Review: Crank (Crank 1) by Ellen Hopkins

Crank by Ellen Hopkins
Format: Paperback, 537 pages
Published: Margaret K. McElderry, August 6th 2013
Rating: ★★★★★

Life was good before I met the monster. After, life was great, at least for a little while.

Kristina Snow is the perfect daughter: high school junior, quiet, never any trouble. Then, Kristina meets the monster: crank. And what begins as a wild ecstatic ride turns into a struggle through hell for her mind, her soul — her life.

This is the story of a young girl, Kristina, and how the usage of drugs affects her life. We follow her through dealing with relationships, inner conflict, and family issues on this emotional roller coaster (I’m surprised I didn’t cry though). The plot was very simple, meaning that there weren’t any complex subplots or anything. I’m not particularly fond of the ending, but I suppose that’s why there are two other books in the series. Although I feel like the next installments will kind of drag it out. I would have been fine with another fifty pages to wrap up this story, but that could just be me. Admittedly, I’m not too rushed to read the next books.

The character development in this book was well done in my opinion. There were tons of characters who played a role in overall plot, but I found that there was really only one primary character: Kristina. Although she isn’t someone I’d be likely to associate myself with in real life, I felt strongly connected to her. Every time her repetitive loop of progression and regression reached around to the former, I felt like rooting for her. Every time she would succumb to the monster’s claws, my heart would clench.

Opening up the book, I could just tell that reading it was going to be a brand new experience. The entire book is written in verse! Ellen Hopkins’ writing is rash at times, and deeply profound at others. In addition to stylistic choices here and there, it adds an interesting effect to the overall storytelling aspect of the book.

This was a memorable story. It’s easy to read, has interesting characters, and is beautifully written. I definitely recommend it to those who enjoy reading contemporary or realistic fiction.

Have you read this book, or are planning to read it? Let me know in the comments below!

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