Tuesday, February 7, 2012


Hopkins, Ellen. Fallout. New York: Margaret K. McElderry Books, 2010. Print.

My Thoughts
This is the final book of the Kristina Snow trilogy. I had to read it and find out what happened. Hopkins continues the story from the viewpoint of Kristina's three oldest children. Hunter, who is now 19, begins the story. We learn of two girls, Autumn and Summer and then of two more boys. So, Kristina has five children from four different men. She never takes responsibility for her life.

Autumn is the baby she had with Trey. Thankfully, Aunt Cora, at age 17, took Kristina's responsibility and raised Autumn. Autumn lives in Texas and never knew she had a family in Nevada. Once Aunt Cora gets married, Trey returns to the scene and takes Autumn to meet the Snow side of her family. It is one memorable Christmas drive. Trey is going to rekindle something with Kristina. Autumn is going to meet her family for the first time.

Summer is a child that resulted as a night spent with one of Trey's friends. Summer has spent most of her life in foster care because her dad can't stay out of trouble, and of course, Kristina can't either. Summer reminded me of Kristina when we first met her--"good" student/AP classes. I figured Summer's life would take one of two turns. She would either follow her mom's lifestyle or do something different to spite her mom. Well, her life path actually turned into a hybrid of these paths. Summer runs away with her boyfriend (also a junkie) Kyle. On their road trip to teenager freedom, a Hummer forces them off the road. They are rescued but must have a reason for their trip. Ah...going to see Grandma.

We don't see much of the two youngest boys' story except to learn that they are holy terrors! Thank goodness that Kristina's mom, once again, is helping.

I am glad that I read this trilogy and only had to ride vicariously the roller coaster that mirrors Hopkins' real life drama. Hopkins explains, "while these books are rooted in our real life, they are to a large degree fiction" (Hopkins 665). To be as real as these books seem, I would say that she knows what she's writing about!

Friday, February 3, 2012

In the Garden of the Beasts

Larson, Erik. In the Garden of the Beasts.

My Thoughts

Even though this was a non-fiction book, it read like a novel. We follow William Dodd's appointment as Ambassador in Berlin and learn of how Germany was changing as Hitler gained more power in the government.

Dodd tried to warn the U.S. Government, but the warnings fell on deaf ears. I wondered how history would have changed (if at all), had the United States done something. I'm not sure what they should have or could have done, but when repeatedly warned about the conditions of life, it seems plausible (of course, looking back this is easy to say), that something could have be done.

Dodd's daughter Martha was quite a character, and I wondered how my perception of women differs from the actuality of Martha's life. She goes with her father for adventure. She is naive and thinks what is happening in Germany is for the greater good. It's not until a certain weekend that Martha begins to question her belief in this new Germany.

The author does a good job giving us the history of Germany. I have a better understanding of Hitler, the Gestapo, and the "real" Germany during this time. I enjoyed reading this book.