School Library Journal
(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Gr 9 Up-Kristina Snow was a 17-year-old with high grades and a loving family. In Crank (S & S, 2004), one summer in California with a meth-addicted boyfriend destroys her life. Addicted, she's raped, and goes back home to Reno pregnant. Glass picks up a year later. She lives with her mother and works at a 7-11. Depressed about her post-baby figure, she goes back on speed to lose weight. Her mother kicks her out and gains custody of the baby. She continues to spiral to the last page, which sets readers up for a third novel. Glass is even more terrifying than Crank in its utter hopelessness; meth's power is permanent and Kristina is an addict whether she uses or not. Though her recount of events in the first book is dry and self-indulgent, the pace snowballs as soon as she takes her first toke of rock meth, and one desperate, horrifying measure or decision follows another. Like Crank, this title is written in verse, but certainly not poetry. Hopkins's writing is smooth and incisive, but her fondness for seemingly random forms is distracting and adds little to the power of the narrative. Minor characters are flat, and Kristina's overblown self-pity elicits little empathy. The author tries but fails to present meth itself as a character; her descriptions of "the monster" are precious and overwritten. Kristina's story is terrible, and even when she's high, the narrative voice and mood are sobering. Teens, including reluctant readers, may appreciate the spare style and realism of Kristina's unhappy second chapter.-Johanna Lewis, New York Public Library (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Hopkins's hard-hitting free-verse novel, a sequel, picks up where Crank left off. Kristina now lives in her mother's Reno home with her baby, but constantly dreams of "getting/ high. Strung. Getting/ out of this deep well/ of monotony I'm/ slowly drowning in." When her former connection turns her on to "glass": "Mexican meth, as/ good as it comes. maybe 90 percent pure," Kristina quickly loses control again. She gets kicked out of her house after her baby gets hurt on her watch, starts dealing for the Mexican Mafia ("No problem. I'll play straight/ with them. Cash and carry") and eventually even robs her mother's house with her equally addicted boyfriend. The author expertly relays both plot points and drug facts through verse, painting Kristina's self-narrated self-destruction through clean verses ("My face is hollow-/cheeked, spiced with sores"). She again experiments with form, sometimes writing two parallel poems that can be read together or separately (sometimes these experiments seem a bit cloying, as in "Santa Is Coming," a concrete poem in the shape of a Christmas tree). But in the end, readers will be amazed at how quickly they work their way through this thick book-and by how much they learn about crystal meth and the toll it takes, both on addicts and their families. Ages 14-up. (Aug.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.
In this sequel to Crank (2004), teenage Kristina has overcome her crystal meth addiction and given birth to a baby conceived during a rape. Living with her family in Reno, studying for her GED, and caring for her infant, she feels like she's drowning in a deep well of monotony. Rationalizing that she will remain in control, she starts using meth again and realizes that her addiction may be a forever kind of thing. Hopkins' signature style of disjointed free verse is well suited to the voice of a drug-using teen. The lines of text, which zigzag between columns and occasionally form concrete poems, mimic both a high's flight and crash and Kristina's swings between crushing guilt and obliterating cravings. The tragic push-pull also plays out in Kristina's relationships with two men, both users, with whom she experiences (explicitly described) sex, love, and abuse. Heartrending and intimately honest, Hopkins' novel, based on her own daughter's experiences, reveals addiction's brutality but also honors a young person's capacity to face injurious, life-altering choices with courage.--Engberg, Gillian Copyright 2007 Booklist