32 of 34 people found the following review helpful
Nineteen years after the conclusion of Glass and four children later, Kristina Snow is still a slave to the monster that irrevocably altered her life the summer she visited her father. Only now, it's her children's turn to tell the story. Alternating between the point of view of Kristina's three oldest, Hunter, Autumn, and Summer, Fallout chronicles their very different lives and the ways that Kristina's decisions have affected them, and how, even though they barely know each other, they each struggle with the very same issues of addiction, anger, depression, and disappointment in a parent who can never be the person they want her to be.
Fallout is a powerful book and an entirely fitting conclusion to Ellen Hopkins' trilogy that started with Crank, based on her own daughter's struggles with addiction. Flashing forward nineteen years into the future may have been a little unexpected, but it is the perfect way to demonstrate to readers the prolonged and far-reaching effects of addiction and bad decisions. Hopkins does an excellent job at steadily building up the story thorough her inventive and diverse poems, she creates a good amount of suspense by switching back and forth between Hunter, Autumn, and Summer, and it's not hard to draw parallels between mother and children.
Hunter's story is engaging as he is one of the closest connections to the first two books, and he fills in a lot of gaps of missing information, allowing readers to piece together what has happened since his birth for themselves. Autumn, who is oblivious to her mother's identity and hardly knows anything about her parents, is a fascinating character and her struggles and desire to know where she comes from is emotional and even a little turbulent as she reaches out for human connection in any form. Readers will see a lot of Kristina in Summer, but Summer is also determined not be her mother, despite her mistakes that will try to lead her in that direction. She and her siblings, unlike their mother, have the consequences of bad choices and mistakes laid out before them, and live them every day, but yet they still grapple with temptation and each faces moments when they must make decisions that will dramatically alter their futures.
There is plenty of great emotional depth throughout the book, but power of this final installment lies in the moment when Hunter, Autumn, and Summer look at Kristina and are unable to understand her, yet can't help from seeing a part of themselves in her. This is an impacting and perfect conclusion to such a weighty and commanding trilogy, full of unexpected discoveries and mistakes, but also love, hope, and perhaps, redemption.
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on June 5, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition
This is a mostly satisfactory conclusion to the trilogy that rocketed Ellen Hopkins to the heights of literary fame. In it, we see the long-term consequences of Kristina's decisions: children. Dysfunctional children with dysfunctional families.
"FALLOUT"'s problems have more to do with the author's decisions than her storytelling. She is constantly making references to her literary success and playing them up against Kristina's failures as a person, which came across as harsh and narcissistic in equal measures. In the last two books, events were based only loosely on reality. This time, I felt like there was more of Ellen Hopkins in the story than Hunter, Summer, or Autumn. Marie Haskins is painted as the perfect mother figure (beautiful, successful, struggling oh-so-hard to come to terms with her sorrowful life) and talked about quite a lot, whereas Kristina is transformed into the villan. She is now the family slut who can't do anything but self-destruct, which is more than a little irritating to see. For someone who claims to have learned a lot about the pain and complex nature of addiction through her writing, Hopkins isn't too sympathetic here. Depictions of our anti-heroine, with whom the reader could once identify, as a mindless burden to her family are reoccurring, as are phrases like "Kristina ought to be here for her children"--despite the fact that it is unanimously agreed that Kristina is an unfit mother. Hunter's easy forgiveness of Brendan on the other hand was outrageous. Somehow he was able to find kinship with his father (who, as we all know, raped Kristina while they were high) but couldn't bring himself to find the same sort of compassion for his mother.
There's also a fair amount of preaching. More than in her previous stories. It isn't outright, but it's there. I loved "CRANK" because it was never disparaging in spite of the purpose for its inception, and Hopkins never got too personal with what was meant to be fictitious. "FALLOUT" definitely creeps into "GO ASK ALICE" territory. I couldn't help but roll my eyes every time someone brought up 'the monster' and how thoroughly it trashes people's lives. The readers have stuck it out this long. I think it's safe to say we know how damaging crystal meth can be. Another thing that bothered me was how many times Mexican drug cartels were mentioned in reference to drugs (the bust involving said cartels and marijuana? really? please.)--along with the prevalence of the drug itself. What are the odds that each character knows at least three people with close ties to meth? It is without a doubt a highly popular substance in this part of the country, but its unfaltering presence in the story was almost ridiculous. You'd think no other drug existed in Kristina's universe. I'm surprised not EVERYONE is a tweaker!
