Monday, September 13, 2010

Fallout, by Ellen Hopkins

Fallout Told in the three alternating voices of the children of meth addict Kristina, this is the story of what drug abuse can do to a family.  Tales of abuse, foster care, mental illness, and never really knowing a mother's love permeate all three teenagers stories.  We hear from Hunter, the oldest, as well as Autumn, and Summer.  Their stories are told in unison, with some similarities, and a stunning triple climax.

This book was the third in a series, being the follow up to Crank and Glass, but I had never read either of those books.  You can bet I will be going back and reading them now, as well as other books by Hopkins.  This book was stunning.  Told in verse form, though not for the purpose of beautiful poetry, this book speaks of the victims drug abuse claims beyond just the users.  You can not help but just ache for these kids, because, while they are characters in a book, these stories are all too real.  I have known too many children like this, whose lives are ripped apart by drugs.

I do wish I had read the series in order, because it was very hard to me to feel any empathy for Kristina, the mother.  The first two books in the series are her story, in her voice, and I think had I read them, I would have felt more empathic, and some parts of the book may have made more sense, but still, the impact was so powerful.  Be advised, this book is dark and raw.  That being said, as a young adult book, I still think it appropriate for high school aged readers, and I would encourage parents to read this book with their teenagers and discuss it.  It is brutally honest, and oftentimes ugly, but so if life.  I loved this book a lot, and can not wait to read more from Ellen Hopkins.

A traveling review copy of this book was provided courtesy of Traveling ARC Tours.