Review: Tricks (Tricks #1) – Ellen Hopkins


Tricks (Tricks #1) – Ellen Hopkins

Tricks (Tricks, #1)

Title: Tricks (Tricks #1)

Author: Ellen Hopkins

Release Date: August 25, 2009

Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry

Format: Hardcover

Page Number: 627

Source: TBR Pile

Five teenagers from different parts of the country. Three girls. Two guys. Four straight. One gay. Some rich. Some poor. Some from great families. Some with no one at all. All living their lives as best they can, but all searching…for freedom, safety, community, family, love. What they don’t expect, though, is all that can happen when those powerful little words “I love you” are said for all the wrong reasons.

Five moving stories remain separate at first, then interweave to tell a larger, powerful story — a story about making choices, taking leaps of faith, falling down, and growing up. A story about kids figuring out what sex and love are all about, at all costs, while asking themselves, “Can I ever feel okay about myself?”

2 out of 5 stars


If you would have asked me what I would have rated this book about halfway through I might have said 5 stars, but the ending just fricked me up and I really didn’t enjoy it.

This story is about five teenagers; they all get caught up with people and say “I love you” and bad things happen.

There were LOTS of triggers in this book, so if you’re sensitive to rape, sex, drugs, alcohol, dysfunctional family units, parents dying, gambling, or prostitution, DO NOT READ THIS.

I don’t typically read books like this. Ellen Hopkins is the only author that I read about drugs, but I did not like this book very much! It was kind of confusing having 5 different perspectives. All the girls seemed so similar to me, and there were three of them. It was hard for me to separate them.

I honestly don’t even know how to review this because there was so much that happened, but none of it plot driven at all. I’ll give it a shot, I guess.

All these teenagers are desperate to find love. The gay boy lives on a farm with his father and basically gets banished from his home. One is a typical preacher’s daughter who ends up being kind of promiscuous. One girl has a broken family unit where her mother gets paid to let men rape her. One girl lives in the shadow of her older sister. And one boy has a problem with gambling and drugs.

The characters don’t even all meet up in the end. What the heck. I was waiting for some dramatic meet up situation and for everyone to figure out their lives together, but no. There was a brief meet up situation with two of the girls, but it was in very sad circumstances.

Ugh. I really did not enjoy this because of the last half. Ellen Hopkins has such a beautiful and intoxicating way to write that just pulls you in, but damn I didn’t like the content.

There was so much sex. So much unnecessary sex. After reading the little informational thing at the back, it talked about how her goal for this was to highlight the issue of child prostitution in the United States, so I get it, I guess. But there were pretty explicit sex scenes to claim this is a YA novel.

I’m 18 and I was still disturbed by it, I don’t even know what I would have done if I read this when I was 13 or 14. I read Perks of Being a Wallflower in early middle school and was traumatized…

I don’t know, honestly. Only read this if you’re not super triggered by what I listed above.

Review: Fallout (Crank #3) – Ellen Hopkins


Fallout (Crank #3) – Ellen Hopkins

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Title: Fallout (Crank #3)

Author: Ellen Hopkins

Release Date: September 14, 2010

Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books

Format: Hardcover

Page Number: 665

Source: Library

The riveting final chapter of the Crank trilogy, from #1 New York Times bestselling author Ellen Hopkins.

Hunter, Autumn, and Summer–three of Kristina Snow’s five children–live in different homes, with different guardians and different last names. They share only a predisposition for addiction and a host of troubled feelings toward the mother who barely knows them, a mother who has been riding with the monster, crank, for twenty years.

As each teen searches for real love and true family, they find themselves pulled toward the one person who links them together–Kristina, Bree, mother, addict. But it is in each other, and in themselves, that they find the trust, the courage, the hope to break the cycle.

Told in three voices and punctuated by news articles chronicling the family’s story, Fallout is the stunning conclusion to the trilogy begun by Crank and Glass, and a testament to the harsh reality that addiction is never just one person’s problem.


3 out of 5 stars

I was so looking forward to this book because I loved the first two in the series, but it really fell short for me! I loved reading about Kristina and her awful decisions, but this one just talked about her kids. I get that this was supposed to be extremely powerful and moving because it comes from the kids she birthed, but I didn’t love it. This book is about Hunter, Autumn, and Summer, Kristina’s kids. All three of them have different fathers, and all three of them live somewhere that is not with her. One of my main issues with this book was that they weren’t even allowed to know about Kristina, really. I totally understand that Kristina doesn’t really have a right to be with her kids at all, but all of them should have been told about their mother. Not just like, ‘hey, your mom was a meth addict and she didn’t love you.’

Another issue I had was all the freaking sex. Like calm down. Yes, a lot of teenagers have sex, but there are quite a few that don’t. All of the kids in this book are between the ages of 15 and 19 I believe. All of them had sex during their chapters, and it made me uncomfortable, because it wasn’t real love. Hunter loved Nikki, his girlfriend, but he kept cheating on her. Um. He obviously didn’t love her very much if he was willing to risk their relationship multiple times. Autumn has barely even talked to any guys, and then all of the sudden this new kid at school starts liking her then they talk for a few minutes and then they’re declaring their love. Hm. They had sex multiple times, and they didn’t use protection just cause why would they…. ugh. And then there is Summer who is dating her ex-boyfriend’s best friend. Good luck with that one. And they run away together and live in random places and just make love all the time. Pretty sure that’s pretty unrealistic, but that’s just me.

