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Crank Books In Order

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Publication Order of Crank Books

Writing for a teenage audience of largely younger readers for the Young Adult demographic, the American author Ellen Hopkins has been writing for quite some time now. With a whole range of novels behind her, she has also achieved best-selling status with her novels on numerous occasion. This has also lead to her creating a variety of much loved series too, building franchises that are loyally followed from the outset. One such series is that of her hard-hitting ‘Crank’ collection of novels, as they follow the story of one Kristina Snow and her ongoing battle with her meth dependency. Making sure not to shy from any of the more unsavoury details, this is a series that really deals with the serious issues facing addicts in contemporary society. Looking at her through the lens of the world around her, he deals with her character, as well as the other people dealing with her addiction as well.

Set over three books this is a series that looks at the many issues of drug dependency at a young age, as she attempts to cope with what’s happening. With the book being somewhat autobiographical with what happened between Hopkins and her own daughter, this is a series rooted firmly in reality. Starting out in 2004 it ran to 2010, as it looked at meth addiction from all angles, giving insight not just into the life of Kristina Snow, but those affected by her actions too.


Brought out through ‘Margaret K. McElderry Books’, this was the title that would set the ‘Crank’ series up as a whole. Introducing the character of Kristina Snow for the first time, it sees her dealing with the onset of addiction for the first time too. Released on the 1st of October in 2004, it works at creating a sense of foreshadowing as well, allowing a feeling of doom to appear on the horizon.

Dealing with hard-hitting issues facing teenagers and the potential for drug abuse that faces them, this is a story that handles it all with tact and grace. Not shying away from the darker aspects of drug dependency either, it manages to provide a serious account of drug addiction. Serving as a warning it never preaches, managing to remain engaging throughout, whilst never sacrificing what it sets out to do. Introducing Kristina Snow for the first time, it sees her as a promising young woman just about to head into adulthood. This is unfortunately cut short, though, by her addiction to meth, as she finds that she must deal with it at all costs. The other characters in her life are also important too, such as her estranged father, as they all orbit her and her problem. Using a somewhat derelict set of locations to mirror what is happening within the story to Kristina, it takes place over a group of settings. Moving between her mother and fathers house, it sees her move towards drug dependency after meeting her estranged father. This is something that becomes more and more prevalent as the story goes forwards, with certain doom cast on the horizon.

Following Kristina, it sees the young girl as she’s heading into womanhood, become addicted to the drug of crystal meth. Known largely as ‘crank’, she is introduced to the drug whilst visiting her mostly absent father, and discovers a side to herself that she never knew existed. Meeting up with dangerous boys that can provide her with the drug, she becomes her alter-ego ‘Bree’; someone who is seemingly a lot more care-free and willing to do whatever it takes to get her hands on the drug. Can she overcome this ordeal? Does she really want to? Will she ever escape the clutches of crank?


Using verse to tell a lot of the story, this title manages to find poetry within the darkness of drug addiction. Published through the ‘Margaret K. McElderry Books’ publishing label once again, this manages to provide insight into the next stages in Kristina Snow’s life. With it being brought out almost four years later in 2007 on the 21st of August, it was published to much acclaim worldwide.

Returning once again to the difficult subject matter of the first novel, this really manages to capture the true hell of drug dependency. Continuing the hard-hitting portrayal of addiction that made the original so compelling, it definitely manages to show the ugly side of drugs. Knowing its audience, Hopkins never deigns to speak down to them, always ensuring that it’s clear and concise in its outlook. With Kristina Snow returning once more too, it manages to show how addiction has had a large impact on her and her life. Seeing how she, and the others and around her, have coped with it, the story keeps the perspective focused upon her and her baby this time. Using her baby as a symbol of her newfound responsibility, it sees her trying to remain clean from drugs, something that will prove difficult as the book progresses. With her looking to make a new life for herself, this sees Kristina in a whole new setting, looking to make a new life for herself. Fighting drug dependency, she is attempting to look after her baby now, whilst living in relative normalcy and cope with the pressures. It is the use of location, once again, that reflects this shift into motherhood, as she attempts to find some happiness in life.

With a baby this time, Kristina Snow is trying desperately to make a new life for herself and keep away from the nightmare of meth. As the pressures mount though, she finds it all too difficult and is soon back on the drug, desperately trying to come off of it again. This proves to be hard though, as she finds her problem jeopardising the one relationship that really means anything to her; the one with her baby. Will she be able to fight the curse? Is it possible for her to live a normal life with her baby? Can she ever get off the glass?

The Crank Series

This is a series that really knows what it wants to do, and it manages to achieve this with a definite sense of confidence and conviction. Never hiding the darker aspects of drug addiction from its young readers, it shows the seriousness of dependency in all its colors. With more and more discovering this series every day, it will continue to serve as a testament as to what can be done with the Young Adult genre for years to come.

Book Series In Order » Characters » Crank

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