Thursday, October 28, 2010

Fallout - Ellen Hopkins

Fallout is the third and final book in a series focusing on Kristina aka Bree who is an addict. Fallout is different from the first two, Crank and Glass, have Kristina as a narrator and are set in when she is a teenager just beginning her addiction to the Monster (meth); but Fallout follows her 3 oldest children Hunter, Autumn and Summer about 19 years later.

I really liked getting to hear the kids perspectives about their "mother" and how their lives were affected and shaped because of Kristina's drug use.

Hunter, the oldest at 19, was adopted by his grandparents (Kristina's mom and step-dad) when he was 3 and has been raised mostly by them besides the brief period when he was born and under 2 when Kristina tried to play mom. He is now 19 and in college getting a degree in communication. He has dabbled in drugs but won't touch meth because he has seen what it has done to Kristina, who he has contact with but no relationship. He has a girlfriend but cheats on her and is struggling with who is father is even after all of this time.

Autumn doesn't even know who her mother is. She has been raised by grandpa and her Aunt Cora because her dad Trey has been in and out of prison her whole life. She has OCD and doesn't know how to interact with boys and sleeps with her boyfriend without protection. She starts drinking when her Aunt Cora meets someone and moves out and gets married. Her dad recently out of prison shows up at her aunt's wedding and family secrets start being revealed.

Summer knows her mother and occasionally talks to her on the phone but she lives with her father or when he is jail/prison she is in foster care. Her beginning years were spent with her paternal grandparents and that was the best period of her life until her grandpa died and her grandma couldn't take care of her anymore. Since then she has been abused, bounced around from home to home and despite all of this is really smart. She does get in a relationship with a guy who is controlling and addicted to drugs.

Summer and Hunter both talk about Kristina's other two children, Donald and David who are younger and still live with Kristina. All of the kids have issues and want to know why their mother can't take care of them and help them and be what they want. But it all comes down to meth is addicting and it kills your brain piece by piece and it turns you into someone else entirely. Kristina can't care for them how they want, she can't love them how they want and she won't ever be able to because her emotions and brain have been screwed over by meth for the last 20 years.

I really enjoyed this series and I am sad to see it end. I would really like another follow-up or a little more extra at the end instead of hanging on, hoping all those lives could turn out semi-normal. It also makes me want to know more about the real Kristina, who the book is based on and how her life and that of her children are from her addiction.

Definitely recommend this entire series to anyone. Ellen Hopkins writing is unique and fresh and very relevant to teens today.

I received this book from Around the World Tours. All comments are mine and mine alone.


Jennie said...

I really need to request these from the library so that I read them...they have been on my TBR shelf on GR for a while!

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