Thursday, May 17, 2012

Fallout by Ellen Hopkins

(Crank trilogy, book 3)
Hunter. Autumn. Summer.
Different homes. Different guardians. Different
Last names.
Different lives.
But there is one person who binds them together.

Nineteen years after Kristina Snow met the monster – crank – her children are reeling from the consequences of her decisions. Instead of one big, happy family, they are a desperate tangle of scattered lives united by anger, doubt, and fear.
A predisposition to addiction and a sense of emptiness where a mother’s love should be leads all three down the road of their mother’s notorious legacy. Sex, drugs, alcohol, abuse – there is more of Kristina in her children than they would ever like to believe. But when the thread that ties them together brings them face-to-face, they’ll discover something powerful in each other and in themselves – the trust, the hope, the courage to begin to break the cycle.  
Fallout is the bestselling author Ellen Hopkin’s riveting conclusion to her trilogy begun by Crank and Glass. It is a revelation and a testament to the harsh reality that addiction is never just one person’s problem.

WARNING: This book contains sexual situations, drug abuse, and profanity.

This last book in the Crank trilogy keeps form as it is written in verse, however it is written from the point of view of Kristina’s three children. It goes back and forth between Hunter, Autumn, and Summer as we see the effect Kristina’s meth addiction has on her children. Hunter is Kristina’s first child, and was adopted by her mother in the second book, Glass. He still lives in Reno, hasn’t met his father, and has his own set of issues. He tends to drink heavily, lash out angrily, and cheat on his serious girlfriend, Nikki. Most of Hunter’s story is him trying to do damage control to save his relationship that he has destroyed. Autumn is seventeen-years-old and lives in San Antonio with her sister. She suffers from OCD and panic attacks and frequently uses alcohol to help ease her pain. The youngest, Summer, is fifteen-years-old and has been passed around between multiple foster homes, and suffered sexual abuse. She meets Kyle, a meth user, after her father is arrested for a DUI and she is placed back in foster care. They all meet at Kristina’s mother’s house for Christmas and realize they aren’t all that different, and that they are all living in the wake of Kristina’s decisions.

I won’t lie, this book was a little hard to finish. It was just really hard for me to watch her three children suffer because of Kristina’s addiction. I understand that you have the ability to break the cycle, but like in Summer’s case, being sexually abused by a foster parent and then getting jostled around from house to house makes life incredibly difficult. It scared me a little bit when she started dating Kyle, who just like her mother, was at the mercy of the monster. I felt of all her children, Summer most reminded me of Kristina.

When they all get together at Christmas, Kristina included, it was less than perfect. Her children all made it very clear they had an unrelenting grudge against her for deserting them, and you know what? I sure as heck would to! If my mother abandoned me because she would rather go get high with her boyfriend, I would find it very hard to forgive her. That’s just an emotional void that is hard to fill. Not only that but knowing that Kristina’s addictive personality traits have resonated in her three children is heartbreaking. As I said, there are ways to break the cycle but they all three seem to have turned to some sort of substance abuse as a coping mechanism. It’s just really sad.

This book was a little more promiscuous than the previous two, and the craving for sex from the children was a little disturbing. It seemed as though they didn’t have a lot of restraint. In the end, her children did somewhat manage to realize they all needed help with their moral compasses and throughout the book were generally upset with themselves for their decisions. It’s an intense novel, but overall a good ending to this trilogy. It is classified as a young adult novel; however I would be more cautious to let a young teenager read this book than the previous two. 

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