She went looking for the fairy tale and found a nightmare… a nightmare so awful that she doesn’t even realize how bad it is. A summer visit with her estranged father leads Kristina to the monster – crystal meth. It quickly overtakes her, wraps her up in its grasp and warps her take on the world. Even once she arrives back home, she can’t let go of the monster. It strips her of her old life and old friends
and introduces her to a whole different reality.
Ellen Hopkins knows exactly what she’s doing, and she does it so well! I love the way she writes in verse… the way she breathes life into her characters. This is told exclusively from Kristina’s point of view as she spirals downward… losing control. We get into her head and somehow feel more than she seems to. It is hard to understand what this kind of addiction can do to a person, but Kristina demonstrates it easily.
The character of Kristina, and the situations in which she finds herself, is based upon the author’s daughter’s experiences with the monster. Knowing this background before reading the story, as it is explained in an Author’s Note on the Dedication Page, helped me understand the seriousness of what Hopkins was trying to convey. This isn’t just a cautionary tale – this is a true life horror story.
by Ellen Hopkins
Margaret K. McElderry Books, 2004
Series: Crank #1
Source: Purchased Used
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