Study Guide

Crank Innocence

By Ellen Hopkins

Innocence

I didn't have a clue how to kiss. Didn't really want his hands, investigating the hills and valleys of my landscape.

I'd never been touched by a boy. (She Went Inside.3-4)

Kristina's total lack of experience with guys adds a chilling element to her meth-induced decline.. In the space of a few months, she goes from never having been with even one guy to having serious experience with three.

Hard name to live up to.

Not really. It isn't hard to fall from grace. Revisit Genesis. Maybe I'll go with you. Might be fun. (Bree? Who Was She?.4-5)

When a guy tells you his name is Adam, it should probably be a red flag—especially if he's encouraging you to develop the forbidden fruit of bad habits. For more on this, check out the "Characterization" section.

Wildcats mating, snarls at the joining, satisfied roars signaling completion.

I slowed, shifted upward, crept very near, somehow unafraid.

Fascinated. (Through the Keyhole.4-6)

Kristina's dream about the wildcats gives us a neat visual metaphor for how Adam's world gradually lures her. While being among the mating wildcats could be a pretty scary experience, she finds herself drawn to their behavior and strangely curious. In real life, this mirrors her gradual attraction to Adam—and the monster.

I asked Adam to hold me, kiss me longer, harder.

Oh God. I love you.

Begged him to help me remember the taste of love.

How will I live without you?
Pleaded with him not to live without me. Write. Call.

I will. I promise. (But Right Then.1-6)

Kristina may gain some experience in the romance department during her trip, but the fact that she seems to actually think her relationship with Adam will last after she returns home shows that she still has a lot to learn about how relationships function. She may think they can survive the distance between Albuquerque and Reno, but as things turn out, it's pretty impossible.

So why didn't it sound inviting? I was home. Everything was the same, everything exactly as it should be. Everything, that is, except me. (All Thoughts of Bad Habits.5)

Having returned from her dad's house pretty much an entirely different person, Kristina has to go through the eerie adjustment of re-entering her normal environment—and it's harder than she expects. While Kristina herself feels drawn to her old routine, like family summer events, Bree feels out of place and rebellious.

I never went to Albuquerque expecting to find love. I thought it had found me there, followed me home.

I never came home expecting to lose love in the space of one brief telephone call.

Is it always so short-lived? (His Idea of Love.5-7)

Oh, Kristina—welcome to the world of first teenage romances. Maybe love isn't always short-lived, but when you're sixteen, it usually is.

All I did was think about my personal evolution. Where did I belong with my relative innocence gone? Where did I fit? I felt like I had fallen into a critical state of limbo […] I wondered if I should confess that her sweet, intelligent little Kristina did not exist anymore. (GUFN Again.2-7)

Getting grounded (again) puts Kristina in a position where everything she's been through seems to suddenly catch up with her and she realizes exactly how much she's changed. Again, it all comes down to how Bree doesn't belong in Kristina's normal habitat, but having given herself over to Bree, Kristina isn't sure how to be herself anymore.

He shed his shirt and the moon revealed perfect, tanned muscles. He started to unbutton mine, silencing my protest.

Shhh. Don't say no.

"I can't. I mean, I never…" (Brendan Stoked the Fires.4-6)

Chase, and even Adam to an extent, seems to be able to deal with Kristina's relative innocence—but with Brendan, she finds herself severely unmatched. The fact that she's a virgin doesn't matter to him. To Brendan, sex is something that's expected and is non-negotiable. Brendan, for the record, is completely wrong in his understanding.

The very monotony I had disdained cried out to me: I am essential. Without me you will wither. (Day One.5-7)

Kristina may have originally thought the regular routine and pressures of her life were boring, but she realizes when she returns to school exactly how much she needs them. Unfortunately, Bree has left innocent Kristina behind, and school becomes too strange a place for her to function in.

Though the voice of my virginity nagged, the lure of the monster was stronger. Besides, I could always say "no." Couldn't I? (I Could Hardly Wait for Friday.1)

Perhaps the hardest part about this moment is that Kristina shows an inkling of understanding that Brendan might be an unsafe person—but she's too innocent still to trust her gut on this one. She doesn't really believe he'd actually hurt her.

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