Thursday, June 2, 2011

Review - Fallout by Ellen Hopkins

Title: Fallout  
Author: Ellen Hopkins
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books
Release Date: 2010
Pages: 663
Genre: YA, Adult Fiction
Source: Library
Buy the book: Amazon

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)

Kim’s take – Though I didn’t feel this book was as excellent as the first two in the series, I still thought it was really good. And if you’ve read the first two in the series, then this really is a must read to find out how Kristina’s drug addiction has affected her children and family.

The story is told from the views of three of her children. Hunter, Autumn, and Summer each takes turns narrating the stories of their dysfunctional lives.

Hunter, who was Kristina’s first child and was adopted by her parents, has trouble with relationship commitment. He has possibly ruined his relationship with the woman he truly loves because of his inability to remain monogamous. He comes to realize what is actually important in life, and will do whatever he has to in order to get her back.

Autumn has never known her mother and her father has been in prison most of her life. After suffering through a drinking spell at a young age, she begins to think that becoming pregnant will be the answer to her quest for love. Her home life with an aunt and a stern alcoholic grandfather has been less than idyllic. When her father is released from prison, she comes to learn the truth about her mother and embarks on a road trip to her maternal grandparent’s home where her mother is supposed to be for Christmas.

Summer lived with her father and suffered abuse at the hands of his girlfriends and was ultimately placed in foster care. She has been shuffled around frequently and seems to purposely not develop an attachment to anyone or anything because of this. During one of the periods she stays with her father she becomes very attached to a boyfriend and makes plans to run away with him when she is again moved to a foster home. When an accident on their journey curtails their plans, Summer contacts her maternal grandparents for help.
Ultimately, all of Kristina’s children have come together at her parent’s home at Christmas time. Some were unaware that they had any other half-siblings.

News articles are interspersed throughout the book regarding the family. And I was pretty surprised by the ending of the story. Though the book is loosely based on the author’s daughter, it made me wonder if the ending of the book was sadly based more on reality than fiction.

This was a very good book but I would recommend reading the first two before this one. Though some of the full story is covered in this book, I think the information from the first two makes this book better and more understandable when considering how the kids feel about their mother. Another good one from Ellen Hopkins.

Kim’s Rating –


  1. Hey Missy! I talk to you a lot of twitter and I thought I was following your blog! Any who, I remedy that problem. I have the Ellen Hopkin's books that a friend bought me. I need to get into them! Thanks for the review!

  2. Thanks so much, Missy. Appreciate the review. The ending was pretty much fiction, informed by the facts as I know them now.

  3. Great review!! I haven't read the series yet, but it sounds really good. I totally need to check it out! Thanks for sharing!

  4. This one is almost at the top of my pile. Thanks for the review-- you really made me want to get going on it.

  5. I read Crank, I have Glass on my tbr pile hoping to get to it soon. Great review, I'm looking forward to seeing how the story ends.

  6. I'm always inspired to add books to my list when I stop by your blog. :) Thanks for getting me to add 3 more books to my to be read and reviewed list!

  7. I loved this book, it really illustrates main points of the other two books crank and glass. I loved how you got to see the individual lives of her children,an how crank effected their lives and relationships. Great book you should totally read it!