Study Guide

Adam in Crank

By Ellen Hopkins

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You might consider Adam the one who starts it all—after all, it is meeting him on the steps of her dad's shady apartment complex that sets in motion the domino effect of Kristina's collapse into drug use. Which is really weird considering that when she first meets him, Kristina's initial impression is that while he's definitely hot, he's also "definitely not my type" (Not My Type.4-5). At least not at first. Once Bree gets into the mix, though, all kinds of possibilities open up for Adam.

Adam's main character trait is that he's just a little bit too smooth, which is what makes us a bit wary of him from the minute his relationship with Kristina escalates. Check out the scene where the two of them speak for the first time. As Kristina relates, "He topped the staircase, slinked closer, golden eyes narrowing, reached out and touched the flush of my cheek," telling her, "I know what you're thinking. That you're too good for me. But you're wrong" (I Must Have Moaned.5-6).

Whoa. A move like that is just a little too choreographed to be anything more than too good to be true. Nonetheless, Kristina falls for it, and falls hard—remember, at this point she's the model of innocence.

In reality, though, Adam's a master manipulator when it comes to the ladies. While the two of them have a pretty heavy relationship during her summer visit, his attention quickly seems to shift once she's gone and Lince gets out of the hospital. Despite giving her a tattoo to symbolize his undying love, Adam calls her later to tell her that they should "see other people" (As I Pondered.7).

Interestingly enough, this conversation takes place right after he mentions that Lince is out of the hospital. Clearly Adam's an opportunist—Kristina was fun while his other girlfriend was in a coma, but now she's awake and Kristina is back home, so it's time for his attention to shift. Did we also mention that later in the book, he writes Kristina a letter telling her that he and Lince are having a baby? If that doesn't scream class, we don't know what does. (Note heavy use of sarcasm).

Before we get too hard on Adam, though, the guy's also had his share of trouble in his life. As we learn from a conversation Kristina has with his mother, Adam's dad abandoned Adam, his brother, and their mom for a life of drugs. Like his dad, Adam's brother eventually became an addict and died of an overdose. "What did that make Adam?" Kristina speculates. "Watching his dad choose the monster, seeing his brother lie down for the demon, how could he want to party, too?" (I Went Straight for the Phone.6).

We don't have an answer to that question, except that the absence of his father and brother drove him to the very thing that destroyed them both. Perhaps, like Kristina, he's trying to escape an empty feeling deep inside him. No matter the reason, though, he leads Kristina down the same path as well. Thanks for nothing, summer love.

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