And as with a few of her other novels, the romantic angles in this one were awkwardly drawn. There's just something about Hopkins's characters that has them falling in love all over the place at the drop of a hat. But of course, with the girls, none of them are very proactive in the relationship. Hopkins seems to be a fan of having her protagonists talk about how nice it is that their boyfriends don't pressure them into having sex, something which they rarely have experience with. It would be nice to have a girl comfortable with her sexuality or an inexperienced, reluctant boyfriend. In this story, however, the only autonomous women were periphery characters like Leah, who only served to further the plot by ruining others' relationships. Hunter, on the other hand, is constantly thinking about sex and makes no secret of his lust.
While we're on the subject of Hunter, I have to say how not unimpressed I was with the way he's drawn. Kristina's eldest son is the stereotypical "guy": aggressive, sexual, and highly superficial. These traits wouldn't be a bad thing if they weren't so common in this author's work, which is an unusual road for someone so fond of contemporary views and controversial subject matter to take. But I'm beginning to see that Ellen Hopkins writes stock characters more often than not, disguising the fact with complicated pasts and an angst-filled present. While they all have unique histories, their actions are very uniform, with similarities according to their gender. For example, a common element: as soon as the story starts, the girl (who's never been very popular and doesn't think of herself as particularly pretty) instantly attracts the attention of a boy who make it a point to tell her how beautiful she is. This happened with Kristina, Pattyn (of "BURNED"), Vanessa ("IMPULSE"), and Autumn. But whereas his siblings were slightly more accessible as characters, Hunter's actions made no sense. Aside from his puzzling reaction to Brendan and judgement towards Kristina, his treatment of Nikki was downright poor. There was nothing self-aware about the way his hypocritical behavior was written; unlike Summer, whose reactive cynicism clearly had a point, Hunter was just a jerk I felt the author wanted us to feel sorry for.
As far as quality goes, the verse faltered in places and the writing became stiff. I got the feeling that Hopkins was trying too hard for the abstract, wanting to sound intelligent where brevity and simplicity would've done fine. There wasn't much rhyme or reason to her structure this time, either.
Overall I have to give this one a three. This installment was a fun ride at first, but I found myself agitated with its progression and had to skip through sections (particularly Hunter's) because I was so frustrated with the reasoning and degeneration of character. In some novels, having unlikable characters is an intentional decision. Here, this didn't seem to be the case. Here it was a side-effect of poor development. I can forgive purposeful stupidity on characters' part when stupidity is the point. But as a follow-up to "CRANK" and "GLASS", as something that was meant to tie up loose ends and function in a straightforward manner, I was disappointed. This is no longer the story of Kristina, but of Ellen Hopkins. I'm starting to wonder if fame isn't going to this author's head.
20 of 24 people found the following review helpful
on September 14, 2010
I don't know how to put into words what I feel about these books. They are so powerful that I know I just can't do this review the justice it deserves. I stay so emotionally wrecked while reading these books that it takes me a couple days to recover. Fallout was no exception. It had me laughing, crying, and shaking with anger in the span of only a few pages.
In CRANK and GLASS we go through teenage Kristina's dance with "the monster", meth. We see her spiral deeper and deeper into addiction. When reading these two books from Kristina's point of view you just can't help but feel sorry for her, feel like it's not all her fault. But, while reading Fallout, which is from the point of view of her 3 teenagers, we see the fallout of Kristina's addiction of a completely different point of view. I found myself hating that same girl that I once felt sorry for. How dare she keep doing the things she's doing when she has these wonderful children that she should be living her life for?
We learn that her amazing mother has been through so much for her and that she could have gotten help, if she would have just reached out and accepted when it was offered to her time and time again. I don't know how anyone could read these books and even consider trying drugs afterward. Once you see how one person's addiction can spiral out of control and affect so many peoples lives.
These books should be required reading in every high school across the country in my opinion! Don't ban it, celebrate it! I suggest all of my readers who haven't read this series yet run out and buy it right now!!! What are you waiting for?
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on November 23, 2010
Format: Kindle EditionVerified Purchase
Love Ellen Hopkins bold bravery when it comes to revealing the crude reality the average teen faces every day that most people would rather cover up and pretend dosent truely exist.
