Tuesday, 5 July 2011

Review: Glass - Ellen Hopkins

Published: April 7th 2009, Simon Pulse
Pages: 681 pages, paperback
Series?: Yes, this is book two. The third and final installment (Fallout) is out now
Acquired: Purchased myself

Summary (from Goodreads): Crank. Glass. Ice. Crystal. Whatever you call it, it's all the same: a monster. And once it's got hold of you, this monster will never let you go.

Kristina thinks she can control it. Now with a baby to care for, she's determined to be the one deciding when and how much, the one calling the shots. But the monster is too strong, and before she knows it, Kristina is back in its grips. She needs the monster to keep going, to face the pressures of day-to-day life. She needs it to feel alive. Once again the monster takes over Kristina's life and she will do anything for it, including giving up the one person who gives her the unconditional love she craves -- her baby.

The sequel to Crank, this is the continuing story of Kristina and her descent back to hell. Told in verse, it's a harrowing and disturbing look at addiction and the damage that it inflicts.

My review: I read and reviewed Crank (the first in this series) last year and absolutely adored it. It's the book that kick started my love of verse novels and I've been a huge Ellen Hopkins fan ever since. Glass is definitely an edgy story and I would advise younger readers to exercise a bit of caution before reading it - though I don't think there's anything in Crank that could cause offense, as it's all so delicatley handled and wonderfully written.

Hopkins writes from experience and this rings loud and clear in Glass (as it did in Crank). Kristina is such a human character and I loved that we saw a softer side to her this time around. So much happened to her since Crank ended - she had a beautiful baby boy and started afresh, free from the claws of her addiction. Or so she thought.

Kristina's struggle with right and wrong is so fascinating to read and I really like the fact we're right in her head, in the thick of the action. We see her lying to her family and those around her but, as the age old saying goes, you can lie to the whole world but you can't lie to yourself and that's why the first person narrative works so well here.

Hopkins is an absolute master when it comes to poetry. She uses such varied forms and it keeps things interesting - there are a number of visual poems included in Glass and they were fantastic. I think she experiments with form more in Glass than she did in Crank and I hope this trend continues in Fallout, which I'm really eager to read. There's a sneak preview of Fallout at the back of Glass and it sounds great - I'm interested to see how the multiple viewpoints change the tone of the story.

In case you couldn't tell, I loved Glass. It's such a rich story and I found it so easy to place myself in Kristina's world. Despite everything she's done and all the people she's hurt I still find myself warming to our heroine and willing her to pull through. I hope we learn more about Kristina's adult years during Fallout. Fingers crossed she manages to get herself together - though, I have a feeling this isn't going to be the case!

First line: 'Life was radical right after I met the monster.'

Read if you liked…: Girl, Interrupted - Susanna Kaysen

Plot: 4/5
Writing: 4/5
Characters: 3/5
Cover: 4/5
Total: 15/20 (B)


  1. Sounds a wee bit depressing...but I'm fascinated by the concept of a verse novel. Never read one, so...yeah. ;)

  2. Thanks much fir the great review. Hope you'll continue to read and enjoy my books.

  3. OMG! Ellen Hopkins left you a comment!!!

    ..I completely forgot what I was going to say now. Only I'm expecting to recieve Crank sometime this week, I'm really looking forward to it.

  4. I have been thinking about picking this up for a while. The subject matter isn't exactly my thing but the written in verse thing caught my interest in other reviews... Thank you for the post :)

    Blethering About Books


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