Crank by Ellen Hopkins is a New York Times bestseller based on her daughter’s addiction to the highly addictive drug crystal methamphetamine or as it is named in the book “crank”.
Kristina, the main character of the book, is “acquainted” with this drug during her visits to her incompetent and, in most part, absent father, Scott. While doing crystal meth Kristina brings out her sexy alter ego, Bree. The disclosure of her second self is depicted in Crank by Ellen Hopkins with the lines: “there is no perfect daughter, / no gifted high school junior, / no Kristina Georgia Snow. / There is only Bree.” Bree is Kristina’s bad alter ego, the girl who catches the eyes of boys who are dangerous and who can provide her with the regular dose of crystal meth that she needs. Bree can do whatever good girl Kristina is not able to do.
In Crank by Ellen Hopkins, the drug is depicted as the “monster” that controls her daughter. Ellen Hopkins focuses on the disturbing and tumultuous connection that Kristina develops with crystal methamphetamine. The main theme of the novel is the anatomy of addiction – how fast a person can become addicted to drugs and how far they are able to go in order to satisfy their flow of drugs to feed their daily habit. Ellen Hopkins tells that her novel is inspired from her daughter’s addiction and it is her personal search for the answers to her “why” questions to find out what lied behind her daughter’s decisions and what part she might have played in them. She wrote the novel from her daughter’s perspective and thus she confesses she learned a lot about the nature of this type of addiction and the effects that this particular substance has on the brain. She states that there is hope for those who are also in a struggle with similar addictions, they can get help and they can also be cured of this addiction. However, the road to recovery is not an easy road, it is full of ups and downs. People who really want to get well and to get rid of their addiction can succeed, but only if they really want to. As long as rehabilitation is not forced, it is a mission almost accomplished.
Crank by Ellen Hopkins was released in October 2004 and, due to its contemporary themes, it was soon continued with the novels Glass in 2007 and Fallout in 2010. The book has a very interesting format, it is written in free verse, thus most of the novel is conveyed using exposition rather than dialogue, in the first-person point of view.