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Crank by Ellen Hopkins
Transcript of Crank by Ellen Hopkins
"Ellen Hopkins has been called "the bestselling poet in the country" by mediabistro.com. All her novels are written in verse, yet her words are more powerful than any other ordinary novel. Crank was loosely based off of Hopkin's daughter's experience with crystal meth. Hopkin's daughter did have a baby in her early teens, just like Kristina, and Ellen Hopkin takes care of her daughter's baby like it was her own. A little scoop of what goes on... Kristina lives with her Mom and step-dad in Reno, Nevada. Perfect grades, friends, and family were what Kristina has had all her life. She hasn’t seen her dad in eight years and decides to visit him finally in Albuquerque. Little did she know, it was going to be her visit to Albuquerque that had changed her life. When Kristina finally meets the man who she was blood related to, she finds out he is a drug addict. Kristina’s dad smokes cigarettes, has alcohol 24/7, and is a serious crystal meth abuser. Since she shares a ratty little apartment with her dad, finding out his flaws wasn’t hard at all. While in Albuquerque, Kristina meets Adam, and it was love at first sight. Even though Adam has a girlfriend, he lusts for Kristina more, so Adam cheats on his girlfriend with Kristina. Adam introduces Kristina to crystal meth, pressuring her to take drags of cigarettes, and Kristina does it all in hopes that Adam will love her even more. He is her first boyfriend, and they both go very far, almost about to have sex. Unfortunately for Kristina, her bad-girl fantasy in Albuquerque ends when she has to come back home to Reno. However, she becomes worse in Reno. Addicted to crystal meth, Kristina brings out her inner devil Bree. Bree gets two boyfriends Brendan and Chase, and finds people that will supply her with crystal meth. As quickly as her savings dwindle, her grades, her good girl image, her relations with her family vanish. And, when she decides to go far with Brendan, he rapes her. Trapped inside Bree’s body, the crystal meth hides Kristina-who now has a baby to take care off. Kristina learns that the meth is a danger, it’s a monster, but stopping her addiction is a very arduous task. Kristina Kristina Georgia Snow
Physical Traits: In the book Kristina is said to be American, and fair-skinned. However, since the story takes place during the summer time, she has tanned. It is implied that she has brown hair, is skinny, and fairly attractive.
Personality Traits: Kristina is quiet, intelligent, and isn’t a trouble maker. Throughout life, she has laid low and strived to be the perfect daughter, and student. Before the summer, she never had a boyfriend, and that is why she lusts for love. When Kristina is under the influence of Crank, she becomes Bree, her inner devil, an alter ego. Goals: Kristina’s first goal in the novel was to meet her dad, who she hasn’t met in eight years, and actually spend some quality time with him. Kristina wanted to better know the man who is closely related to her. However her goals don’t follow through as planned. When she ends up meeting her dad, she realizes that he is still a drug addict. Kristina couldn’t bear to talk to someone who was continuously getting high. He reeked of Marlboros, and to Kristina who repeatedly recites the D.A.R.E. pledge, he was a sinner. Nonetheless, Kristina herself falls into the drug trap and becomes Bree, a totally different person, who’d rather hang out with her new boyfriend than talk to dad. Soon, the distance between them grows, and they barely talk to each other, except at dinner when dad asks her if she got laid or not. After Kristina is in the wrath of The Monster a.k.a crystal meth, her new goal becomes trying to stop Bree, her inner devil, from making the wrong decisions. Sadly, Kristina constantly fails at stopping her addiction and Bree starts to overpower her. When Kristina gets high, she can’t think straight, and solve her problems correctly in an efficient manner. Kristina continued... Kristina continued... Evidence:
When Kristina was going to her dad’s house, pg.11: “I promised. Crossed my heart. Recited the D.A.R.E. pledge verbatim.”
When Kristina was describing her life to her dad, pg. 23: “Near-sighted. Hormonal. Three zits monthly. Often confused. Lusting for love.
When Kristina first met Adam, pg.47: “I wasn’t sure if I felt more disappointed or relieved. Guinevere really had him. Should I? So I shouldn’t want him. I didn’t really want his perfect pout, reaching hungrily for my own timid lips. I didn’t have a clue how to kiss. Didn’t really want his hands, investigating the hills and valleys of my landscape. I’d never been touched by a boy. Didn’t want his face, burrowing into my hair, finding my neck. Tasting. I’d never even said hello to such a complete stranger. Didn’t want his smoke, making me gag, making me want to taste something gross. It was all so confusing, I mean, I didn’t want a boyfriend, no summer fling to make me stay in this alien place.”
