This was the book that pretty much started it all for Ellen Hopkins, though it wasn’t the first book of her popular YA books I had read. Since I had to replace Crank again — from the spine breaking with too much use! — I decided to find out what made this story so popular. I ended up falling in love with her no-hold-barred style all over again AND coming to understand how she started writing stories with such gritty topics. I often wonder why an author chooses a particular topic — especially when it is a “tough” topic like drugs or sexual abuse — and it turns out that Ellen Hopkins wrote this book to tell the true story of meth addicts, like her daughter. It is hard enough to read a story and to know that something like that is possible, but to know that the author personally experienced events like these was heartbreaking. I think Ellen Hopkins’ books should be mandatory reading for all teens so they can learn from the mistakes of the characters instead of having to learn firsthand.