665 pages, Paperback
Published on September 17, 2010
Summary: Hunter, Autumn, and Summer—three of Kristina Snow’s five children—live in different homes, with different guardians and different last names. They share only a predisposition for addiction and a host of troubled feelings toward the mother who barely knows them, a mother who has been riding with the monster, crank, for twenty years.
Hunter is nineteen, angry, getting by in college with a job at a radio station, a girlfriend he loves in the only way he knows how, and the occasional party. He's struggling to understand why his mother left him, when he unexpectedly meets his rapist father, and things get even more complicated. Autumn lives with her single aunt and alcoholic grandfather. When her aunt gets married, and the only family she’s ever known crumbles, Autumn’s compulsive habits lead her to drink. And the consequences of her decisions suggest that there’s more of Kristina in her than she’d like to believe. Summer doesn’t know about Hunter, Autumn, or their two youngest brothers, Donald and David. To her, family is only abuse at the hands of her father’s girlfriends and a slew of foster parents. Doubt and loneliness overwhelm her, and she, too, teeters on the edge of her mother’s notorious legacy. As each searches for real love and true family, they find themselves pulled toward the one person who links them together—Kristina, Bree, mother, addict. But it is in each other, and in themselves, that they find the trust, the courage, the hope to break the cycle.
Overview: Fallout is the latest novel in the Crank series, and while I've yet to read a Hopkins' novel I didn't really enjoy, Fallout may have been my least favorite. Now, that being said, I really liked Fallout, it simply fell flat compared to the other novels she's put out there. This novel follow Kristina's children's lives as teenagers. This book is written from each of their views, and since none of them live together, the story lines remained pretty much unconnected until the last 50 pages. Hunter, the oldest, is in college with a girlfriend he cheats on and is doing drugs fairly often. Hunter was my favorite character since he seemed the most human and in-depth. He was also the worst character because of the fact that he thinks drugs aren't going to have the effect on him that they did on his mother. Autumn was sweet, but a little too goody-two-shoes for me. She seemed like she blamed herself for her mother's mistakes and her main problem rooted from her attachment to her boyfriend. Summer was a great character because she also felt real and I felt horrible knowing her history and the fact that she couldn't escape the life she'd been thrust in. All in all, Fallout was a good novel, emotional and poignant, and, as always, detailed in a gritty and raw way. My main complaints were that 1) It seemed like Hopkins was combining a bunch of her previous novels and then changing a few tiny details, making it the least original of her works; and 2) I didn't really see that what Kristina's kids were doing that was so terrible that they felt they were just like her. They weren't being the best kids ever by any means, but they weren't nearly as bad as Kristina ever was. The best part of this novel was the writing, and not because it was Hopkins' best prose, but mostly because nothing else in the novel stood out as much. I'd love to do a full review with seperate paragraphs like I usually do, but I'm writing this from my iPhone and it's hard enough to do one paragraph. I'll just leave you with the fact that Fallout definitely isn't one to miss if you've read the Crank novels or are an Ellen Hopkins fan, but it's not her best work.
Cover: Since it's just the title, as are all of her covers, I won't rate it. But it's definitely eye-catching.
Characters: 3 stars
Plot: 3 stars
Writing: 4 stars
Overall rating: 3.5 stars