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Jennifer Lane Books

Hi, I'm Jen, a psychologist/author (psycho author) in Columbus, Ohio. I write romantic suspense for adults and new adults. And I'm a voracious reader of romance and fiction. I love laughing, swimming, volleyball, and Grumpy Cat.

Currently reading

Standing at the Crossroads: Next Steps for High-Achieving Women
Patricia J. Ohlott, Marian N. Ruderman
The Space Between
Victoria H. Smith
Chasing Hope
Kathryn Cushman
Crank - Ellen Hopkins Just Say No to Crank

What a harrowing read! Crank is based on author Ellen Hopkins' daughter descent into drug addiction -- her dance with the "monster" otherwise known as methamphetamine.

I wish I didn't read the spoiler in the author's note because I knew what awaited Kristina, the good-girl-turned-drug-addict. And it wasn't pretty.

The writing is in verse. At first I wasn't sure I'd like it but then the raw emotion of the poetry drew me in. I think poetry is actually the perfect choice for a descent into hell like this. It made the fall faster and more horrifying. Here Kristina contemplates seeking the monster again:

And it occurred to me for one uneasy moment
that every move I had made lately might have
started a landslide.

What if I couldn't go back? What if I died in the crash?

Almost immediately, the monster soothed
me, confused me with a deeper question
What if the ride was worth it?

Hopkins perfectly captures the angel and devil sitting on the addict's shoulder. Sure, drug addiction is hell, but who wants to be an angel all the time? What if the fall down to hell is fun and free?

Question to those who have read this: what does GUFN mean? Kristina refers to GUFN when she gets grounded but I missed the explanation.

Kristina's father is an addict himself, and his abuse/neglect infuriated me. Her mother and stepfather Scott try to stop her from using, but they battle an uncontrollable monster.

Mom and Scott believed
they'd bitten the bullet
Little did they know
I hadn't yet fired
off the full

Another aspect of addiction is tolerance . . . needing more and more of the substance to feel high, until you use not to feel good but just to get to baseline. The way meth destroys the brain, pretty soon nothing brings pleasure.

You know how spotting an eagle
cruising low over
the treetops,
or watching a baby finally master
the try-try-again
of walking makes you glow all over?

You know how singing a beautiful song
with dead-on pitch,
or getting every test answer right,
including the extra credit
makes you feel like you could take on the world?

Somewhere on my stroll
with the monster.

I'd lost these things.

Kristina loses just about everything. To answer her earlier question, I don't think it was worth it. Not at all. But this read is definitely worth it. It's gripping, gritty, and real.