Book Summary (from barnesandnoble.com):
Love—good and bad—forces three teens’ worlds to tilt in a riveting novel from New York Times bestselling author Ellen Hopkins.
Three teens, three stories—all interconnected through their parents’ family relationships. As the adults pull away, caught up in their own dilemmas, the lives of the teens begin to tilt….Mikayla, almost eighteen, is over-the-top in love with Dylan, who loves her back jealously. But what happens to that love when Mikayla gets pregnant the summer before their senior year—and decides to keep the baby?
Shane turns sixteen that same summer and falls hard in love with his first boyfriend, Alex, who happens to be HIV positive. Shane has lived for four years with his little sister’s impending death. Can he accept Alex’s love, knowing that his life, too, will be shortened?
Harley is fourteen—a good girl searching for new experiences, especially love from an older boy. She never expects to hurdle toward self-destructive extremes in order to define who she is and who she wants to be.
Love, in all its forms, has crucial consequences in this standalone novel.
Ms. Kiplinger's Opinion: I chose this book to read for several reasons: 1) Ellen Hopkins' books are always checked out at our library, 2) I had already read the adult companion novel Triangles about the parents of the teens in this story, 3) I am learning to love novels in verse, 4) Ellen Hopkins is going to be at the YALSA Young Adult Literature Symposium that I am attending in November, and 5) Ellen is notorious for her banned/challenged books and it is Banned Books Week!
So, now to my thoughts....
I feel bad that I am just now jumping on this bandwagon, I tried to read one of her novels when she first became popular, but couldn't bring myself to enjoy the novel in verse at that time. I am now enraptured by this author, I nabbed Crank when I saw it had come in this morning because I knew I probably wouldn't get another chance anytime soon. (Don't worry, it wasn't on hold for anyone!) Even though the story is very similar to the one I read in Triangles, I still had to finish it and hear things from the teen's point-of-view. I read it all in one evening because I couldn't stop....and it was on hold for at least 3 other people. This is a tough story about family's dealing with the problems that many families have to deal with (if your family never has to face any of these issues, you are lucky). There is a chronically ill child, a gay teen, fighting and boy trouble, a teen with HIV, a teen who gets pregnant, a cheating/alcholic dad and so on. You get the idea! The story is told from the perspective of several different teens with some "guest spots" going to other (somewhat more minor) characters at the end of each section. The writing is beautiful, but easy to understand and follow. I enjoy how there are bigger picture ideas implanted into the poems if you read the words that stand off to the side alone. If you are a fan of Ellen Hopkins, or even if not, you will enjoy this book! In fact, I purchased it as an e-book as well since we have so many wanting to read it.