Ellen Hopkins ★★★★

I  hate this feeling. Like I'm here, but I'm not. Like someone cares. But they don't. Like I belong somewhere else, anywhere but here, and escape lies just past that snowy window, cool and crisp as the February air.

What a read!

Crank is everything you would expect from an Ellen Hopkins novel: mysterious, invasive, and shocking. Magic of threes? Let's go!

1. Unique and Memorable

For the second time, I picked up an Ellen Hopkins novel and found the same poetic style I am familiar with and enjoyed when reading tricks. Hopkins' novel is not a typical read. The novel combines poetry and storytelling to create a unique and memorable plot. Each page is composed of visually pleasing and well-crafted composition of lines and stanzas, which bring out the diverse personalities of her novel. I particularly enjoyed the contrast between Kristina and her "Bree" self, which Hopkins emphasises with line division and italics. The story follows a simple plot, but Hopkins creates a realistic literary world and eventful plot twists that engage the reader.

2. Interesting and Surprising

As with Hopkins' previous novel, relevant and modern themes and topics are introduced. From identity development to drug use, the protagonist's, Kristina's, struggles and conflicts provoke thoughts and present an interesting and entertaining storyline. Often, I found myself surprised by Kristina's actions and the impact of crank, or crystal meth, on her life. The plot is exciting and entertaining and does not leave the reader unfulfilled.

3. Dark and haunting

Beware, readers, this novel is not for the light-hearted. Aforementioned, the novel introduces serious and modern themes, which do not shy from potentially triggering or upsetting material. From drug and substance abuse to sexual assault, Hopkins' novel does not cower from the dark and problematic corners of modern society. The novel provides relevant discussion, but often assumes a dark and pessimistic tone, which may feel overwhelming. Personally, I took breaks in between reading to avoid the dragging and haunting feelings that arise from Kristina's struggles and reflections.