Friday, April 24, 2009
Crank: Book of the day #2
I've been reading a lot of young adult stuff lately, and enjoying most of it, but nothing as much as Crank by Ellen Hopkins. The book tells the story of 16 year old Kristina/Bree's descent into the world of meth addiction and all of the sordid details that go with it. Crank is written in verse, which really brings out the depth of the story. The writing is fantastic, and the verse style bring a feeling of swirling and tumbling with the words and with Bree/Kristina as she suffers the highs and lows of her addiction. It's fast paced, gets into the story immediately, and doesn't let up until the final page. I read it in under a day, and I recommend it to everyone.
I've always enjoyed stories like this, the teenage drug diary genre, if you will; The Basketball Diaries was a favorite of mine in high school, and I've gone through a number of others over the years. But I don't think I've found any to be quite as powerful as this one. Maybe because Kristina is such a normal, above average girl, who just finds herself in a certain place at a certain time, and gets sucked into it before she really knows how or why. I think it has a lot to do with the writing and the verse style of it, too. It's just so well told.
One review I read before I read it compared it to Go Ask Alice - the prototypical teenage drug diary of the 70's, which I had never read. After reading that review, I picked up both Crank and Go Ask Alice, and after finishing Crank yesterday, I'm about 2/3 through Go Ask Alice now. Maybe it's the time frame that's doing it, but I'm not enjoying Go Ask Alice as much. It might be a little more disturbing than Crank, sure; Alice is involved in all sorts of drugs, she's a runaway, her first trip was slipped in a soda without her consent. But, Crank is just more modern, more recent, more relevant - for me, anyway, but for the times, really. I can relate to it better - to the extent that I can relate to a 16 year old meth addict at all, but you get my meaning. I think it's a great book, and I hereby recommend it to all.