83 pages 2 hours read

Ellen Hopkins


Fiction | Novel/Book in Verse | YA | Published in 2004

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The Complex Nature of Addiction

Content Warning: This section of the guide discusses drug use and substance use disorder, which feature in the source text.

Addiction touches many lives in this novel, not only Kristina’s. Adam’s mother tells her that Adam’s older brother, Michael, died of an overdose of speed, another name for meth. Adam’s father was also addicted to meth. Kristina doesn’t understand why Adam consumes meth when it has led to so much family tragedy: “Watching his dad choose / the monster, / seeing his / brother lie down for the demon, / how could he want to party too?” (205). The irony of her statement is not lost on Kristina. Moments later, she applies the same yardstick to herself: “Knowing all these things…what did that make me?” (206). Kristina, like Adam, has witnessed the harm meth and other drugs can wreak. Her father, addicted to drugs, lives a lonely life and makes questionable choices, such as consuming meth alongside Kristina and Adam. Lynx, Adam’s girlfriend, jumps or falls off a balcony under the influence of meth, almost losing her life. Kristina knows from firsthand experience that meth is dangerous, but the nature of addiction is such that it overpowers any qualms she may have.