As for the crank series I fell in love with crank and glass, and began to fall in love with fallout making due with the repetitive spelling errors until midpoint of the book when I began to get the feeling Ellen Hopkins has let the fame get to her head. She gets to carried away restating repetitively how famous her books have made her. I was also disappointed with the ending outcome of the book leaving so many questions unanswered, to the point it felt as if there was no real ending and pages were indeed left out. I hope to see better outcomes in her future books to
come this following year, and hope to see more dedication on behalf of her editors and publicist.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on September 20, 2010
Fallout is the powerful, honest conclusion to Ellen Hopkins' life-changing trilogy that started with Crank and Glass. It's written in Hopkins' usual beautiful poetry, and is of the same high standard as her previous six books. While Crank and Glass focused on Kristina and how drug addiction broke her life, Fallout jumps nineteen years into the future where we meet three of Kristina's children: Hunter, Autumn and Summer. Each of these characters tells their story just as Kristina did, with as much vulnerability as their mother before them.
Hunter, Autumn and Summer don't know each other well at all. They're related, but in the loosest sense of the word. There's no happy Christmas celebrations or quality time for this family; instead they each live separately and stand in the shadow of Kristina's questionable choices. Hunter, Autumn and Summer all see themselves in Kristina, whether it be in the form of anger or addiction.
Autumn is probably the closest resemblance to her mother, thanks to unfolding problems with an alcohol addiction. She knows she doesn't want to end up like that, but current living arrangements don't offer much in the way of an alternative. Summer is oblivious to the fact she has several siblings out there, and is dealing with years of abuse from foster parents and her father's girlfriends. Hunter has girlfriend trouble, abandonment issues and a meeting with his real father for the first time in Fallout, and is finally faced with the man who raped his mother. Hunter is the one constant throughout this trilogy, and his inclusion in Fallout allows parts of Kristina's past to come together for the reader. The last nineteen years are unknown to us, though through newspaper articles and Hunter's recollections, Kristina's story comes full-circle.
Fallout ultimately shows the aftermath of drug addiction, and how it affects a family as a whole. No one person is spared from the worry or hurt that years of substance abuse causes, and more often than not children of an addict can grow up with similar problems to their parents. Fallout says it's okay to move on from that, and that your parents don't define you. Sure, they structure your early life and guide you into adulthood but, at the end of the day, you're your own person. Don't let the past ruin your future -- make a change.
Ellen Hopkins has changed my own personal outlook on drug addiction and those affected by it. She's shown me that anyone can meet the monster, and that their perfect upbringing or straight-A school report has nothing to do with living a clean existence. I've never experienced drug addiction firsthand, but Crank, Glass and Fallout have spoken to me as if I had. They're incredibly emotional and moving reads, though they're not to be taken lightly. Fallout is a poignant end to Kristina's story, leaving you with the knowledge that no-one is perfect and that addictions can be overcome. There's very little in life that can't be fixed, you just have to possess the strength and determination to do it.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on January 27, 2012
The final chapter in one of the most heart wrenching trilogies/series I've ever read. A truly emotional read and I believe a fabulous `ending' although maybe `wrap-up' would be a better description as the story is far from over.
In `Fallout', Ellen Hopkins has switched up the point of view and timeline of the story. Set in the future, Kristina's youngest son Hunter who was just a toddler in last book is now 19. The story is told from Hunter's point of view, as well as Summer and Autumn's: both Kristina's children. By now Kristina has yet to fully get her life back on track and has 5 children all living with other family members or in foster care.
I was a bit skeptical at this change and how well I would enjoy it after reading through Kristina's eyes for the past books, but I was pleased at how well written it was. The multiple POV reminded me very much of Triangles; however, I had difficulty in differentiating between Summer and Autumn for at least the first half of the book.
It was extremely intense `experiencing' the impact Kristina had on each of her children. It was tragic, heartbreaking, and extremely painful to read about. Was it worth it? Yes. Ellen Hopkins has yet to disappoint and I continue to be amazed at how influential and powerful her books are.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on January 28, 2011
Format: HardcoverVerified Purchase
Ellen Hopkins, who needs say more. She is a very talented writer and I believe every teenager should be required to read her books in school. The books are dead serious, slam you in the face, reality check! Best book ever but please read the whole series: Crank, Glass, and Fallout.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on January 28, 2011
Fallout picks up about 18 years after the end of Glass. Kristina is older and has continued her bad habits. So much so that she now has 5 children: Hunter, Autumn, Summer, Donald, and David. This book is told from the alternating point of view of her three oldest children.
Hunter was just an infant when we last saw him, but now he is a 19 year old young man. Raised by Kristina's mother and step-father, he has had a decent life and is currently a radio personality on a local radio station. He's living with his girlfriend and trying to keep his eye on the prize, but he does dabble in weed & other extra-curricular fun. His tumultuous relationship with his birth mother is actual something that gets him into trouble with his girlfriend and alters his future.
