Author: Ellen Hopkins
Series: Crank #3
Genre: YA Verse, Social & Family Issues
Publication Date: September 14, 2010
Goodreads Synopsis: Hunter. Autumn. Summer.
Different homes. Different guardians. Different last names.
But there is one person who binds them together.
Nineteen years after Kristina Snow met the monster—crank—her children are reeling from the consequences of her decisions. Instead of one big, happy family, they are a desperate tangle of scattered lives united by anger, doubt, and fear.
A predisposition to addiction and a sense of emptiness where a mother’s love should be leads all three down the road of their mother’s notorious legacy. Sex, drugs, alcohol, abuse—there is more of Kristina in her children than they would ever like to believe. But when the thread that ties them together brings them face-to-face, they’ll discover something powerful in each other and in themselves—the trust, the hope, the courage to begin to break the cycle.
Fallout is bestselling author Ellen Hopkin’s riveting conclusion to her trilogy begun by Crank and Glass. It is a revelation and a testament to the harsh reality that addiction is never just one person’s problem.
Disclaimer: This post may contain spoilers to the first two books of the Crank series.
When I found Fallout at my local library’s book sale, I bought it. I have loved Ellen Hopkins writing since I first read Crank. As I’ve mentioned in my post of Skyscraping by Cordelia Jensen and The You I’ve Never Known by Ellen Hopkins, I love verse books. The quick and to the point writing has always been my favorite.
Fallout looks at how addiction affects the people around you, especially your children. It follows Kristina’s three oldest children Hunter, Autumn, and Summer. Here they go through their lives with the aftermath of Kristina’s actions. This book is eye-opening and heartbreaking about how addiction shapes the lives of these now teenagers.
Before reading this book, I suggest reading the Author’s Note located in the back of the book. It provides a good insight into the real-life scenario this book is based on.
Things I Like:
Depiction of Addiction
This book has a strong depiction of the effects of addiction on friends and family. Whether it’s mother and children or children and friends. Everyone is hurt by addiction and changes the way that people run their lives. Ellen Hopkins uses verses (poetry) as a strong and effective way to drive home the feeling of the characters she writes.
Focusing on Kristina’s three oldest children, the characters Hunter, Autumn, and Summer all face life differently. Now that they are older they are starting to see how their mom’s meth addiction has shaped their lives. This insight into how Hunter, Autumn, and Summer are affected is powerful. They all have lived a life mostly away from their mother, but her actions still haunt who they are as individuals. Each one of them follows a different path in light of learning more about their mother. They all have unique views of the world and addiction, and it really stands out to me.
Things I Don’t Like:
Being that Fallout is based mostly on the true events of Ellen Hopkins own life, some of the scenes are a bit awkward. This is why I suggest reading the Author’s Note before reading this one. There are many sex scenes in this one and for a grandmother to be writing this about her own grandchildren freaked me out. But the Author’s Note clearly states she greatly increased the characters ages, so the scenarios the characters face are completely fictional.
I’ve read almost all of Ellen Hopkins young adult works. And some repetition is perfectly fine. As a writer, there are certain scenarios that I gravitate towards as well. However, without spoiling anything, a certain scene at the end of this book is identical to one from another book. They had different endings, but it’s because of the extreme nature of the scene it was highly rememberable. Honestly, I can’t remember the exact book that it was because I read it many years ago, but if you’ve read it before this one, then you’ll know what I’m talking about.
Overall, Fallout is a good read that looks at addiction through family member’s eyes. It shows how people outside of the person addicted are affected in a realistic manner. The characters all bring a unique thought process to the story. Each showing how their upbringing along with a mother’s addiction affects their life and the choices they make. Because this is based on a true story, some of the situations felt very awkward to read. Also, some scenes seemed repetitive from other works by Ellen Hopkins. I think Fallout is a needed closure for the Crank series, although some aspects do fall flat. I give Fallout…
Have you read this book? What did you think? Do you think it’s important to have books that talk about the effects of addiction? Let me know in the comments below!
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