When Adam tried to kiss Kristina, pg. 76 : “He wanted to kiss me. I felt it with every nerve, every fiber, every molecule of my being. I wanted him to kiss me, with every nerve, every fiber, every molecule of my being. But I was scared to kiss him. Every nerve, every fiber, every molecule screamed!”
When Kristina was walking away from the crystal meth, and going back home, pg. 107: “I ran through the alley, inconsolable, turned down the sidewalk, invincible, five minutes later, I was scared.”
When Adam offered meth to Kristina, pg.161 : “He pulled up a bindle from his pocket, tapped the sparkly powder inside. Mother Kristina refused, said no. The monster stormed Bree’s door.”
When Kristina tried to get her life back in order, pg. 328: “I mostly managed that for the next week. Hit a reasonable stride, settled into the rhythm of classrooms, quizzes, study halls, homework. Hung out with Sarah and Trent, swapped summer vacation stories (majorly editing mine), tried out for honor choir and actually made it, despite a voice gone raspy from excess and mushrooming allergies. Did my best to absorb the energy of family meals, Sunday church, and a Labor Day camp out. And I managed all that, barely thinking about the monster or wondering what Chase or Brendan or Adam might be up to.” Bree Bree
Physical Traits: Is the inner devil of Kristina, so she looks exactly like Kristina. This is except for the fact that, Bree is powered by crystal meth, so her eyes would be red.
Personality Traits: Bree is addicted to Crank, and would never stop if she had an unlimited supply. Bree loves getting high. She doesn’t understand what love is, and she claims that she loves any boy she lusts for. Bree doesn’t understand the difference between love and infatuation. On top of that, Bree thinks the more sex someone has, the more they love a person, so she goes around, wanting to have any type of sex with anyone. A naughty girl is what Bree is. Even though she is cool and confident, she aims to do the dirtiest things possible. After all, she is high. Bree continued... Goals: Bree’s goal is to always have an endless supply of Crank, and money. At first, to get the Crank, she spent all of her savings. To gain all her money back, she started to deal the crystal meth, and people in Reno who were addicted, paid large sums of money for a small stash. Getting the Crank was easy, she had groups of friends who had a supplier. Her other goal was to make every guy she likes, want her. Bree simply gave a guy a stare down, and flirted while taking his number. At one point in the book, she had three boyfriends at once! Evidence: Bree making her way into Kristina’s body, pg. 50: “She pumped through my veins in hot, red bursts. Blood pressure rose in my face.”
Bree entering the bowling alley, pg. 81: “What had changed? It was still a run-down bowling alley in a bad part of town. I had changed. Somehow I didn’t care about other people’s obsessions. I was obsessed. Somehow I didn’t care about other people’s make-out sessions. I plotted make-out sessions. Somehow I didn’t care about women, stealing other women’s boyfriends. Had I stole someone’s boyfriend?”
Bree getting high, pg.84: “I finagled my way on this trip to fall back in love with dad. Instead I fell for a boy from the wrong side of the tracks, worse, the wrong side of the country! I had come, wanting to want to go home. Now the dark side of Albuquerque looked pretty damn good. So when he asked about getting high, I didn’t think, I agreed. We smoked some good California green. Took three tries to put me in the place he said I should be in. I wanted to meet the monster. Why go down if you can go up?”
Bree experiencing school, pg. 315: “For two days, too much crank, no sleep, liquid diet. The first day of school was a nightmare. Good thing I wasn’t a freshman. I’d have gotten lost, somewhere between gym and the chem lab. (Almost did, in fact.) I collected the handouts; tried, failing miserably, to conquer new locker combinations; avoided contact with teachers, staff, and most definitely school police; ducked Sarah and Trent so I didn’t have to listen to their chit-chat; spent lunch far from anything close to food, even though I trembled starvation. All the while, feeling like my head would burst from thinking so damn much when all my brain wanted to do was close down and fall deep into REM sleep. I considered climbing under the bleachers, letting it do just that before I did something really dumb like passing out, but just about then the final bell rang.” Bree continued Adam Age: Seventeen
Physical traits: Very handsome, has a baby face, but has a tawny six pack. He is also a Crank addict, so that would mean he is very skinny, and fit. Adam also has a very bright smile
Personality: Adam is definitely very charismatic. Every adult and every girl instantly falls for Adam. He can easily break the barrier between him and another person, and knows how to make people do what he wants them to do. He also lusts for love, and he is a player. He fals to have a constant girlfriend, if he is not pleased with one girl, regardless of how much he loves her, he will move on. Adam continued Goals: He wants to be loved and wants to have sex. Adam can typically make any girl he wants fall head over heels for him because of his looks and his welcoming personality. In addition, he hooks every girl he likes onto crystal meth, and does the dirty with the girl. If he doesn’t get what he wants, he’ll simply go and find another girl. For example, Adam trapped Kristina, and was the first to make her try Crank. Adam continued... Evidence: Adam persuading Kristina to go further with him, pg. 97: “It was gentle persuasion. I can’t get enough of you. Sweetest coercion. My beautiful angel. Magnet to metal. I’ve got to have all of you. It was hands exploring taboo places. Oh, God! You’re perfect! Lips and tongue not far behind. Let me eat you up. Skin to skin, belly to shoulder. Sweet as puddin’. It was body rush after body rush, intensity building. Touch me there. Hot flush, raging blush, quick-start ignition. See how much I need you? Ice flash, instant crash, voices outside the door. No! Don’t stop now!”
