Friday, September 24, 2010

Banned Review: Crank by Ellen Hopkins

Crank by Ellen Hopkins
Published by Simon Pulse
Date Published: October 5, 2004
Rating: 5/5

Kristina Georgia Snow is the perfect daughter: gifted high school junior, quiet, never any trouble. But on a trip to visit her absentee father, Kristina disappears and Bree takes her place. Bree is the exact opposite of Kristina -- she's fearless.

Through a boy, Bree 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.

Crank. What a book. See, I'm not really sure how to start this review. I don't want to compare it to other books I've read because honestly, it's unlike any other book I've read. I've never been a huge reader of contemporary otherwise known as MTV's True Life but Crank was different. Since it's release in 2004, I've seen it on the shelf of my local bookstore. I've picked it up. Read the back. Even flipped through it. But do you want want to know what held me back from reading this book? And it may sound dumb but it was the fact that is as written in verse. It was just so different from my "typical" read which is why I'm glad I finally read it! It was so far out of my typical that I found it intriguing - drawing me into someone's life that otherwise I would never experience. I experienced pain, addiction, heartache, and more.

Seeing the pain that Kristina/Bree went through, it truly shows how much of a monster drugs can be (are). Crank made me glad I grew up in the surroundings I did where my home wasn't broken and I wasn't given the chance to try drugs. But I was pained by the fact that this goes on every day. Women are sexually abused, raped, addicted to drugs, etc while I enjoy my life without these issues! Ellen did such an amazing job of telling Kristina's story that I honestly could not stop reading for the life of me! Once I started it I stayed up to ungodly hours reading it in one sitting, which I very rarely do. I cannot express to you the power that this book has. If you have gone through any of the above mention, I promise you that this book will help you learn to speak up when you have been otherwise been silent. Ellen truly understands the pain and this story can help anyone whether it's helping get through the tragedy of sexual abuse or gaining courage to break an addiction.


  1. I concur! Nice post, Jer. You covered my thoughts and feelings about this book quite nicely! It was powerful, and GLASS continues the story with even more power!

  2. Thank you for talking about the idea of verse throwing you off. I know that's why some of my students won't pick up a copy of Hopkins' books from my shelf. I think I'm going to read a couple pages from one of her books on Monday before SSR :)

  3. I just got this in the mail today and can't wait to read it! I felt the same way at first about the verse style, but after reading Burned I really enjoyed it. Glad you liked it as well!

  4. Interesting that some are so put off by the verse while others (usually non-readers) are drawn to the format. Try reading a few pages out loud to them. Then show them the formatting.

    Thanks, Jeremy, for finally giving it a try!

  5. I have read and reviewed both Crank and Glass so please come check out my reviews. I loved both the books and have a sister who is a recovered addict (meth and crack). She has been drug free for 5 years now. Such a powerful book. Thanks to the author for sharing her story.