So. I really didn’t love this book. I was confused about a lot of it because of the different kids. I don’t think that the kids were introduced very well, because I was in quite a world of confusion. Anyway, the reason I gave this three stars instead of two was because of the writing style. I loved reading this book because the writing was so unique and was very beautiful. I look forward to reading more from Ellen Hopkins, but am glad that I’m done with this trilogy.

Series:

Crank (Crank #1)

Glass (Crank #2)

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Review: Glass (Crank #2) – Ellen Hopkins


Glass (Crank #2) – Ellen Hopkins

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Title: Glass (Crank #2)

Author: Ellen Hopkins

Release Date: August 21, 2007

Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books

Format: Paperback

Page Number: 681

Source: TBR Pile

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.


4 out of 5 stars

This being the second book in the series, I don’t want to give away too much, but if you’ve not read anything by Ellen Hopkins you really should. Okay. So, this ending sucked a lot, but the whole book was so easy and fun to read. I’ve not read a lot of books in verse, but this makes me want to. The whole plot to this book is that Kristina is having a mental battle with herself about using glass, or meth. She is addicted to it in every way, so she goes to her friend’s house to get a fix, and meets a boy named Trey. They have a thing and end up smoking and drinking and having sex all the time. Now, Kristina was kicked out of her parent’s house because of her addiction, and her mother made her leave her baby, Hunter, with her. Kristina’s parents have custody over her baby because she’s a mess. All Kristina wants is to be loved, so when Trey shows her love, she holds onto it.

This book goes through Kristina and Trey’s journey with the monster. They are addicted, and will do anything to use glass, so they start stealing money and writing fake checks to get by. They are both at the bottom of their lives, but they don’t want to get help. They don’t want to feel better. So they get caught.

The whole story was leading up to the ending *well obviously* but I didn’t like it. I do want to read the next one immediately, so Hopkins used her powers for good, but dang. I really liked this book because you get to see the “logic” behind doing drugs. I’ve never done any drugs or really anything bad, so I kind of feel rebellious when I read these sorts of books. I know, stupid, but hey. If I get to feel a little rebellion through a book all is well.

I highly recommend reading some of Ellen Hopkins’ books because you will be hooked. They’re easy to read, and you’ll feel a little rebellious in the time being. I also want to read poetry or books in verse, if you have any recommendations for some super great ones, comment them down below!

Series:

Crank (Crank #1)

Fallout (Crank #3)

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Review: Crank (Crank #1) – Ellen Hopkins


Crank (Crank #1) – Ellen Hopkins

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Title: Crank (Crank #1)

Author: Ellen Hopkins

Release Date: October 4, 2004

Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books

Format: Paperback

Page Number: 537

Source: Book Store

In Crank, Ellen Hopkins chronicles the turbulent and often disturbing relationship between Kristina, a character based on her own daughter, and the “monster,” the highly addictive drug crystal meth, or “crank.” Kristina is introduced to the drug while visiting her largely absent and ne’er-do-well father. While under the influence of the monster, Kristina discovers her sexy alter-ego, Bree: “there is no perfect daughter, / no gifted high school junior, / no Kristina Georgia Snow. / There is only Bree.” Bree will do all the things good girl Kristina won’t, including attracting the attention of dangerous boys who can provide her with a steady flow of crank.

5 out of 5 stars

Plot:

Kristina lives a happy life with her older sister, younger brother, mom, and step-dad. Everything is going well; she gets good grades, she has nice friends, but she decides to visit her father who left her family because of a drug addiction. She goes and stays with him for a full month and some pretty bad things happen. She meets a boy who is addicted to drugs, and he gets her to try “the monster” – crack. Horrible choices continue to happen while she’s staying with her dad, but they only get worse when she gets back home. Kristina refers to her alter-ego as Bree; whenever she’s getting high, she’s Bree. Bree makes those decisions, not Kristina. She gets a call from her boyfriend in her dad’s town saying that he loved her but they should see other people. This just pushes her to her monster even more.

This was beautiful. It was creepy and twisted and dark, but it was an amazing style. This book was written in verse, witch was a new experience for me. I loved this book because it was so different from what I usually read. Kristina always struggled with doing drugs. She knew it was wrong, but she didn’t know how, or if she could, stop. It was really interesting to read from a perspective like this because her perception was so clouded and her judgments were so poor. It was honestly one of the best books I’ve ever read.

Characters:

Really, the only character was Kristina. This is all from her drug-induced perspective, which, like I said was very interesting. Bad things happened to her, and she handled most of them in the wrong way, but in the end things were semi-okay. I understand that addiction is a real thing and that people deal with it every single day of their life, but I don’t know what would possess someone to start doing drugs. I really, really don’t. There is no upside to drugs. Literally everything is downhill. Who cares about the high if the low is that low?

Who Would I Be?:

I don’t want to be anyone from this book. I know that’s cheating, but hey, I make the rules here. It would be so hard to deal with addiction or live with someone who was living with addiction. I wouldn’t want to have to know what it feels like to be completely consumed by a drug. No way.

Series:

Glass (Crank #2)

Fallout (Crank #3)

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