February 15, 2012

Fallout by Ellen Hopkins

Fallout is the final volume of the Crank Trilogy. Crank and Glass followed Kristina, a meth addict, as her life spiraled out of control. Fallout takes place about 18 years in the future and is told from the point of view of Kristina’s three oldest children – Hunter, Autumn, and Summer. They all have different fathers and live in different homes.

Hunter, the oldest, is nineteen years old and working at a radio station. He struggles to accept why his mother left him to be raised by his grandparents, and he fights to make his relationship with his girlfriend work despite the mistakes he has made. A chance meeting with his real father complicates Hunter’s life even further. Autumn lives with her alcoholic grandfather and her aunt, who has always taken care of her. When her aunt gets married, she feels like she’s losing her closest family member, and begins to drink in order to drown her feelings and deal with her compulsive habits. Autumn’s drinking leads to some poor decisions, and she has to learn to face the consequences. Summer has moved from one foster home to another after suffering abuse from her father’s girlfriend. She doesn’t even know that she has biological brothers and sisters.

Hunter, Autumn, and Summer are all learning who they are and how their mother’s legacy has affected them. They each face difficult decisions and long to know their true family. This novel in verse is a heartbreaking but fascinating read. The three voices are unique, and they feel very authentic. The stories of Kristina’s children really highlight the pain and suffering that family members of addicts must endure. Thankfully, the ending provides readers with a little bit of hope that these children might break the cycle of addiction. 


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