then Impulse. Glass wasn’t particularly good and Identical was incredibly bad and it’s the reason I don’t read her books anymore.

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