Fallout by Ellen Hopkins

Fallout by Ellen Hopkins

This third and final novel in Hopkin’s Crank series brings  the meth-addicted Kristina’s story full circle.  It tells the story of her three eldest children as teenagers: Hunter, Summer and Autumn.  Although they all live separate lives, even being raised in different families, these young adults have all been impacted by their mother’s love affair with the Monster (methamphetamine) and the life path it has led her down.  They are all predisposed to addiction, and deal with anger, trust and self-esteem issues with a variety of levels of success.

From Hunter, age 19 and a college freshman at University of Nevada, Reno:

“I’VE GOT A LITTLE PROBLEM

And I’m not really sure

how to fix it.  Not really sure

I need to.  Not really sure I could.

Life is pretty good.  But once

in awhile, uninvited and

uninitiated, anger invades me.

It starts, a tiny gnaw

at te back of my brain.  Like

a  migraine, except without pain.

They say headaches

blossom, but this isn’t so

much a blooming as a bleeding.

Irritation bleeds into

rage, seethes into fury.

An ulcer, emptying hatred

inside me.  And I don’t

know why.  Life is pretty good.

So, what the hell?”

This was a great story, although very sad at times.  Kristina’s three children that are featured have so many obvious and unexpected issues related to their absent mom and various dads.  The two youngest that she was actually raising herself were no better off as she had basically no parenting skills and was more concerned with herself than her kids.  This book made me realize how so much that parents do affects their children in ways that can never be anticipated.  For me, it brought the story back to where it started, when Kristina was a teen having to make hard decisions about drugs, relationships and family.  Now her own children are having to make these same types of choices.

I would recommend this book to fans of Hopkins, fans of realistic fiction, and readers who like stories told in free verse.

Here’s a pretty good book trailer you can see from home:

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