Review – Crank – Ellen Hopkins

17 Jun

Author: Ellen Hopkins
Series: #1 in the Crank Trilogy

This is a story about a monster. Not a dragon or a mythological beast, but a very real, very destructive monster–crystal meth–that takes hold of seventeen-year-old Kristina Snow and transforms her into her reckless alter-ego Bree. Based on her own daughter’s addiction to crystal meth, Ellen Hopkins’ novel-in-verse is a vivid, transfixing look into teenage drug use. Told in Kristina’s voice, it provides a realistic portrayal of the tortured logic of an addict.

Have you ever picked up a book by an author who has a fairly decent backlist for the first time, and after finishing it, you are like, how the heck have I never read (insert name here) before? That was me and crank/me and Ellen Hopkins. I had routinely seen her books at the library in the YA section, but for some reason, I had never picked them up – maybe it was the idea of poetry, since I am normally not a huge fan…it wasn’t until I managed to need 2 poetry books for a reading challenge, and having Ellen Hopkins recommended to me by a good friend (I now blame her for my addiction), that I picked up Crank…or more specifically, I downloaded the audiobook of Crank to listen to. I was sucked it…

This isn’t the typical poetry that so many of us were “tortured” with in school (and trust me, I think a lot of my distaste comes from those experiences). I was sucked in by the free verse, it was almost at times, like reading a story – the story of Kristina and her addiction to crank (crystal meth)…the transition from her being the good girl to the drug addicted bad girl and the emergence of her alter-ego Bre…there was just something about it – I couldn’t stop listening…

the audiobook itself wasn’t all that long – i think just shy of 4 hours, but considering that it was 4 hours of poetry and I actually listened attentively to the whole thing…lol! I’m pretty sure that I have never listened to anything done by this narrator before – Laura Flanagan – she had the teenage lilt just right…I felt like I was in Kristina/Bre’s shoes…felt her falling into the void created by the crystal meth…it was kind of freaky in a few places…

Personally, I want to say everyone should read this book, but at the same time, i also realize that caution should be given to reading this book. I would advise parents to be prepared to discuss topics with your teen during reading and after, because I’m sure that they will have a lot of questions. But at the same time, I think its something that needs to be read/discussed – because in essence, it isn’t just about drug abuse, its about peer pressure that our teenagers face as they grow up – they wanting to be cool, even for just one minute, even the “cool” kids…I’m interested to see what the other 2 books in the trilogy bring. This is a hard book to rate, but I would probably give it a solid 4 stars, if not 4.5.


Posted by on June 17, 2013 in Audiobook Review


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18 responses to “Review – Crank – Ellen Hopkins

  1. susandyer1962

    June 17, 2013 at 2:32 am

    I have never read one of her books!

    • Dee

      June 17, 2013 at 8:15 am

      Add to your pile!!

  2. susandyer1962Susan dyer

    June 19, 2013 at 2:19 am

    Where do I start??

    • Dee

      June 19, 2013 at 2:21 am

      Crank was first book and first in a trilogy – so I would start there – Glass and Fallout are other 2 in trilogy

      • susandyer1962

        June 19, 2013 at 2:26 am

        Has she written a bunch??? Lol

      • Dee

        June 19, 2013 at 2:51 am

        At least 8 that I know of – this trilogy; an adult/ya duo; and some others

      • susandyer1962Susan dyer

        June 19, 2013 at 2:55 am

        Does she write in poetry or prose like Lisa Schroeder?? Lol sorry to be a pita!!!

      • Dee

        June 19, 2013 at 2:59 am

        It’s free verse poetry – so every page is a different poem but the are like a story – it felt like narrative – I’ve never read Lisa Schroeder…

      • susandyer1962

        June 19, 2013 at 3:10 am

        Ohhhhh I’ve read all of her books!! Love her!!

  3. Ellen Hopkins

    June 21, 2013 at 2:29 pm

    Many thanks for the great review. FYI, I have nine young adult novels and two adult novels now, plus another YA out in September. All in narrative free verse, which is what Lisa writes, too.

    • Susan Dyer

      June 21, 2013 at 2:44 pm

      Thanks so much for the info Ellen!! I’m going to start with Crank and go from there!!

    • Dee

      June 21, 2013 at 3:10 pm

      Lol – and I have 5 sitting on my bedside table right now…

      • Susan Dyer

        June 21, 2013 at 3:16 pm

        I have four of them waiting for me to pick them up at the library! LOL

      • Dee

        June 21, 2013 at 4:04 pm

        Which four?

      • susandyer1962

        June 21, 2013 at 4:19 pm

        Crank glass fallout and impulse!

      • Dee

        June 21, 2013 at 4:29 pm

        I’ll hold off on glass/fallout if you wanna buddy read

      • susandyer1962

        June 21, 2013 at 4:38 pm

        I’m going to start crank this weekend!

      • Dee

        June 21, 2013 at 4:56 pm

        Sounds good 😉


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