Books Completed: 31
Completion Date: February, 2009
Publication Date: October 5, 2004
Reason for Reading: Friend lent me her copy, New Author Challenge
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. 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.I have never heard of Ellen Hopkins before. I have read a lot more young adult fiction this year than I normally do, because generally I don't read that many in the course of a year. This means that I generally miss out on interesting finds. One of my friends that doesn't normally read a lot has been reading to entertain herself at work, and she mentioned this book to me. Since it was right in the midst of a chick-lit discussion, that is what I assumed it was. So, when I was at her house last weekend and she gave me two of Hopkins books to try I was surprised to find out that they were actually young adult novels! I started the book while I was waiting around on the weekend, and then finished it when I got home.
I am going to be the first to admit that I have never been very interested in poetry. I try to avoid poetry with a ten foot pole in many cases! That being said, when I like a poets work I am generally a fan for life. Hopkins writes her novels in verse, which I wasn't sure about at first. When you get reading, though, and see how she has everything crafted it will really blow you away! It is a time-consuming enterprise to write any novel, but with Hopkins she has to have everything work together. She writes a poem, so you read it and it tells a story. Then, each stanza she will have a word separate from the rest of the text. If you read the separated text from top to bottom it also tells a story. The difficulty in doing that blows my mind! Then, there are other pages where the poems make shapes. For a book that is over 500 pages, this has to be a very time-consuming project. I don't think I would have the patience to write one in this format, so I applaud her efforts.
The way in which Hopkins tells this story is what makes it original. The story itself is something that has been told before in many mediums. Writing in verse, though, made it feel original. We have a young girl, Katherine, who decides to go visit her father for a couple weeks in the summer. She leaves a child with perfect grades and hardly any trouble at all. While there, though, she becomes Bree. Bree is fearless and through a boy that she meets she discovers something that will change her life forever. The book shows the struggles of a young girl who is addicted to very powerful drugs. Katherine is still in there, but more often than not Bree takes control. The world of drugs is a very scary place.
I recommend this book! Even if the story is nothing new to you, Hopkins tells the story in an original way. It was nice to read something different for a change! I look forward to more books by her.