I don’t know what it is about this summer but I’ve been doing a lot of reading and I’m proud of myself! It’s okay to be proud of yourself once in a while! My most recent reads have been by author Ellen Hopkins. I picked up Crank at a McKay’s run and read the over 500-page book in two days. It’s a really interesting, fictional work based loosely on a true story about Hopkins’ daughter and her fight with her crystal meth addiction. According to Hopkins, the book is 60% fact. Apparently, because of the book’s drug use, sexual themes, and language it has been banned in many locations. Still, Crank is used as required high school reading as well as reading in drug court programs.
The book is written in free verse and plays with word spacing on each page. It’s a really neat effect because while each page has a normal flow of verse, you can also read down the side of the page where Hopkins has played with the word spacing and see an additional “mirror poem.” It’s kind of hard to explain so I took this picture so you can see for yourself.
The follow-up novel, Glass is just as intense and insightful as Hopkins’ Crank.Glass is a continuation of the story. It is a further demonstration of what can happen when one succumbs to a crystal meth addiction. Hopkins’ shows readers paragraph after paragraph how an addiction with crystal meth can become out of control. In some ways, I felt like I was going through the addiction with Kristina. At times, I felt angry and stressed because of the different situations she was having to deal with. I think if an author can cause the reader to feel emotions that the main character is also going through, she is doing her job!
Definitely not a “fun summer read” but a great insight into something I will never be in to. I’m always interested to see what goes through an addicts mind. And reading these two books really got me thinking. I’m not quite sure I understand addiction in the meth-sense of the word. From her first hit, Kristina was hooked on “the monster” to the point where she couldn’t turn back. That’s hard for me to understand. There’s a third book, Fallout that I’ll probably pick up on my next McKay’s run!
Until next time, fellow BFs!