Crank by Ellen Hopkins

crank1I resisted Crank when it was first recommended to me by Helen. After all, why would I want to read a book about a teenager who starts doing crank, starts tangoing with “the monster” when there are other more uplifting novels out there? But after she pestered me to read it again, and the recommendation was second by a sophomore I know, I decided to give it a try.

Crank is one of those books that just won’t leave you even after you turn the final page or even after it’s been two days since you finished it. It’s unforgettable and sweeps you into the whirlwinds of drugs, sex, and bad choices that have become Kristina’s life.

The way it’s written – free verse rather than a typical, normal narrative – creates a powerfully dramatic, raw, and real story. Some pages have only a few lines on them and on most pages the print only appears on the very right or is centered, but it’s simplicity is what makes it powerful and beautiful all at the same time.

“Crank, you see
isn’t any ordinary
monster. It’s like a
giant octopus,
its tentacles not
just around you,
but through you,
not hard enough to
kill you, but enough
to keep you from
until you try to get
away. Try, and you
hunger for its
clutch, the way its
tendrils prop you
up, your need
every minute you
refuse to admit its
being.” (pg. 468-469)

Hopkins says in her author’s note that Crank was based on a true story – her daughter’s. She wrote the novel in order to understand what her daughter was thinking, and only decided to get it published in order to get teens to stop and think twice. And then think again. But she does more than succeed in this goal, she makes your breath catch in your throat, your stomach roll, and your heart break.

Read this. Now.

Book Mentioned:

  • Hopkins, Ellen. Crank. New York: Simon Pulse, 2004. Print. 537 pgs. ISBN: 9780689865190. Source: Library.
Book Cover © Simon Pulse. Retrieved: February 10, 2009.


  1. sarah

    hey im reading this book and i cant put it down tis sooo amazing and really true. iv known to many ppl to end up in bad situation when they do the drug. so it really hits home when someone rights about it…


  2. k v read this book like 6 times it is so favorite line is im the face in the mirror only not.this book is so trippy,everytime i read it i get a new feeling out of it.rather if it a good or bad i dont care i love this tring to read some of her others like glass or impules preferable all of them but i cant i dont got money to buy them so im just gunna stick with crank.hopeffully some day i get a chance to read the rest if not so wat m glad i found one and only one book i like in my entirte life.!


  3. Jessie

    After reading Crank and Glass i have a little bit of an understanding of what my sister went throw when she was on the shit sometimes i feel bad for the way i felt towards my sister.. But my sister is off the shit now has been for like eight years I am so proud of her. Thanks for letting me see the truth behind it all…


  4. Morgan

    omg! i love this book, im not much of a reader but i read this in a week and i read glass and there both so amazing it made me look at life in a different way. and i knew all the things drugs do but reading this really opened my eyes, this book really gets to you and i felt like i was there and i knew were everything was happening these books would make great motion pictures


  5. Christine

    All these books give a new insight on a different topic. Crank was a great book and showed me how hard leaving the ‘monster’ could be. It was an easy read for anyone and also educated everyone. I employ Hopkins work in all these books and recommend them to everyone. My latest read of the series was tricks also another great novel about another serious issue everywhere


  6. carla

    THIS BOOK is great! burned IS AMAZING as well, i suggest reading it!!! youll love it. then ending is so shocking. and it literally gave me butterflies. (burned)


  7. Mandy hult

    I love this book… I was in the juvenile Detection home.. It made time go by so fast i jest got sucked in the book.. I loved it.. When i was done i woned to read all of them but i got to find them


  8. Torrie

    i am a 16 year old girl who has almost went through everything kristina has went through and i can personally say it seems fun and “ok” to do at the time, but as i read this book i could only see myself and remember myself doing the exact same things she has done . i have snuck out the window to go to a party or to go get drunk or high anyway i could. i have lied to my parents about everything, who i hang out with what we do and where we are. i have realized that my life has been a complete lie. maybe i should pick a name for my other side as kristina did. this book made me realize so much about myself and my friends i will try to help as many as i can… but i doubt many will make it through, i have barely got my foot in the door of recovery.


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