7.13.2011

Crank -- Ellen Hopkins, and Dragon's Oath -- PC and Kristin Cast (Double Review!)

Both of these books are
's for me.


 Kristina Georgia Snow is the perfect daughter: gifted high school junior, quiet, never any trouble. But on a trip to visit her absentee father, Kristina disappears and Bree takes her place. Bree is the exact opposite of Kristina -- she's fearless.

Man, it was good to read this again. I haven't read it in years. My memories of its contents were so hazy I couldn't even remember Kristina's middle name. Or the name of the guy that . . . did something to her.

Ellen Hopkins is one of those authors whose books you can only read so many of at a time before they all start blending together into one loosely incoherent story, because they all sort of deal with the same topics (they're all about drugs and sex and naughty stuff teens shouldn't be doing). That mistake was one I did the first go-round Hopkins-style, and one I'm not going to make again. This go-round, I'm only reading the books in this trilogy, which are CRANK, GLASS, and FALLOUT. I'm not going to re-read IMPULSE, IDENTICAL, BURNED (although I'm so tempted because that's my favorite of them all), or TRICKS. I'm just going to read these three and be done.

So, if you want these stories to be somewhat memorable for yourself, I recommend savoring them slowly and getting a good feel for what they have to offer individually, not reading them all and making the mistake I did, not being able to remember anything but the book's topic.

CRANK should've been a five-star read. It could've been a five-star read. It wasn't a five-star read, but merely a three-star read, because something about it was missing.

Hmm . . . I dunno. Maybe that missing thing was an INTERESTING, VARIED PLOT!

Here. Let me give you the run-down on CRANK's plot.

description

Except maybe more like "Get High, Sleep, Feel Anxious to Get High Again, Repeat!"

The effort put into trying to keep the plot varied and interesting was a fail that turned out to be something like this:

description

In words, it goes like this:

Kristina moves.
Kristina gets high with her dad.
Kristina moves back to Reno.
Kristina gets high.
Kristina gets high.
Kristina gets high.
Kristina gets high.
Kristina gets high.
Kristina gets high.
Kristina gets high.
Kristina gets high.
Kristina gets high.
Kristina gets high.
Kristina gets high.
Kristina gets high.
Kristina gets high.
Kristina gets high.
Kristina gets high.
Kristina gets high.
Kristina gets high.
Kristina gets high.
Kristina gets high.
Kristina gets high.
Kristina gets high.
Kristina gets high.
Kristina gets high.
Kristina gets high.
Kristina gets high.
Kristina gets high.
Kristina gets high.
Kristina gets high.
Kristina gets high.
Kristina gets high.
(view spoiler)[ Kristina gets raped. (hide spoiler)] Something different! *gasp*
Kristina gets high.
Kristina gets high.
Kristina gets high.
Kristina gets high.
Kristina gets high.
Kristina gets high.
Kristina gets high.
Kristina gets high.
Kristina gets high.
Kristina gets high.
Kristina gets high.
Kristina gets high.

Put that on repeat about 50x, and you'll be good.

A GIANT, CORROSIVE FAIL.

One thing I love about Hopkins' writing, though, is how inventive and beautiful some of the poetry-style entries are. They're not all about Kristina/Bree. No. Some of them are about just "the monster" (meth) in general, and they describe what it feels like to be on it, something you won't get in that enormous detail anywhere else. And, I know, it is written in verse, so it's expected to be beautiful. And it was.

The negative side to Hopkins' style of writing in verse is that because the formatting has to be a specific way, the length of the sentences can be greatly reduced, sometimes down to even a single word per sentence, which may go on for a whole page without leave. This makes for what seems like an easy read (even though, in all reality, it wasn't that easy), and it can be misleading.

CRANK was a very inventive and very true account about what drugs can do to a person's otherwise perfect life. It doesn't seem preachy, but at the same time, it sounds informative and gripping.



The first in an enthralling new mini-series of novellas from the #1 bestselling authors of the House of Night, Dragon's Oath tells the story behind the House of Night s formidable fencing instructor the love that will transform him, and the promise that will haunt him.

With almost 12 million books in print, the House of Night is an international publishing phenomenon that shows no sign of stopping! Now, for the first time, the Cast duo will share the back stories of some of the House of Night's most crucial and mysterious characters. And it all begins with Dragon s Oath. Before Zoey is Marked and arrives at the House of Night before she rises in power to confront utter darkness, and the House of Night is divided there's Dragon, and the dark choice that won t let him go.

Long before he's a professor at the House of Night with Zoey and the gang, in the early 19th century, Bryan Lankford is a troublesome, yet talented human teen. He thinks he can get away with anything until his father, a British nobleman, has finally had enough, and banishes him to America. When Bryan is Marked on the docks and given the choice between the London House of Night and the dragon-prowed ship to America, he chooses the Dragon and a new fate.

In 1830's St. Louis, the Gateway to the West, Dragon Lankford becomes a Sword Master, and soon realizes there are dangerous challenges and beautiful perks. Like Anastasia, the captivating young Professor of Spells and Rituals at the Tower Grove House of Night, who really should have nothing to do with a fledgling But when a dark power threatens, Dragon is caught in its focus. Though his uncanny fighting skills make him a powerful fledgling, is he strong enough to ward off this new darkness, while protecting Anastasia as well? Will his choices save her or destroy them all?

Illustrations by Kim Doner.


Seriously. How awesome-looking is that?!


Now, for the review. . . .

DRAGON'S OATH took me exactly 28 minutes and 17.5 seconds to read. That's it. No joke. I timed myself. That being said, there's not a whole lot of new and exciting content. It almost seemed like a short story to me, one with a lot of really extended, unnecessary detail.

The first chapter and the epilogue were in present-day HoN, and chapters two through eight were back when Dragon was Marked and all the chaos that ensued. (I know. Eight chapters. That's it?) Nevertheless, the novella was really well-written, and although it lacked length, it made up for it in plot and characterization. The primary reason DRAGON'S OATH wasn't five pages was because every chapter ended on the left page, the right page after was blank, the left page after had an illustration, and the right page started the next chapter. So, basically, about three pages are blank per chapter, which just seems lazy on PC's part.

That all being said, PC and Kristin Cast's latest miniature (literally) installment in the House of Night series was thoroughly enjoyable. I enjoyed reading about the spell casting and about the Darkness, a prominent theme in current House of Night books (AWAKENED, I'm sure DESTINED as well), and I'm sure we'll hear more about that in future books. I look forward to DESTINED! 

Through a boy, Bree meets the monster: crank. And what begins as a wild, ecstatic ride turns into a struggle through hell for her mind, her soul -- her life.

2 comments:

UK said...

Crank is a very raw, and terrifyingly real story. It shows what someone's life will become like when addicted to drugs. Crank is just an amazing and so full of truth read that I recommend this to both teenagers and adults.

Victoria Lee said...

Just read the Temple Wars Novel on Ganesha! The story is well told through a parallel protagonist Tarun who helps Ganesha retrieve his objects from the spirit world. It's a page-turner that will have you wanting more. You guys should check it out! Temple Wars

LinkWithin

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...