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Fallout

Raw, honest, and compelling look at the impact of addiction.

What parents need to know

Educational value

Teen fans who haven't read Hopkins' other books may want to check out the whole series, or her other work. Parents and teachers may want to use this book to discuss addiction. They also might want to talk about the book's verse format -- or about the amount of gritty content in this book.

Positive messages

Teen readers will see the impact that Kristina's addiction had on her family, especially her three oldest kids. They struggle with all kinds of issues, from their own addictions to problems ranging from OCD to anger management.

Positive role models

The grandmother is a constant source of support and stability. The teen protagonists often make poor choices, but they're trying hard to make lives for themselves.

Violence

Hunter is the product of a rape; Autumn was abused as a little child and reports that her grandfather's discipline sometimes leaves bruises. Summer lived in abusive foster homes and thinks her new foster father has a "thirst." There's an attempted rape and a severe car crash.

Sex

Intense sex scenes are described; also talk of measurements and periods, and one teen gets pregnant on purpose.

Language

Lots: "f---kup," "prick"  "bitch," "bastard," etc.

Consumerism
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Teens drink and do drugs, but it's not portrayed as glamorous. The three protagonists are the children of a meth addict and face their own struggles against addiction.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this is an intense novel about three young adults who were born to a meth-addicted mother; it's the third book in a series of free-verse installments that also includes Crank and Glass. Expect lots of intense material, including graphic depictions of sex, talk about abusive homes, and strong language throughout. Because it's told in poetry, teens can get through the story quickly -- though the weighty material will stay with them long after they finish. Teen readers will see the impact that Kristina's addiction had on her family, especially her three oldest kids. They struggle with all kinds of issues, from their own addictions to problems ranging from OCD to anger management.

What's the story?

In FALLOUT, three teens -- whose mother was a meth addict before they were born and remains one today -- tell how her addiction has impacted their lives. None of the teens were raised by their mother, but all struggle with her legacy -- as well as problems of an unstable life, including abusive homes, psychological issues, and their own addictions. The story is told in free verse and is the final book in a series of three.

Is it any good?

QUALITY

This is a raw, honest book that gives teens a pretty insightful look into what it's like to grow up as the child of a drug addict. Readers who haven't read the first two installments might not have quite the same emotional investment in this family (and they may be confused by news clippings that feature characters from those books), but they'll still be moved by the protagonists' struggles to control their own lives. They will also be saddened by how few options are open to them, and what bad choices they often make.

The free verse makes this an easy read -- teens will be surprised at how quickly they make it through 600+ pages -- but readers will be digesting the intense material for a long time to come. 

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about something the author wrote in her blog: '"Pretending there is no ugliness is unfair to young people who, like it or not, are confronted with it every day. Equipping them to face it, and face it down, is vital." What do you think of this statement?

  • What do you think of the author's choice to write this book in poetry? How would it have been different if it were written as a narrative? Did the poetry give it any additional power?

Book details

Author:Ellen Hopkins
Genre:Coming of Age
Book type:Fiction
Publisher:Simon & Schuster
Publication date:September 14, 2010
Number of pages:665
Publisher's recommended age(s):14

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Teen, 16 years old Written bySherri_2014 September 26, 2011

Best Drug Book, I Made My Teenage Daughter Read It

I think this book is extreamly educational and great for any kids in high school or about to be going into high school. It shows how drugs really tear people and thier families apart. Its not one of those MTV Shows like teen mom that glorifys bad things. It shows how it reallly is.
What other families should know
Educational value
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Teen, 16 years old Written bykennedireader1 February 26, 2011
i love this book its the best I've ever read in a long time
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Great messages
Parent of a 17 year old Written bysade18 February 2, 2011
thaa shizz;)
What other families should know
Educational value
Great messages