Book Review: Crank

It takes me about three or four hours to read an Ellen Hopkins book. Looking at them, you'd think it would take longer because they're all at least five hundred pages. But, because they're written in verse and so fast-paced, they take no time at all to read. But, once I read one I can't read another for months. Literally. Why?

Let's see. The last Ellen Hopkins book I read was Tricks. It was amazing and powerful and all too real. It was about prostitution. I had nightmares. It was just too good. So, I knew that I needed to read Crank (which has been on my To Be Read Shelf for about two years) but couldn't muster up the courage. I haven't been putting off this book because I didn't want to read it, but because I knew that it would haunt me. And, I was right.

Crank is the about Kristina, who channels an alter ego that she calls "Bree" whenever she feels too safe or dorky or cautious to do things like talk to cute boys or flirt with dangerous situations. Kristina goes on a trip to visit her long-lost dad, but doesn't find the mythical father she's built up in her head. Instead, her dad is a bit of a druggie loser, and it's not long before Kristina is hanging out with the wrong people and experimenting with drugs, hence the title of the book.

When Kristina goes back home to her mother, stepfather and siblings, she does not leave her craving for drugs and risky situations behind. Quickly, she has met a whole host of shady characters who are more than willing to provide her with drugs in exchange for sexual favors. As her need for drugs grows, so does her disconnect from the "Kristina" side of her personality. By the end of the book, Kristina's life is forever altered by the decisions made by her "Bree" personality.

I loved the ending of this book. It feels like it leaves room for a some happiness in the sequel, though with a title like Glass, I'm sure it'll be short-lived. I need a month or two before I can even think about picking up that one!

**This book review counts toward my participation in the Young Adult Reading Challenge and the To Be Read 2010 Challenge. Thanks to both challenges for getting me to read this book!