83 pages 2 hours read

Ellen Hopkins


Fiction | Novel/Book in Verse | YA | Published in 2004

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Important Quotes

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Content Warning: This section of the guide discusses drug use, substance use disorder, and rape, which feature in the source text.

“Alone / everything changes. / Some might call it distorted reality / but it’s exactly the place I need to be.”

(Chapter 3, Page 4)

It is significant that Kristina’s story of her battle with addiction begins with the word “alone.” Further, she describes being alone as “exactly the place [she] need[s] to be.” Being alone is a necessary condition of addiction, both in the literal and figurative sense. Kristina needs to be physically alienated from friends and family to find the time to begin using drugs. Her spiritual alienation and feelings of not belonging are the prerequisites for developing an addiction. Further, once she develops an addiction, the addiction itself forces her to be alone since it is an all-consuming force.

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“Bree is / no imaginary playmate, / no overactive pituitary, / no alter ego, moving in. / Hers is the face I wear, / treading the riptide, / fathomless oceans where / good girls drown.”

(Chapter 5, Page 8)

The relationship between Kristina and Bree is one of the most fascinating aspects of Crank. It is easy to classify Bree as Kristina’s “alter ego” or double, but Kristina shows here how Bree is too difficult and complex for narrow definitions. Bree is best described as Kristina herself forging a new, adult identity.

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“Maybe he wasn’t perfect. / But he was still my dad.”

(Chapter 21, Page 37)

Kristina aptly sums up why her and Marie’s views on Kristina’s father differ. While Marie can assess her ex more objectively, for Kristina he will always be her biological father, despite his flaws. For Kristina to view her father dispassionately and distance herself from his problematic behaviors, she needs grown-up resolve and