Just as it's certain that the sun will come up tomorrow morning, it's pretty much a given that teenagers are going to lie to their parents (not to mention a lot of other people). This is especially true if you're a teenager living life as a good girl by day and a drug dealer by night. Throughout Crank, we see Kristina lie to pretty much everyone she knows, including the cops, who aren't buying it. And the more her web of lies grows, the harder and more uncomfortable it is for her to keep everything in check.
Kristina's decision to become Bree is the main cause of her drug addiction.
Kristina's mother is partially responsible for Kristina's situation due to her decision to lie to herself about the changes in her daughter.
Crank, toot, the white stuff, glass, the monster—how many names can a drug have? When you're imprisoned by addiction, it doesn't seem to matter what meth's called as long as you get your hands on it. Kristina may begin the story as a straight-A student and all around Miss Perfect, but it takes only one hit of meth to change all of that. If there's one thing Crank really drives home it's that desire for drugs can drive a person's action and completely alter their character. In Kristina's case, we also see how far someone can fall before realizing addiction has an iron grip on their lives.
Being away from her family's high standards and in the midst of her dad's shady lifestyle opens the door for Kristina to rebel by experimenting with drugs.
Once Kristina's on the road to addiction, there's nothing anybody could possibly due to make her stop—not even being pregnant keeps her clean.
There's a lot to learn from Kristina's story, but one thing Hopkins definitely want you to take away from reading Crank is that doing drugs is stupid. It can eat your brain alive and make quitting next to impossible, but it can also lead to a lot of external actions that can be just as dangerous. Kristina's relationship with the monster puts her in situations that can be really bad news, and while she seems to recognize that the things she's doing aren't exactly a good idea, that knowledge doesn't keep her from acting ridiculous and endangering herself and others.
Kristina may try drugs in an effort to liberate herself from her mom and stepdad's rigid expectations, but she quickly loses sight of this reason and becomes all about getting high for its own sake.
In the end, thile Kristina may recognize the foolishness of her addiction, she's not entirely ready to completely give it up.
Where there're drugs, there's lowered inhibitions, and where inhibitions are lowered, there's probably going to be sex. In Kristina's case in Crank, things get a little out of control when her connection to the monster leads her to three different guys, all of whom have different ideas about what a relationship means and how sex functions within it.
While she begins the story not interested in relationships at all, Kristina's encounter with crank quickly introduces her to sexual activity as well, changing her life forever. Throughout the book, sex is not exactly synonymous with love, often acting as a tool for manipulation, drug acquisition, and even outright violence.
In the context of drug addiction, sex becomes a tool for power and control.
Chase cares about Kristina's wellbeing even if he has some strange ways of showing it.
To say that Kristina makes some bad decisions over the course of Crank is kind of an understatement. With one decision to try crank with Adam, she sets in motion a downward spiral of events that nearly destroy her and leave her future completely altered.
But is she really making a continuous stream of bad decisions? Or has the drug changed her ability to think logically and see the situation for what it is? Throughout her story, Kristina gets a bunch of chances to reverse the course of events and turn away from her shady lifestyle, but her desire for the monster seems to overpower her ability to make good choices.
Bree is the vehicle that enables Kristina to behave in ways she otherwise wouldn't. In becoming Bree, Kristina tries to rid herself of responsibility for the decisions she makes.
Kristina's choices are driven by desire, and her desire for crank is more powerful than her desire to change.
At the beginning of Crank, Kristina's your average high school student—quiet, an overachiever, not particularly interested in rocking the boat. Relationships? Forget about it. Breaking the rules? No way.
So how does this innocent kid transform into a drug-using, sexually active delinquent who's a teen mom by the end of her story? In one word (or maybe two, in this case) it's a desire to rebel against her parents' high standards. In another, it's crank. Kristina's crazy journey with the monster takes her relative innocence, chews it up, and spits it out, leaving her disoriented and changed beyond her comprehension.
Kristina's feelings of being out of place when she returns home only fuel her desire for drugs and relationships.
Kristina's innocence proves to be a crucial factor in her downward spiral—once she gets on this ride, she has absolutely no clue how to get off.
Being a teenager commonly brings a time of exploration with it, but when you're seventeen and heavily involved with the crank scene in a city, things tend to get kicked up a notch. While Kristina's obviously aware of the dangers involved with having sex, mixing different types of substances, and getting involved with the drug dealing scene, consequences don't seem to matter in comparison to her desire to live life in the fast lane. Taking risks, no matter how unsafe, becomes a way of life for Kristina as crank takes over her existence. Unfortunately in Crank, exploration comes at a high price.
Drug exploration provides a convenient way for Kristina to avoid exploring her family's troubled past and who she wants to be going forward.
Kristina chooses to ignore the consequences of her actions in favor of getting lost in the fast life of drug use.
Take one aspiring novelist with a selfish streak, toss in an ultra-stern stepfather, mix in a lesbian daughter, a rebellious middle child, an oblivious stepson, and throw them all together in the 1990s, and you definitely don't get the Brady Bunch.
In Crank, Kristina's family is packed with drama—and that's even before her drug use arrives on the scene. These people have severe problems just talking to each other, and as a result, emotions and problems get pushed below the surface rather than dealt with directly. Perhaps if there's anything good that comes from Kristina's problems, it's that it forces her family to talk about her problems a bit, as well as the ones they've gone to great lengths to cover up.
Kristina goes to Albuquerque not out of love for her dad, but as a passive aggressive action against her mom.
Marie doesn't directly address Kristina's apparent problems because it would mean acknowledging her failures as a wife and mother.
You'd be hard pressed to find a teenager who knows exactly who she is, and Kristina is no exception in Crank. With pressures from school, family, and herself assaulting her every day, the questions of what really makes up her identity and whose rules she should play by overwhelm her prior to meeting the monster.
Ultimately, Kristina chooses the rulebook of Bree, her rebellious alter ego who gives her the confidence and recklessness needed to abandon her good-girl way of life. Bree may redefine Kristina's persona, but the move to become another person probably has a lot of sources that cause her to take over.
While a painful experience, Kristina's drug addiction ultimately helps her to face issues in her life that have harmed her sense of identity.
Bree is a product of Kristina's anger and frustration toward her family's fragmented situation.
Kristina's drug use looms so large in <em>Crank</em> that we almost forget about another major problem that shapes her character: She's a neglected child. Abandoned by her father and pushed aside by her mom at the start of her second marriage, there's been a serious dearth of dependable adults in this girl's life. Things are just made worse by the fact that when the adults in her life are present, they're more concerned about meeting their own needs than caring about what's going on in her life. Girl has a gaping emotional hole—it's no wonder she tries to fill it.
Kristina and her dad have mutually unrealistic views of each other that play a major role in setting the book's events in motion.
Kristina's distance causes Marie to feel remorse and acknowledge her neglect of her daughter.