ellen hopkins

Glass – Ellen Hopkins

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Glass is the sequel to Ellen Hopkins’ well-known book Crank, which is loosely based on her daughter’s addiction to meth. You can read my review here. 

This book picks up where the last one left off – Kristina is back home and living with her mom and Scott, two siblings, and her baby, Hunter. Kristina is a new mom, with no high school diploma, no job, and a little baby weight. She decides to take the dangerous plunge back into the hands of the “monster” so she can keep up with Hunter and lose some weight. This turns out to be a devastating mistake. Kristina/Bree gets kicked out by her mom and moves in with her dealer, Brad, and his 2 daughters. After deciding that she can no longer work for her perv of a manager at the Seven Eleven, Kristina quits and becomes a full-time nanny, and a part-time dealer. She has lost her baby to her mother and she is looking to any guy that comes along to fill the hole left by her family.

Kristina meets and falls in love with Trey, another user and dealer who is a part-time lover and full-time douchebag. But Kristina can’t see past the crystal to realize that he isn’t good for her. She looks to Brad for comfort instead when Trey is off at school. The more lonely Kristina gets, the more she smokes and plays with “the monster.”

I thought this book was much darker than the first. Kristina isn’t just experiencing meth for the first time like in Crank. This time, she knows how dangerous it is, but decides to do it anyway. This is detrimental to her health, her life, and her family. Hopkins paints an excellent picture of what happens when you let drugs take over your life and how it affects other people. Since this was loosely based on her own daughter’s struggle with addiction, I can only imagine the turmoil Hopkins must have went through, seeing her daughter’s spiral downward like that and having to raise her grandson.

I most admire Hopkins’ ability to get inside the head of her character and imagine what she must be feeling and how she’s treated by the men in her life but still unable to see it for herself. She knows doing the drug is bad, but she fails to see how swept up in it she really is. At one point she says something like, “I’ll never be like Robyn, with sores all over my face. I’ll never let it get that bad,” but towards the end, she notices the sores on her own face and everyone who loves her can barely recognize her. She has become the person inside that she’s been fighting with all along – Bree.

I think if you struggle or have struggled with addiction, this series might be too much of a trigger for you. If you have never experienced this firsthand, or if you have someone you love struggling with addiction, this book gives great insight into understanding why someone would continue to play with “the monster.”








Crank – Ellen Hopkins

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I couldn’t put this book down. I bought it from Goodwill a few weeks ago for like a buck. Sometimes I like to have a quick read right after I finish a book that has taken me awhile to get through. It breaks up the monotony a little bit.

Hopkins wrote this book as a tribute to her daughter–who was addicted to “crank” or meth. There is a sequel called Glass so I’m not sure what happens to her daughter yet. I’ll definitely be reading that when I have time. The book is written in poem format–each “chapter” is a different poem, but they flow in chronological order and it’s not so abstract that you don’t know what she’s talking about. I’m not one for poetry most of the time, but I liked the way she did this one. It was a way to tell a very sad story in a very creative way.

The book is written from the point of view of the daughter–Kristina, or as she likes to call herself when she is high–Bree. For the sake of clarity, I’ll call her Bree. Bree is your typical 16 year old girl who stays out of trouble most of the time, but then she goes to stay with her father for the summer, who is an addict. She meets a guy named Adam, who introduces her to the monster. The monster is what Bree calls meth. When she returns home to her mother and stepfather’s house, she is heartbroken over having to leave Adam, and she has no access to the monster.  The rest of the story is about Bree going to any lengths to find crank and will hang out/do anything with anyone who will give it to her. This eventually leads to her downward spiral–details I won’t reveal.

As I said before, I really liked the format of this book. It breaks up your typical novel and your eyes dart all over the page, much like Bree’s probably do when she is high on the monster. As someone who has never tried drugs, I’ve always wondered why someone would want to do them in the first place–what is the attraction? I thought Hopkins did a nice job of depicting the attraction–the high highs of meth, while also portraying the crashes and burns of coming off a high. We also see the desperate need for more and more, and the effects it has on Bree’s relationships with everyone around her.

I thought this was an excellent book, especially for impressionable teenagers and high school teachers. I also think if you liked Thirteen Reasons Why, this might be a good read for you as well.