Crank is not for the faint of heart, but it is definitely a novel that a person needs to read at least once in their life. Ellen Hopkins artistically writes this realistic fiction book with a smidge of romance entirely in free poetic verse, although that doesn't deter the reader from uncovering the nitty gritty harsh realities of life with addiction.
My all-time favorite part of this book was Kristina/ Bree. Watching her transformation from a normal high school teenager, into a meth addict and drug dealer was emotionally tumultuous for me. I connected so much to her character. Her initial relatable nature makes the journey she travels through addiction even more harrowing, as each time Bree lost herself further into the cycle of meth I felt it a personal failure on my part for my inability to steer her in the right direction (irrational as that may be). However, her rawness and vulnerability made me root for her the entire book, while also becoming horrified at some of the corrupt company she later keeps, such as Brendan.
Furthermore, the maddening situations Emma faces in Crank, also make this novel phenomenal for its brutal honesty. Although I refuse to give any spoilers, I will say that the escalating dramatic circumstances that Kristina/ Bree face were at times heart-wrenching, but always laced with the ring of truth to cleverly warn others of the dangers of addiction without seeming like a boring informational or even preachy read.
Ellen Hopkins truly pours her heart and soul into this novel, which is evident in the lyrical flow and amazing characterization of the main character Bree. As a reader, I rooted for Bree, I cried with Bree, and I grew up with Bree as she learns the grim reality of being an addict! Therefore, I consider this book a must-read for all teenagers, as it is a wonderful read that brings you up close and personal with the true nature of addiction.For those who love it just as much as I do, and desire to know what happens after a major cliffhanger; please be sure to check out the rest of Bree's journey throughout this series in Glass and Fallout!