Tuesday, July 19, 2011
Review: Fall Out
Author: Ellen Hopkins
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 (goodreads.com).
The first book I ever read by Ellen Hopkins was Crank, and while depressing, I was extremely moved by the story itself. I was excited to read Glass when it was released, and couldn't wait to get my hands on Fallout. However, despite my initial enthiusiam, Fallout fell flat for me. I'm not sure if it was the fact that it was told from Kristina's children's view, or if it was the fact that I was burnt out on the entire story line, but I felt that this particular story seemed to drag a lot more than either of the two prior novels.
One thing I did enjoy about Fallout was the way that Hopkins allowed us to see what happened to minor characters we had seen in the first two books through short news clippings and articles scattered throughout the pages of the texts. It did help to wrap up a lot of loose ends that remained at the end of Glass. I also enjoyed Hopkins writing style. Her poems are always delivered in neat designs and often you'll find that there's almost two poems in one. However, I did read this on the Kindle, and I felt that a lot of the power of the set up of the book was lost in e book format. I think from now on I'll be reading Hopkins books the old fashioned way!
My favorite character in this book was Hunter. I think its because I felt the closest connection to him since he was Kristina's first child and we learned so much about him in both Crank and Glass. I had a hard time connecting with both Autumn and Summer. I had a hard time feeling anything towards them. In fact, they both almost got on my nerves, especially towards the end of the story.
This was definitely my least favorite of the trilogy and I'm glad it's the last book in Kristina's story. I'm not really sure how much more of it I can take before I threw a book across the wall, she just makes me that angry!! If you read Crank and Glass, I would definitely say to read Fallout because it gives a lot of closure to the story, but I certianly wasn't awed by it like I have been previously by Hopkins.