Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry
Release: September 14, 2010
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.
I had always been intrigued by Ellen Hopkins' young adult novels. However I was very intimidated by them as well. My good friend Brenna told me about the poetry in the novels, to be honest I think I said something along the lines of 'Oh God, I hate poetry. I can't see myself picking up these books for fun.' Because when I have ever thought of poetry school textbooks only came to mind.
School and joy reading do not go hand in hand so I couldn't fathom why I would ENJOY reading a book written in verse.
I'm not sure how it happened but close to a year ago today Ellen and I decided that we were going to meet up and have a nice little chat. We always had crossed paths online but never had the chance to hold a conversation with each other.
Sitting in the book store talking I had to offer up the embarrassing confession that I had never picked up one of her novels. To my surprise she wasn't offended and actually asked me if there was a reason. Lets just say I had word vomit happen and declared my hatred for poetry.
Ellen left a copy of CRANK for me that night, I finished it the next day.
Lets just say she made me eat my words about poetry.
A year later I was impatiently awaiting my chance to read FALLOUT.
I knew that the novel was going to be set in the future. To be honest I wasn't sure how Ellen was going to pull that off. I'd seen her talk about it very little online but found the idea fascinating. The novel could have been horrible, however Hopkins pulled it off and it was an amazing ending to a story that has touched everyone who has read it.
I didn't want to see the characters end up like their mother, nor did I want to see every aspect of their life fixed. Because lets be honest, life isn't like that regardless how rich, famous, clean, happy we are there are still issues hidden away in everyones closet.
Ellen delivered a spectacular ending, I think she was fair to all of the characters not everything in their lives were fixed and a few of them still felt like they may have a struggle in the future with an issue or two but that's real life.
Ellen delivered that, a heart felt story about characters that she loved. The story felt real, as real as CRANK and GLASS did which are both based on fact. Even though FALLOUT is based in the future it still felt true to the collection.
On a side note I liked how FALLOUT could be read as a stand alone novel, you didn't need the back story of CRANK and GLASS to know what was going on--the children of the book filled in everything you needed to know.
One thing that I couldn't help thinking was 'What happens if one of these kids picks up FALLOUT and sees the future that their grandmother has 'built' for them....?' But in that you can find your answer, FALLOUT is one of many possible futures for these children.
I'm sad to see this collection end but find comfort in the fact that maybe one day these characters can get away from the MONSTER and find peace and even more happiness in their own lives.
If you haven't read anything by Ellen yet--what are you waiting for?
Follow Ellen Hopkins on Twitter, visit her website www.ellenhopkins.com and buy FALLOUT here.