Monday, December 20, 2010

Book Review: Flirtin' With The Monster

Before I actually review the book, I have to say that while the idea of a collection of essays about Crank and Glass written by other YA authors and experts really excited me, I hate hate hate when authors use dialect, especially the " -in' " ending to show us that they are talking like everyday people who may be urban or southern or poor.  And dialect in a title?  Annoying.  But I didn't let an annoying title dissuade me because I liked the Crank series and I love books about books.

Although the authors who wrote essays for this book were mostly authors I hadn't heard of, each one provided an unique look at the issues brought up by the first two books in the series (it was published before the third book came out).  These essays examined the themes of the book, the use of poetry and visual design, and the response from readers.  There are also essays from prominent psychologists, doctors, and even a judge who specialize in addiction, particularly to methamphetamines.  These provided a look at where Kristina would be headed in the future.  They covered topics like the success rate for addiction recovery, the legal aspects of meth use, and insight into the impact of drug addiction on a family.

My favorite part of the book, however, were the essays written by Hopkins' family.  Not only does Hopkins write about her experiences as "Kristina"'s mother, she also includes what it has been like to have her private family life exposed to readers, and how she has used the book to help troubled teens.  There are also essays from Kristina's siblings, step-father, and even one from her son.  These were amazing to read and provided so much more depth to the story told through the series.

I would definitely recommend reading this to accompany the Crank series, and I think parents who are struggling with whether or not to let their child read the series due to the maturity of the content would be well served by this book as well.  It's written on a simple level, ideal for teens, and provides a great look at the truth behind the story.  It would be an excellent book to read and discuss with your teen after reading the Crank series and would also be great for classroom use.  It provides a serious academic (although teen-reading-level) backdrop to the story that takes away any potential for sensationalism or glamorization of a terrible addiction.

1 comment:

  1. Hello, I stopped by your blog. I agree sometime dialect can be annoying. I read an Elizabeth George book (or I should say I half read it). I know in London teenagers in poorer areas end every sentence with "innit" but reading it over and over again was beyond annoyding.