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Friday, December 23, 2011

Teenage Pregnancy/Drug Use Mix in Raw, Powerful Glass

(Image from Barnes & Noble)
(Note: While this review will not contain spoilers for Glass, it may inadvertently reveal plot surprises from Crank, the first book in the trilogy. As always, I suggest reading books in a series in order.)

Some things have changed for 17-year-old Kristina Snow. And some things haven't. Hunter, her beautiful baby boy, has made his entrance into the world. But meth hasn't yet made its exit. Kristina's trying, doing her best to control her use so that she can act alive long enough to make it through her shift at 7-11 and play mommy until the infant's bedtime. Maybe she's not doing so well, but she's making the attempt. Shouldn' t that be enough?

The pressure's getting to Kristina, so she decides to head out on her own. A little road trip to check out college campuses - at least that's what she tells her mom. University of the Pacific in Stockton, California, certainly qualifies as an insititue of higher learning, but Kristina's not there for a campus tour. She's there to hit up an old friend for more crank. Not only does she get the drugs she's looking for, but she also makes a new friend. The best kind, too. Trey's not just hot, he's sweet, fun, and has access to the finest glass Kristina's ever had. She's head over heels and completely ecstatic when Trey promises to look her up the minute he arrives in Reno for one of his frequent meth-buying trips.

With her tantalizing new guy and his even more tantalizing drug connection, Kristina's resolve melts. Baby or not, she's going to get what she needs. Even if it means getting kicked out of her mom's house. Even if it means leaving her baby behind. Or worse, taking him with her. Even if it means leaving behind her goals of working, going to college, living a normal life. Because there's nothing normal - nothing happy - about living with a monster as seductive and consuming as crank. Nothing at all.

Glass, the second book in Ellen Hopkins' best-selling trilogy about teenage drug addiction, continues the raw, heart-wrenching story of Kristina Snow, a good girl whose world changes dramatically when she starts using meth. Loosely based on her daughter's experience, Hopkins tells a vivid, unflinching story that manages to be both honest and sensitive. She describes the reality of drug addiction, never glamorizing it, always showing just how destructive meth can be, not just to the user, but to her parents, siblings and, especially, to her child. It's that last one that makes Glass so harrowing because Hunter isn't just some made-up kid, he's Hopkins' very real grandson. And because he represents the hundreds, probably thousands, of children who are being endangered every day because of their parents' drug abuse. Hopkins writes no easy stories, just the kind that are so raw and powerful you can't get them out of your head. Glass is no exception.

(Readalikes: Crank and Fallout by Ellen Hopkins)

Grade: B

If this were a movie, it would be rated: R for strong language, sexual content and depictions of illegal drug use and underrage drinking

To the FTC, with love: Another library

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