Thursday, September 1, 2011

Review: Fallout by Ellen Hopkins

Title: Fallout
Author: Ellen Hopkins
Publication date: September 14, 2010

Hunter, Autumn, and Summer—three of Kristina Snow's five children—live in different homes, with different guardians and different last names. They share only a predisposition for addiction and a host of troubled feelings toward the mother who barely knows them, a mother who has been riding with the monster, crank, for twenty years.

Hunter is nineteen, angry, getting by in college with a job at a radio station, a girlfriend he loves in the only way he knows how, and the occasional party. He's struggling to understand why his mother left him, when he unexpectedly meets his rapist father, and things get even more complicated. Autumn lives with her single aunt and alcoholic grandfather. When her aunt gets married, and the only family she's ever known crumbles, Autumn's compulsive habits lead her to drink. And the consequences of her decisions suggest that there's more of Kristina in her than she'd like to believe. Summer doesn't know about Hunter, Autumn, or their two youngest brothers, Donald and David. To her, family is only abuse at the hands of her father's girlfriends and a slew of foster parents. Doubt and loneliness overwhelm her, and she, too, teeters on the edge of her mother's notorious legacy. As each searches for real love and true family, they find themselves pulled toward the one person who links them together—Kristina, Bree, mother, addict. But it is in each other, and in themselves, that they find the trust, the courage, the hope to break the cycle.

Told in three voices and punctuated by news articles chronicling the family's story, FALLOUT is the stunning conclusion to the trilogy begun by CRANK and GLASS, and a testament to the harsh reality that addiction is never just one person's problem.

Fallout is the last book in the Crank and Glass trilogy, and picks up 19 years after Glass left off. It tells the stories of Kristina's three oldest children - Hunter, Autumn, and Summer - now in their teens, as they uncover secrets and stories from their past while dealing with their own issues.

Of the three books in this trilogy, I think this one was the most powerful. I could really see pieces of Kristina in each of the three children as they dealt with their own issues, like Hunter who struggles to be faithful to his girlfriend, Autumn who is filled with questions about the family she's never known and who struggles with an alcohol addiction, and Summer who bounces around foster homes while being exposed to abusive situations.

I had many questions in the beginning about what had happened to Kristina and everyone involved in her life, and as I kept reading, the answers were revealed slowly. It was a bit hard for me to follow three alternating viewpoints at first, but then I got used to it and realized that it was a perfect way to write the last book, as it pretty much ties up everything from the previous ones. Just like all of Hopkins' other books, it's written in the form of stunning poetry with different patterns indicating the feelings of the characters and many hidden messages sprinkled throughout. I'm sad to see the series end, but I definitely recommend Fallout to anyone who has enjoyed the first two books in the series, or even those new to Hopkins' writing, because it is a story that you will definitely never forget once you've read it.

Characters: 9/10
Plot: 10/10
Originality: 10/10
Writing: 10/10
Overall grade: A

Received from Book Divas for review.

1 comment:

Anna said...

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