Ashleigh Paige

I'm a full-time college sophomore pursuing my B.A. in English with hopes of one day working as an editor. Cats, musicals, documentaries about cults/disasters/tragedies, and curse words are just a few of my favorite things. Also, check out our blog or I WILL FIND YOU.

Fallout

Fallout - Ellen Hopkins Also appears on The Screaming Nitpicker.Taking place about nineteen years after the conclusion of Glass, Fallout picks the story back up in the eyes of three of her children: Hunter, still living in Reno with his grandparents and longing to know who his father is; Autumn, an OCD-inflicted teen living in Texas with her father's family and knowing nothing of her mother or that side of the family; and Summer, a girl torn between two boys and living in the foster care system in California. All three long for love and are tied together by one person: Kristina Snow. Her children are more like her than they would prefer and as this novel shows you, addiction destroys more people than just the addict.This time around, we leave Kristina's point of view and are spread between three narrators, all children of hers by different men. Just as all of Hopkins's books are, Fallout is written in free-verse poetry that range from simple to purposeful, some arrangements revealing the inner thoughts of the section's narrator and some making shapes relevant to the passage. Part of what makes Hopkins's books so powerful is this free verse she uses. If put in plain prose like in most books, their power would certainly take a beating, though there would still be power coming from what's being written.All three of our narrators--angry Hunter, OCD Autumn, and cynical Summer--are rather unlikable, but my favorite of the three is definitely Autumn. There was just something so vulnerable about her, probably coming from being a loner and not knowing many people beyond her grandfather and aunt, that made me like her. Some of what she said and did later in the book kind of made me lose some of that fondness, but she's only human. Summer was the most interesting of the narrators due to her cynicism and trip through the foster care system. Hunter? Well, I didn't like Hunter that much or have much to say about him. He's a pretty big sleaze.The narration had a habit of changing to the next child just when it got interesting for one of them and that became frustrating quickly. All this switching made the pacing slow to a crawl at points. However, all this changing does give them all their time in the spotlight and show just how similar all three are to Kristina. As for Kristina herself, she's still a mess and still into crystal meth, but it isn't as bad as it once was. If it were, there's no way she would come near any of her family. Twenty years of drugs and jail have changed her and she's not completely the Kristina readers may know, but it is her. Curious about some of the minor characters, like Trey's cousin Brad and Brad's daughters LaTreya and Devon from Glass or Kristina's ex Chase? Thanks to newspaper clippings between chapters, you'll find out.While I liked the ending of Fallout, I wish that it didn't end with the group realization at the Christmas dinner and the fake news article. We just saw three siblings who barely knew each other finally coming together and seeing their mother again. The article tells us all of the children now live in the same house. Couldn't it be extended a little to show us how the siblings interact together? We only saw their introduction to each other and then it was over. We never got a handle on how they felt about one another. I think this small extension really would have made this book shine.If you haven't already picked up these books, do it. Read them and be horrified. Have a problem reading about drug addicts or drugs in general? Me too, surprisingly. Getting around that discomfort to read the Crank trilogy will be worth it. It's a bit of a shame that this is the end because there is still so much more to the story, but readers will be able to piece together the future themselves if needed.