I found this book to be very hard to read. Not because it is written in a way that is hard to understand, because it is written very simply, but because of the layout. I thought the book was written in the form of poetry (as it had been described to me by my sister), but it is indeed just broken up and laid out very strangely. I read it, and enjoyed the story line, but i could not get over how odd it was presented. If you don't mind reading a few words, then finishing the sentence on the other side of the page, or down a few rows than you may enjoy Crank. But if you like structure and format, this book may be irritating.
I had this book on my shelf to read for a while and finally pulled it out to read on a whim. This was an absolutely creative and wonderful read. It is kind of a modern, more poetic, version of Go Ask Alice for a new generation.
Kristina is a good girl but like a lot of teenage girls she has things about herself she doesn't like. When she begs her mom to go spend the summer with her dad, things get bad. Kristina's dad is a druggie and his neighbors aren't much better. When Kristina falls for a hot guy named Adam she has her first experience doing crank. She loves it and the personality of Kristina starts to fall away and be replaced by a naughty, michevous girl named Bree. When Kristina goes home after the summer she thinks maybe she can put Bree away forever, but she can't...and her life spirals further and further out of control.
This was an awesome book partly because of the creative way the story is told. The story is told in verse, with short verses depicting events that happen to Kristina as her life spins further out of control. That's not all though, there are verses told within the verse. The verses are formatted in such a way that certain words are pulled out and to the side of the main part of the verse. If you read the pulled out words in order you will get another meaning to the verse; kind of a separate verse within the main verse. This was pretty much genius on Hopkins part and it was fascinating.
So, okay the book was very creative but was it in engaging? Absolutely. I had an incredibly hard time putting this book down. The whole time you are hoping Kristina can beat "the monster" and start putting her life together. At the same time watching how she descends into drug use is fascinating and absolutely engrossing. The whole time you are just hoping nothing bad will happen to her and cringing when it does.
This book really drives home the fact of how easy it is for a completely normal person to find themselves caught in a downward spiral like Kristina is. The other thing that is really pressed home is how the people who know and love Kristina act. Many of her friends just can't deal with her anymore so they don't. Her mother tries to help but doesn't have a grip on how much trouble Kristina is in; as a result Kristina ends up incredibly isolated. Really in the end the only person who can really help her is herself.
Given the subject matter this is a book for older teens, or maybe a cautionary tale for younger teens. Just be aware that there is some violence, rape, and (of course) lots of drug usage throughout this book. The books ties up pretty well and I was surprised to see that there are two more books to this series; Glass and Fallout.
Overall I loved this book. The style it is written in is creative, intriguing, and just absolutely genius. The story itself is realistic, intriguing and absolutely engaging. This is an excellent cautionary tale on drugs, but it is also a tale about how easy it is for a normal person to spiral out of control and isolate themselves. I will definitely be reading the next book in this series, Glass.
My college son and his girlfriend are asking for the sequel. Since they both read it I got interested in what it was all about. I picked it up from my son's book shelf and started reading. I didn't put it down, as it only takes about 2 hrs to read. It was very interesting, but also extremely depressing. Who wants to see a good girl totally destroy herself. I personally think the author gives the addict too much pity, but she had to watch her daughter's similar life. The main character/addict, did after all, make the first choices to hang with scum and then use!