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Crank by Ellen Hopkins This work is considered exceptional by our editorial staff.

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Dive into the mix of romance, poetry, addiction, tragedy, and the austerity of life. Crank by Ellen Hopkins is the story of one girl’s ecstatic ride turning into a struggling, disastrous journey. Kristina Georgia Snow is a daughter from a broken home. The one who had all the family’s hopes and dreams pinned onto her. The one striving for perfection and always falling short. With a mom and a step-father expecting everything from her but gives her no praise, a lesbian sister, and a sports fanatic brother, everything is on her shoulders. Until one visit to her dead-beat dad and her world is changed. No longer is she Kristina, the perfect daughter. She is transformed into Bree. A new side of her found in the hot city of Albuquerque, New Mexico. Three weeks, a boy, and several highs later, and life is a downward spiral. The epic journey of a sixteen, going on seventeen, year old girl “flirtin’ with the monster” told in the one of the most original ways I have seen yet.

The originality of the book’s form is the first thing that captured my attention. Crank one of the first stories I have ever seen that was written in poetry form. As a poetry lover I had set my mind on reading this book, whether or not the plot was good. But as I read, I fell in love. Not only with the story, but the way it was shown. How it was written shows how she wants you to read it. The form makes you pause where she wants you to pause, makes you see what words are important, and gives you an impression of what the part is about. It also affects the reader by having them read in a way they might not necessarily be used to. I feel that reading any book by Ellen Hopkins gives you a new outlook on how writers actually place their words and how to read other stories in different forms. This is an example.
“I Tucked That Away
and tried to focus on my



sister
going on and on about being in



love
with a girl:



their meeting,


touching



accidentally,


connecting



immediately,


interwoven



hand in hand,


heart-to-heart.”



As I flipped through the pages of the hulking book, I realized I was falling in love over and over again with the story, the words, and the emotion. I connected with this book on a personal level too. I wanted to help her, I wanted to slap her, I wanted to cry with her, and I wanted to be friends with her. This book helps you see what life could be like for other people, it shows what happens to you when you do certain things; how drugs can affect you and the people you love the most. It gives a powerful message: “life is full of decisions.” The same message is said again and again throughout the book.

While reading the book, I realized I felt like the character was actually talking to me. The voice made me feel like I was there; it intensified the plot by creating more emotion. Making her voice sound young and confused helps readers actually feel pity, and other emotions towards Kristina/Bree in the book. The words she used also helped me understand what the main character was going through. Every word she used was clear, concise, and made the story come alive in your imagination.

“Life was good
before I
met




the monster


After,


life



was great



At least





for a little while.”

On the surface, this book looks like a journey of a teen battling with the need for drugs. But this book can also symbolize the other little monsters in your life. I believe this quote sums up the book. But it also can apply to other things. The monster may be different things in your life, not just drugs. The quote shows her past, her present, the regret, the excitement, and the ride. Or maybe I’m just reading into a very good opening, but what I’m trying to say is, life is full of monsters. And Crank shows you what one monster can do to your life.

I completely, with all my being, recommend this book. Crank will fill you with emotions, and it will keep you turning the page until the very end. Ellen Hopkins is an amazing writer. She knows how to make you see the scenes playing in your mind. She knows how to make you connect with the reader by writing things that many people may have felt throughout their life. She knows exactly what message she tries to send. And she knows how to make you read it exactly the way she wants you to read it. I believe Ellen Hopkins is one of the most gifted writers of her time, and Crank is one of the best books I have ever read, and I can’t wait to read the sequel.




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