Aug 23, 2010

Fallout by Ellen Hopkins

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!

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