Crank

by Ellen Hopkins

Paperback, 537 pages, Margaret K. McElderry Books, List Price: $6.99 | purchase

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Title
Crank
Author
Ellen Hopkins

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Book Summary

Kristina Snow is the perfect daughter, until she meets a boy who introduces her to drugs. She becomes a very different person, struggling to control her life and her mind, as she grows up and has children of her own.

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Note: Book excerpts are provided by the publisher and may contain language some find offensive.

Excerpt: Crank

Flirtin' with the Monster

Life was good

before I

met

the monster.

After,

life

was great.

At

least

for a little while.

Introduction

So you want to know all

about me. Who

I am.

What chance meeting of

brush and canvas painted

the face

you see? What made

me despise the girl

in the mirror

enough to transform her,

turn her into a stranger,

only not.

So you want to hear

the whole story. Why

I swerved

off the high road,

hard left to nowhere,

recklessly

indifferent to those

coughing my dust,

picked up speed

no limits, no top end,

just a high velocity rush

to madness.

Alone

everything changes.

Some might call it distorted reality,

but it's exactly the place I need to be:

no mom,

Marie, ever more distant,

in her midlife quest for fame

no stepfather,

Scott, stern and heavy-handed

with unattainable expectations

no big sister,

Leigh, caught up in a tempest

of uncertain sexuality

no little brother,

Jake, spoiled and shameless

in his thievery of my niche.

Alone,

there is only the person inside.

I've grown to like her better

than the stuck-up husk of me. She's

not quite silent,

shouts obscenities just because

they roll so well off the tongue

not quite straight-A,

but talented in oh-so-many

enviable ways

not quite sanitary,

farts with gusto, picks

her nose, spits like a guy

not quite sane,

sometimes, to tell you the truth,

even I wonder about her.

Alone,

there is no perfect daughter,

no gifted high-school junior,

no Kristina Georgia Snow.

There is only Bree.

On Bree

I suppose

she's always been

there, vague as a soft

copper pulse of moonlight

through blossoming seacoast

fog.

I wonder

when I first noticed

her, slipping in and out

of my pores, hide-and-seek

spider in fieldstone, red-bellied

phantom.

I summon

Bree when dreams

no longer satisfy, when

gentle clouds of monotony

smother thunder, when Kristina

cries.

I remember

the night I first

let her go, opened the

smeared glass, one thin pane,

cellophane between rules and sin,

freed.

Excerpted from Crank by Ellen Hopkins. Copyright 2004 by Ellen Hopkins. Excerpted by permission of Simon & Schuster.