Adam talking to Kristina’s dad, pg.104: “Don’t blame you there man. She’s a babe, for someone my mom’s age. I’d do her too. Think she’d go for a threesome?”
Adam telling Kristina how much he loved her over his other girlfriend, pg.137: “She wanted to erase you from my heart. Never could, never could. And that’s what I told her. “
Adam asking to see other people, pg.226: “Kristina? I’ve been thinking. We’re a long way apart…So I think we should give eachother permission to see other people. I really do love you though.” Chase
Physical Traits: An American teenager, who looks like a bit of a rebel. However, he is not.
Personality: Chase has a very lighthearted personality, and is very amusing. Nonetheless, when it comes to handling serious situations, Chase is very wise and always strives to do the right thing. Unlike all the other teenagers in the book, he isn’t confused about love or sex. This guy truly does love Kristina, but it is true love and it isn’t just infatuation. Chase also wants to have sex at the appropriate time, not just when his partner is in the mood, he wants to wait. When it comes to using Crank, he takes a little bit, but doesn’t overuse it, knowing that he is bound to get addicted. Chase Chase continued... Goals: One of his goals is to know the most about the person he loves, and vice versa. Chase wants to know everything that happened to Kristina, not the edited version. He believes a relationship should be built on trust, and the ability to talk truthfully to one and the other. Chase becomes a true friend, and not just a boyfriend, and he confides in her while she confides in him. This way, he knows a lot about Kristina. Evidence: Kristina and Chase’s first date, pg.267: “We drove down by the river parked beneath towering cottonwoods. Strange, how intensely desire builds when the monster waits at the far end of the drive. On the way, I learned, for a bad boy, Chase was incredibly smart. Webster would envy his vocabulary, he was up on current events, could quote Keats. No mirrors, no blades, Chase reached inside a pocket, withdrew an amber bottle with a tiny spoon attached to the lid. He set it on his knee. Hey, you’re shaking. You’re not scared, are you? We don’t have to do this, do anything at all. We can just sit and talk if you want. ”I’m not afraid Chase.” Not of him. Not with him. In fact, I felt quite safe. It was monster desire that made me tremble. Chase noticed. Take it easy with this stuff, Bree. It brings even good people to their knees. Don’t get me wrong. I like it, too. Just keep it cool.”
When Kristina told Chase about getting raped, pg. 360: “I shook my head, tossing tears and thin streams of snot. “It was all my fault.” Chase grabbed my shoulders. No! Brendan knew what he was doing. He pulled me so close it hurt, laid his head against my heaving chest. Then hard-ass Chase Wagner cried. Oh god, I’m sorry Kristina. I should have been there for you.” Chase continued This book really does hit my heart. Hopkins’s writing is so powerful that I felt as if I was a part of the story, an actual spectator, watching it all happen. Even though she writes in verse, the poems she writes paint a vivid picture of the scenario. You get an in-depth view inside the character’s life, and you feel as if you know the character’s whole story. The setting also is given a vivid direction. Even though a plethora of the scenes take place during the night, Hopkins makes you feel as if you can’t tell the difference between night and day. That’s how lively it’s described.
