Crank by Ellen Hopkins

270730Published: January 2004 by Margaret K. McElderry Books (HighBridge Company – audiobook)

Edition: Audiobook

Length: 4 hours 32 minutes

Genres: Young Adult, Drug Abuse, Romance, Drama

Crank is the story of Kristina, a teenage girl based on Hopkins own daughter, as she goes on a downward spiral thanks to the ‘monster’ which is in fact meth (aka crank). Her good girl straight A history goes out the window once she goes to visit her long absent father and his crazy yet immature life. Dragged into a pit of depression, drugs, sex and violence she loses herself but instead finds her own counterpart, Bree.

Bree serves as the ‘other half’ of Kristina, she says this is not some form of mental illness but a sort of jekyll/hyde deal. Kristina is the good girl, not wanting to speak out and be noticed. Bree is the girl she dares to be, kissing bad boys and doing things Kristina wouldn’t dream of. It’s one of the best examples of split personality I’ve ever read, it never felt disjointed and made the very sudden change of attitude believable. It was as if Kristina was a ticking time bomb and her fathers attitude was the spark that let Bree be free.

The transition from good girl to fully fledged addict seemed to happen very quickly. She seemed to smoke pot once and before you knew it she was in the full grasp of the monster. It’s hinted at that Kristina has some sort of addictive personality, quickly becoming obsessed with boys and drugs. Her father also played a big part in her addiction, encouraging her to party and never really parenting her, acting just as much of a child as she is.

Knowing that this is partially a true story based on the authors daughter makes some parts of this book so hard to read. When Kristina describes her mother as causing so many problems when you can see in fact she has done nothing wrong is frustrating as hell. You want to shake Kristina so many times and make her see she’s wrecking her life and just to go home!

I listened to the audiobook version of this but I am aware of the prose style it is written in. Although at times you could tell speaking the words out loud didn’t have as much of an effect as the display on the page it was still very powerful.

Overall this is a really fascinating read about the power of drug addiction, it has lots of plot twists (one which made me audibly gasp whilst walking past a shop!) and grips you just like the monster grabbed Kristina.

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