Crank. Glass. Ice. Crystal. Whatever you call it, it's all the same: a monster. And once it's got hold of you, this monster will never let you go.
Kristina thinks she can control it. Now with a baby to care for, she's determined to be the one deciding when and how much, the one calling the shots. But the monster is too strong, and before she knows it, Kristina is back in its grips. She needs the monster to keep going, to face the pressures of day-to-day life. She needs it to feel alive.
Once again the monster takes over Kristina's life and she will do anything for it, including giving up the one person who gives her the unconditional love she craves -- her baby.
The sequel to Crank, this is the continuing story of Kristina and her descent back to hell. Told in verse, it's a harrowing and disturbing look at addiction and the damage that it inflicts.
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.) Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.
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Margaret K. McElderry Books
August 19, 2007
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Excerpt from Glass by Ellen Hopkins
Walking with the Monster Lifewas radicalright after I metthe monster.Later, lifebecameharder,complicated.Ultimately,a livinghell,like swimmingagainst a riptide,walkingthe wrongdirection in the fastlane of the freeway,wakingfrom sweetestdreams to find yourselfin the middle of anightmare. You Know My Story Don't you? All aboutmy diveinto the lair of the monsterdrug some people call crank.Crystal. Tina. Ice.How a summer visitto my dad sent meintothe arms of a boy -- ahot-bodied hunk, myvery first love, who ledme down the path toinsanity.How I came homeno longerKristina GeorgiaSnow, gifted highschool junior, totaldweeb, andperfectdaughter, butinstead a strangerwho called herself Bree.How, no matterhow hardKristinafought her, Breewas stronger, brighter,better equipped to dealwith a world whereeverything moved at lightspeed, everyone miredin ego. Where "everyday"becameanother wordfor making love withthe monster. It Wasn't a Long Process I went to my dad's in June, met Adamthe very first day. It took some timeto pry him from his girlfriend's grasp.But within two weeks, he introducedme to the monster. One time was allit took to want more. It's a roller-coaster ride. Catch the downhillthrill, you want to ride again,enough to endure the long,hard climb back up again.In days, I was hooked onAdam, tobacco, and meth,in no particular order. Butall summer vacations mustend. I had to come home toReno. And all my new badhabits came with me. It wasa hella speed bump, oh yeah.Until I hurt for it, I believedI could leave the crystal behind.But the crash-and-burn was morethan I could take. When the jet landed,I was still buzzed from a good-bye binge.My family crowded round me at the airport,discussing summer plans and celebrationdinners,and all I wanted to do was skip off foranother snort.Mom kept trying to feed me. My stepfa-ther, Scott, kepttrying to ask questions about my visitwith Dad. Mybig sister, Leigh, wanted to talk abouther new girlfriend,and my little brother, Jake, keptgoing on about soccer.It didn't take long to figure out Iwas in serious trouble. Not the Kind of Trouble You might think I'mtalking about. I was prettysure I could get away withB.S.ing Mom and Scott.I'd always been such a goodgirl, they wouldn't make thejump to "bad" too quickly.Especially not if I stayed cool.I wasn't worried aboutgetting busted at schoolor on the street. I'd only justbegun my walk with the monster.I still had meat on my bones,the teeth still looked good.I didn't stutter yet. My mouthcould still keep up with my brain.No, the main thing I worriedabout was how I could scorethere, at home. I'd never evenexperimented with pot, let alonemeth. Where could I go?Who could I trust with mymoney, my secrets? I couldn'task Leigh. She was the prettiestlesbian you've ever seen. Butto my knowledge she hadnever used anything strongerthan a hearty glass of wine.Not Sarah, my best friend sincefourth grade, or any of myold crowd, all of whom lived bythe code of the D.A.R.E. pledge.I really didn't need to worry,of course. All I had to dowas leave things up to Bree,the goddess of persuasion. Before I Continue I just want to remind youthat turning into Breewas a conscious decisionon my part. I never reallyliked Kristina that much.Oh, some things about herwere pretty cool -- how shewas loyal to her familyand friends. How she lovedeasily. How she was goodat any and all things artistic.But she was such a brain,with no sense of fashionor any id