Hopkins also writes in verse and it is very interesting to read. With some of her poems, you can read them horizontally, and then if you read certain words vertically, they form a sentence. That sentence usually foreshadows what is going to happen next in the story. This is a technique that I admire that really makes her books stand out. It is a different way of writing, and the reader doesn’t feel like they are reading the same, boring, normal novel format, we are all accustomed to reading. Likes :) There are some things that draw a reader away from Hopkins’s books. For example, many of her scenes contain mature content. Even though these books are reserved for an older age group, some of the scenes are explicit, and are not meant for young adults. Hopkins knows how to paint a vivid picture of what is going on, but when it comes to more mature scenes, she should just leave the imagining to the reader, and not go in detail of what actually goes on during such events. Disturbing scenes will want to make the reader close the book, and not continued because they fear that they might even read a scene that is worse. Dislikes :( Theme The one main theme in Crank is drug addiction. What Hopkins is trying to teach us is to stay away from any type of drug, and don’t succumb to it whether the reason is love, lust, money, etc. We should stay strong and not give in to such things because they can ruin our lives forever. Once you start using such perilous toxins, your body will not be able to resist others, and you become addicted, potentially, for the rest of your life.
In Crank, Kristina who started out as a gifted high school student ended up having a baby. Ellen Hopkins wanted to illustrate the dangerous consequences of using and abusing drugs by showing the readers the problems Kristina and Bree face. Scene 1: The effects of Crank (pg. 180-181): “All the way home red and raw, like my eyes, drained of tears, denied sleep’s healing, staring at the glare of midday sun in vibrant blue sky at 20,000 feet. Red and raw like my belly, not even McDonald’s to soothe its demands (‘cause Dad, of course, cranked it up when he got home-so much for a dinner out). Red and raw like my heart, pried from Adam’s, the two beating, no longer together, but a thousand miles between them when only yesterday they thumped in unison. Red and raw like my brain, unable to shut down, thoughts crashing like electrons orbiting a nucleus of dueling emotions. Wanting to stay high. Knowing I should want to come down and stay that way.”
Here, Kristina wants Crank, and she feels like her life is a mess without it. It’s the only thing that keeps her happy. Theme continued... Scene 2: Kristina found drugs in Nevada and is high off of Crank (pg. 319-321) : “ I went inside the house, ignoring Jake completely. Scooped out the fridge, grabbed a handful of red grapes so sweet you could never even fantasize them. Downed them like candy, went back for more, chased them with fudge swirl Haagan-Dazs. No homework, I went into my room, fell straight into bed and the sleep of the dead. Mom must have thought me dead, when she found me hours later, tried desperately to shake me from the devil’s deep slumber embrace, shouted for Jake to bring icewater, threw it in my face. Which roused me, riled me, made me want to scream. Instead I made a major-in retrospect not the best decision. I creaked to sitting, thought twice, but when she insisted I drag my rubbery bones to the dinner table, I looked her in the eye for the first time in my life, told my mother, “Fuck you.”
Kristina is crashing on crank…The rape scene follows this, where Bredan and Kristina are both on Crank and he abuses her. This scene is too explicit to copy. Theme continued... Scene 3: Realizing what happened (pg.405-407): “Before I met the monster life had a certain rhythm. An easy downhill flow. Seconds, minutes, hours, days, a segue of perpetual motion. Everything in its proper place, at its proper time. Morning alarms, kitchen clatter, bus gears, school bells, teacher talk. Locker clang, hallway laughter, slamming doors. After-school queries, homework, music, TV. Contentment thrived in repletion, routine, familiarity. But now nothing felt right, nothing seemed proper but getting out, getting away, getting crazy, getting high.” Theme continued... Scene 4: Kristina trying to escape her addiction (pg.468): “Crank, you see isn’t any ordinary monster. It’s like a giant octopus, weaving its tentacles not just around you, but through you, squeezing not hard enough to kill you, but enough to keep you from reeling until you try to get away. Try, and you hunger for its grasping clutch, the way its tendrils prop you up, your need intensifying exponentially every minute you refuse to admit to its being.” Scene 5: Kristina’s life crumbling (pg.517): Too much to think about. Too much to bear. And time was running short. I knew I couldn’t marry Chase. I knew he would stand by me. But he deserved his dreams. I feared closing that door. I feared the uncertainty of parenthood. I doubted that I could give my baby away. I doubted more I could raise it on my own-with or without defect. I needed a solid dose of courage. I needed the strength only the monster could give me. I regretted my weakness as I inhaled. I regretted making the decision to snuff out of my baby’s life.” Theme continued... I think any teen girl would love reading Crank. Ellen Hopkins discusses issues we ourselves are afraid to talk about in the real world. She writes about drugs, love, sex, and lust, and it is around this age people do ponder those topics. It is written from a girls point of view, so I don’t think any guy would enjoy reading it, or even be able to understand it. Beware though, be prepared to read mature content, if you plan to read this book.
Her story line is engaging, and when I read her books, I can never put them down, especially Crank.This books is a page-turner, keeping you eyes glued.
Overall, I really enjoyed reading Crank, and I hope other people do too :)
READ THE BOOK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Books Audience THE END.