Because this is a series it’s important to have read, or at least know some about where we left off.
I’m posting my review of Crank below.
https://matterstosam.wordpress.com/2016/10/11/book-review-crank-by-ellen-hopkins/

So assuming you finished this one. We’re left with Christina on her deck shortly after giving birth to a son Adam. She seems to be in a place of love for her child, to the point that she feels she would never consider the monster, Meth again. She sees that despite the circumstances of his conception, her child is the best thing to ever happen to her. Her family’s initially outraged, but then forgiving response made her realize the power of family having your back even after lying and pushing them away
for so long.

The book starts a few months later. Kristina is less clear now on her plan going forward. She needs to get her GED and a job. Though she’s weeks away from turning 18 she’ll have no freedom without these things. However a bigger problem is that she’s bored. It’s hard for me to take this in. She was the one who chose to keep this helpless baby who didn’t ask to be born certainly to an irrisponsible girl still a child herself. She decides that maybe the monster could help her with that. Being bored feeling fenced in, not being able to take family life or being a mom or school. It’s as if she runs on excitement, doing things being around people and the thrill it seems of living dangerously.
She starts with good intentions. Reassuring herself and us that she is just gonna get a little meth. That if she took a hit in the morning it would help her get up in the morning especially after long nights feeding Hunter. That if she took some at around dinner time it would help with handling the family issues that so get under her skin.
She of course has to lie her away out of the house. Very sincerily talking to mom about not having been out at all since Hunter was born. That she needs some space and time to herself. You shoulda thought about that before you had a baby! It’s this “hey it’s not my problem” attitude she has towards Hunter that hurts the most as a reader.
So she tells her mom she’s going an hour away to some town. To see a friend that goes to a college she might want to go to. A college fair. And then would likely stay at a hotel. Her mom seems to buy this and gives her the cash.
She meets up with Robyn, one of her supliers in the past. While waiting hours for her to arrive she meets Trey. And is struck by her atraction for him in the same way she was for Adam. Eventually Robyn does come over. They partake in the goodies, stay up all night on the high side. Then at one point Robyn shoos Kristina out and she knows that she and Trey are probably dating.
Kristina knows she shouldn’t be jealous never was even planning to meet up a guy and crank it out socially, but here she is in that very place she was in the beginning Still she resolves to monitor her use. Which she does for a few weeks. But it’s still not enough. So she calls Trey back. They go to his Cousin Brad’s house. Brad has two little kids, his wife Angela left the family at some past unknown point. Anyway they get more suplies and are off.
Time passes she gets more into dealing and geting money only to spend on the monster. Doubts about her life do go through her head but nothing strong enough to emotionally break down the barrier between her and those she loves especially her baby, that her adiction has created.
She often talks about her non relationship with Hunter. She claims that it’s her mom’s fault that Hunter doesn’t really bond with her as her mom took over. This is the most frustrating part hearing her say these things. And later even worse things like when having to move to Brad’s house, making calls to home and not ever asking about her own son.
As time goes by her parents get more and more suspicious. The last straw in terms of Christina and Hunter is when she is “crashing” withdrawing from meth, she falls asleep while six month hunter is on a quilt. He rolled off and fell under a chair. So much in unconsciousness she doesn’t wake up. Until her mom grabs her and pushes her out the door. This is the best thing her mom did. Before her mom was too overcome with hurt, sadness, helplessness, and frustration to do anything. This telling her not to come back til she’s sober is the right decision.
Christina sits in her car before the low wears off and she’s able to get buzzed again. Trey is at college. She calls Brad the cousin. She tells everything and he reluctantly agrees to have her stay in an upstairs room the same one where they partied and she and Trey had sex.
This arangement seems to work out, in the warped way things “work out” for an adict. She does have the responsibility as “the Nanny” for Brad’s kids. But she has no family of her own to answer to. She has the best meth in town. And eventually through their mutual loneliness sex with brad.
Sex withBrad? Sex with trey? As a reader I don’t care, she should be seeking help not lost in love with druggies.
She eventually does find a job at seven elevin down the street. With some shady characters who turn out to be good meth customers. She even frightenling runs in to her rapist. It is clear the need for glass (a new type of meth you smoke that looks like glass) is stronger than anything else when she does a deal with him.
She spends months this way. Ocassionally seeing Hunter. h He’s not very high on her concern radar. Eventually of all things, Angela Brad’s ex walks in the door. The kids are delighted, Christina no longer has a home.
She’s in a motel where you stay by the week. She is beyond depressed and hopeless. It was sitting by the river that Hopkins ha has ascene where the river is talking to her telling her to jump in. She pulls herself away. Knows that she does want to stay alive somehow.
Eventually Trey does come home from school and realizes that Christina needs a place to stay as does he. So they get an apartment. She never did get another job once moved out to Brad’s area. And all money goes to Glass. But Trey has something to put on the application thanks to Brad lying that he’s working for him at an honest job.
After settling in they want to have hunter move in. Very reluctantly her mom agrees. It’s trouble from the first minute and just as it didn’t work out at home, she can’t handle not just the responsibility but I feel the ability to have to focus on something other than meth and many lovers. It seems like she has no inner guidance or hopes for any kind of future including her child. So it’s not surprising when Hunter falls out of a chair he’s now about a year old, she does the smart thing and gives him back. At this point her mom tries again to stand her ground. Says that Christina can not call unless she gets help.
She doesn’t see this as a problem. Until things get really bad on the meth front. Needing costumers that just aren’t pouring in. And just not having money. She makes a decision to steal from her mom. Checks and jewelry. This works for awhile. But just when she and trey are driving to California to make a fresh start they’re cauth by the polece. The box of glass is easy to find and open.
They are both sent to jail. Christina might get less time if she turns in the mexican meth dealers. And she finds out after a thorough exam that she is pregnant again! She hopes she can have the baby before leaving jail. Hopes a lot of things. Her last ccomment summs everything up. “It’s a lot to hope for but I’ve always been an optomist.”
Her way of thinkin is that she really could control substances that literally change brain and physical development. And now at another life changing path it’s doubtful to a discerning reader that there will be any hope at all.
The book was just as well written and recorded as the first. As I said before I found it extremely hard sometimes not even posible to empathize with her. Because now that a baby is in the picture that changes everything. It would have been nice to see her actually geting help. Whether it’s a 12 step group, therapist or even a short rehab program. That way even if she spiraled again at least she had the insight at one point to try and recover seriously. Having that baby, the whole hearted love and regret andother emotions that go with it, I thought would be enough for her to even try. And it wasn’t.
I also had a hard time that her family wasn’t firmer with her on things. Her mom stood her ground on somethings. By the end of the book she was applying for guardianship. It remains to be seen how this will affect Hunter. Or any other children she has. The last book in the series is about the kids she did have and how they’re doing as teens.
I think it’s a great read. Emotional. Really brings a lot home about adiction, being a teen mom (or not) the ways we justify even the worst actions.
Again Bree is central to this. Is Bree an alter? At times Christina is firm that it’s jujst a part of herself that she has control over. But at other times there are in depth exchanges between the two and it makes one wonder who is really in control.
Would love to hear others thoughts. I will read the last book but not right now. I needa c hristina break!

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