Study Guide

Crank Plot Analysis

By Ellen Hopkins

Plot Analysis

Exposition

"She's a Good Girl"

Kristina Snow is the apple of her mother's eye, a gifted, talented honors student with a limitless future ahead of her. Still, Kristina can't help being dissatisfied with the pressure of her stepfather's high expectations and the fact that her mom's more interested in her midlife crisis than her family. She welcomes a break from normality as she heads to Albuquerque to visit her estranged father. 

Rising Action

Meeting the monster

During her visit to see dear old Dad, Kristina's life changes forever when her summer boyfriend, Adam, introduces her to crystal meth. While she's only in town for a few weeks, that's plenty of time for the drug, as well as her desire for a more adventurous and wild life, to take hold. When she returns home, she struggles to balance her newfound "enlightenment" with her continued struggles with her mom and stepfather.

Climax

An Untimely Surprise

Deep in the midst of her new life as a drug user and dealer, Kristina learns that she's pregnant. This is bad enough on its own—she's only in high school, remember, and a meth addict—but what really makes it a crisis is that the father is not her boyfriend, Chase, but Brendan, the lifeguard who raped her during a drug transaction. Faced with this news, Kristina must decide whether to have an abortion or keep her child and raise him.

Falling Action

The Positives and Negatives of Pregnancy

In the aftermath of her choice to keep her baby, Kristina gives us a rundown of the highlights and lowlights of the months leading up to her son's birth. She experiences the joy and wonder of feeling the baby grow, but also the fear and uncertainty of how her addiction will affect his development and future.

Resolution

"I'm Digging My Way to Something Better"

As we leave Kristina's story, she shares that although she loves her son, being mother to a child impacted by drug addiction isn't easy. Because of her relationship with crank, the baby doesn't sleep well and cries more frequently than babies should. While she's largely clean these days, she still experiences intense urges to return to the drug.

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