Glass (by Ellen Hopkins)

14 07 2011

Glass is the second part of Ellen Hopkins’ Crank-trilogy. Set not long after Kristina gives birth to her son Hunter, the story of Glass takes us further into Kristina’s destructive descent into drug-induced madness…because madness it is, with Kristina displaying behavior that is totally incomprehensible for people who have never experienced firsthand what a drug addiction can do to yourself and the people around you. The once academically gifted Kristina – hardly ever does she mention her self-confident Bree alter ego anymore – is forced to take a job at a Seven Eleven, a job she only takes to finance her meth addiction. It also doesn’t take long before her mother throws her out of the house because she’s such a danger to her son Hunter. Forced to find a place to live, she ends us with Brad – her boyfriend Trey’s cousin – and his two daughters as a live-in nanny, something which suits her fine, because Brad has an almost limitless supply of the best crystal due to his Mexican connection.

In Crank you could argue that Kristina’s addiction and the resulting behavior may have seemed a bit haphazard, a bit unbelievable even especially because of how quickly everything deteriorated for Kristina. However, the same can definitely not be said about Glass. The cat really thought that Glass was a lot harsher than Crank.  A lot more believable too as it shows Kristina’s physical as well as mental decline. It shows what Kristina really is: a drug fiend, a useless junkie who no longer cares about anything – she doesn’t even seem to miss her baby son Hunter – besides her next fix, the next meeting with the monster. Despite her mental dilapidation Kristina’s stream of consciousness often meticulously describes how she feels when she is or is not under the influence of the monster.

Also, any sympathy you might have had for Kristina and her desire to find a way to become more visible, will soon disappear. From the start, the reader (as well as Kristina herself) knows what her addiction will lead to: lies, neglect, and her physical, emotional and intellectual downfall. The Bree alter ego was even before her addiction a manifestation of Kristina’s desire for something else, something bigger than what she was… as it happened, the monster seemed to offer just that, but little did she know what the monster wanted in return: her entire being: body, mind, soul. It’s not a coincidence that Bree is hardly ever there anymore. Kristina willingly steps into the world of the monster this time around.

Glass will not offer anything that an Ellen Hopkins fan doesn’t know already, but that’s OK. Glass is as haunting and addictive as crank is to Kristina, so I’m sure that when you are done reading this 2nd part, you will definitely want to read about how Hunter, Kristina’s son, perceives everything. And indeed, a change in point of view, is (after 2 Kristina books) exactly what this trilogy needs!



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