Book Review: Glass

Title/Author:  Glass by Ellen Hopkins
(Crank #2)

Genre:  Young Adult, Realistic Fiction, Poetry

Published:  August 21st, 2007 by Margaret K. McElderry Books

Hardcover, 681 pages

How I Got This Book:  Checked it out from my library

Why I Picked It Up?:  After devouring her first novel, Crank, I just had to get my hands on the sequel!

Book Jacket Blurb:  “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.”

My Review of this Work:

Glass is the sequel to the emotionally lyrical novel, Crank (link to review above), a novel which I simply raved about in my review.  Ellen Hopkins picks up the emotional story of Kristina and her struggle with  drug addiction.  Unlike the last novel, where Kristina turns to drugs in a time of emotional distress, this novel begins with Kristina in recovery after being pregnant.  She has been sober for almost a year and is trying to find a job to earn some money so she can move out of her house.  But that craving begins to come back in full-force.  And when Kristina begins to give in to her cravings, Bree begins to emerge, and she must learn to live with the consequences of her choices.

I found this novel to be even more of an emotional read than Crank.  This novel isn’t about a fall into the dark world of drug addiction; this novel is about a continuous choice to be a drug user.  Kristina had the chance to change her life–she got pregnant, she got sober for the health of the baby, she had her family’s support.  And yet, she chooses self-destruction.  And that is what she does–she slowly self-destructs.  She loses her family, she loses her child, she loses her friends.  And the emotionally draining part is that she doesn’t seem to care about any of that–she only cares about how she is going to pay for her next high.

As far as the writing, Ellen does such a fantastic job of using the art and craft of poetry to allow readers to gain such a perspective into Kristina’s mind.  This is truly a psychological novel as much as anything else, as we get to see first hand the internal debate Kristina goes through and fails to overcome.  I feel like Kristina is a character that I know more about than any other protagonist in young adult novels out there, and I have to say that the verse form this novel adopts probably has a lot to do with it.  There is such a beauty in personal expression through poetry that prose writing just cannot compare to.  There really is nothing comparable to this series.

Overall, I found Glass to live up to everything I loved about Crank while surpassing the emotional drive Crank has.  This is another novel that just stays with you long after you finish.  I found myself thinking about this story for days after finishing.  My emotions ran wild along with Kristina’s through the entire novel–this is definitely a roller coaster ride.  So be ready to feel what Kristina feels, because you will.  But it is a great novel in story, character development, and craft.

My Bookshelf Rating:

A Fourth Shelf Book!

This novel once again transports you into the mind of Kristina, a teenage mother struggling with her drug addiction.  This is another emotional ride, from beginning to end.  We follow her ups and downs in such a realistic telling of the struggles and consequences of living with a drug addiction.  And once again Ellen Hopkins has BLOWN me away with her talents with the art and craft of poetry and interpolated poetry.

Love and Breakfast Smoothies,
Jennifer

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