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FALLOUT by Ellen Hopkins

FALLOUT

By Ellen Hopkins

Age Range: 14 & up

Pub Date: Sept. 14th, 2010
ISBN: 978-1-4169-5009-7
Publisher: McElderry

Crank (2004) and Glass (2007) readers will relish this look at Kristina’s three oldest children, now teenagers, all conceived in the chaos of crystal-meth addiction. Hunter, 19, lives with Kristina’s parents, who adopted him years ago; Autumn, 17, lives with an aunt, ignorant of any extended family; Summer, 15, bounces between her father’s trailer and unsafe foster homes. Their legacy is not only drug addiction but also the underlying malaise—half unhappiness, half boredom—that set up Kristina for addiction years ago. Parched for connection and excitement, these teens turn to love and sex, and sometimes booze and drugs, because their lives offer no other interests (though a convergence at their grandparents’ house offers a faint whiff of hope). The clipped free verse sharply conveys fragmented and dissociated emotions. Autumn and Summer are completely believable characters, Hunter less so. This loosely reality-based conclusion (Hopkins’s daughter is the real “Kristina,” but her actual kids are much younger) will heartily satisfy series fans despite gratuitous emphasis on the bestseller-driven fame of the author’s fictionalized alter ego. (author’s note) (Fiction. YA)