Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Glass by Ellen Hopkins

(Crank trilogy, book 2)
One little bit, my heart revs
High, then settles into quick-
Step mode. How I’ve missed
That race and pound. How
I’ve missed the lack of control.

Crank. Glass. Ice. Crystal. Whatever you call it, it’s all the same: a monster. Kristina thinks she can control it. Now with a baby to care for, she is determined to be the one deciding when and how much, the one calling the shots. But the monster is strong, and before she knows it, Kristina is back in its grip…and it won’t go away.

WARNING: This book contains sexual situations, drug abuse, and profanity.

Glass picks up right where Crank left off; Kristina is now seventeen, a mother to a little boy, and still battling her meth addiction. She gets a job at a convenience store and considers herself strong enough to choose when and how much she uses; she has a baby to take care of, and she only uses enough to get her through the day. Little by little, she finds herself falling back into the iron grip of the monster. She returns to Albuquerque to visit her father, and is introduced to a new, pure form of meth: glass. During her visit she also meets Trey, a fellow glass user/dealer and potentially the love of her life. She also begins dealing with the Mexican Mafia in order to maintain an income, most of which is spent on the exact drugs she’s selling. Any sense of normalcy Kristina attempted to maintain at home in Reno quickly goes out the window, and her life goes with it. Her mother kicks her out of the house when her baby gets hurt while Kristina is getting high, she turns her back on her son and her family, and actually robs her mother’s house with her boyfriend, Trey. Kristina and Trey continue their tumultuous relationship that consists of fighting and getting high; they are eventually picked up by the police, hauled off to federal prison, and await trial for distributing glass. While she is in jail awaiting her sentencing, she finds out that she is pregnant with baby number two.

If you read my review of Crank, you know that I had really high hopes that Kristina would turn her life around after she found out she was pregnant. Glass makes it very clear that walking away from the monster isn’t that easy. Kristina seems to think that because she also has the “high” of her baby loving her, she will be able to control her addiction and only use when she decides it’s necessary. She won’t let the monster sink it’s claws into her again…but it does. She finds herself even farther enveloped this time, and ends up way too deep dealing for the Mexican Mafia. In the first book, I was constantly rooting for Kristina and still thought there was good in her if she could only get free of the monster’s grasp. In Glass, my view of her took a really negative turn. As she says, it’s not easy to walk away from a drug that powerful, but when she didn’t even care that her mother was obtaining legal custody of her son, I wanted to smack her. Granted, Hunter is in much better hands with her mother caring for him rather than her and Trey.

Kristina goes a little more depth with the change in her appearance in this book; in Crank, she mentions that she loses a significant amount of weight but in Glass, she lets the reader know that isn’t the other toll the glass is taking on her physically; While brushing her teeth one morning, she notices her gums are bleeding and her teeth are starting to rot, and while staring in the mirror, we learn that her face has become incredibly hollow and her cheeks are now covered in sores. Yuck.

I’ve become spellbound by Kristina’s story, and still hold out hope that maybe she’ll finally get her life together for baby #2. Glass, along with the first book in the trilogy Crank, is written in verse which allows for quick reading. The honesty and devastation in Kristina’s story is an excellent cautionary tale for young adults. 

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