Autumn was born of Kristina's relationship with Trey and was given to his father & sister when both of Autumn's parents went to prison. Autumn is a serious teen with OCD & very little social skills. It's always just been her, her aunt, and her grandfather. She's never really branched out much, until Bryce showed up. The new guy in school takes an interest in her like no one else ever has and with her aunt moving on with her life, Autumn will take any kind of attention she can get, at any cost.
Summer was given up by Kristina to the foster system. Having bounced from home to home, she's never really gotten close to anyone. Even her boyfriend Matt is at a distance. All that changes when Matt's best friend confesses his love for her and they start dating. Despite Summer's bouncing from foster home to living with her dad and back into a foster home, they cling to one another. Kyle flirts with the monster, but is determined to keep Summer clean, but when Summer is moved into a foster home far away, this young couple decides to take matters into their own hands.
Three stories, three lives set on their course by their mother's monster addiction.
Fallout is a masterpiece, plain and simple. The format, as always, is poetry and prose, but this time (like in Tricks) it's told in the alternating viewpoints of three individuals. They all have their own tone and their own stories to tell. Each one is unique in that they all had very different experiences as a result of their mother's actions. Their lives are altered by her initial actions. They share feelings of abandonment, resentment, and anger, but each of them focuses more on one of the feelings than the other.
Hunter, Autumn, and Summer, despite their best efforts, all find themselves in a similar situation as Kristina was once in, relating to their own lives. She may not have a significant presence in their existences, but she has certainly laid the foundation for their future behavior. What I really enjoyed reading about was each child's revelation that their mother's life is not their own life. They can be themselves without comparing every action to Kristina's previous actions.
I have to say that I think this is my favorite of her books so far. Burned is a very close second, but it is a definite second. I felt like there was closure with this book and that there is hope for all those involved. A job well done. Enjoy!
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Every day people make bad decisions. Every day people have to deal with the repercussions of someone else's bad choice. So, even if your parents aren't drug addicts, it can be easy to relate to Fallout, because chances are at least once in your life someone has made a decision which affected you, as life does not exist in a vacuum.
Fallout by Ellen Hopkins is the final book of the Crank Trilogy. I thought it was a phenomenal end. In Fallout, the poems are not from the point of view of Kristina, but rather her children. This book is set 20 years after the end of Glass. The story alternates between Hunter, Summer, and Autumn, each child has a different father, but share Kristina as a mother.
I think by having the story be from the point of view of Kristina's children, we get a more complete portrait of Kristina's addiction. This time, we see how the people around her are hurt by her poor choices. I thought the three protagonists were very likable, which made reading about them quite difficult. It is hard seeing someone you care about going through so much pain, especially when it's not their fault.
What I enjoyed was seeing the family dynamics. We see how Hunter interacts with Kristina's mother, who legally adopted him. Autumn has her Aunt Cora and her grandfather. Summer, is a victim of the foster system. I was so heartbroken for Summer, as she had such a troubled past. Her parts absolutely made me tear up. Anyways, we see how the family comes together in Fallout. We see a bit more of Scott (Kristina's stepdad). Scott and Hunter's interactions are fabulous, especially when they talk man to man on the subject of cheating.
If you are looking for a hard hitting book, something that will really make you feel and connect with the human condition, you absolutely need to read the Crank series.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
I'm notorious for not reading blurbs to sequels. What's the point, because you already know you like the series! But sometimes this means I get surprises. Like with Fallout. At first I thought 'WHERE'S KRISTINA!!?' But after thinking about it I realized the genius behind the decision to make the book from Kristina's children's point of view. We all know that Kristina isn't going to get better. Not for a long time. So, Ellen Hopkins takes a big leap with this one and makes it 20 years after Glass. It worked flawlessly.
These books never cease to amaze and horrify me. Since the main voices in this book weren't hopeless drug addicts it wasn't as horrifying. At least not from that angle. In Fallout we get a glimpse of the after effects. We see how Kristina's addiction affects everyone in her life and some people that will never even know her. Hunter, Autumn and Summer's voices come through so loud and clear. They have to deal with so many things, not having a mother, a predisposition to addiction, and all the regular teenage issues.
Hopkins verse is as beautiful as always. This is the third book I have read by her now, and I'm still in awe of her talent. I don't know that I will ever be able to read another authors verse without comparing it to Ellen's. And I have found anyone else that stacks up yet.
Overall, this was a great conclusion to the Crank trilogy. Most everything was wrapped up nicely or as nicely as you can expect from such a heartbreaking story. If you haven't read these books yet, I suggest you do so and soon!