A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this book.
Describes the strong hold of addiction, and some facts about meth, including how it "eats big holes in the brain, destroys/ the pleasure center..." Could open up some good discussions about drug use and addiction.
Though it is unclear at the conclusion if Kristina will be able to actually master her habit, her story is a cautionary one. Readers who know about the book's sequel, Glass, will correctly assume her addiction continues.
Positive Role Models
Kristina makes some dangerous choices here -- including using drugs while she is pregnant -- but she is an honest narrator who will provide insight to readers about the temptation to do drugs -- and also what can happen once you start. She does have family members and friends who care about her.
Violence & Scariness
There is a rape and another character discusses being forced into sex. While in juvenile hall, Kristina meets other inmates who are there for committing violent crimes. Also, while on drugs, Kristina cuts herself with a razor, drinks her blood, and offers it to others.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Lots of kissing, including same-sex kissing for attention, references to oral sex, and Kristina and her boyfriend have sex several times. At the end of the book, Kristina discovers she is pregnant and goes to a Planned Parenthood to learn about her options.
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Some, including "f--k." Also, slang words for gay women and oral sex.
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
This is a book about a girl addicted to crank, and Kristina snorts it, smokes it, and even injects it. She buys and sells -- including from a drug gang. And she smokes cigarettes, does ecstasy, smokes marijuana, and drinks coffee. Kristina does crank with her biological father.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this is a free verse poetry book about a teen girl's addiction to methamphetamine (also known as crank). Kristina snorts it, smokes it, and even injects it. She also buys and sells -- including from a drug gang. And she smokes cigarettes, does ecstasy, smokes marijuana, and drinks coffee. This book includes other mature material, including a rape, an unplanned pregnancy, and a scene in which a high Kristina cuts her skin and drinks her own blood. Mature readers will recognize that this is a cautionary tale describing the strong hold of addiction, and parents could use it to open up some good discussions about drug use and addiction.
Is It Any Good?
It's no wonder that this book has been such a hit with teen readers: The free verse makes for a fast read, and the details are full of drama. As Kristina gets deeper into drugs, she even injects crank -- and later discovers she is pregnant. But while this is a cautionary tale, this book will leave more of an imprint than an after-school special about drug abuse. Partly, this is because of the open ending in which Kristina has still not decided if she can live drug free, even with all that she now has to live for -- including a baby of her own. Parents who are concerned about the mature material might consider reading along with their teens so they can be better prepared for questions and discussions.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.