Fallout: A Book Review



Fallout by Todd Strasser

Summary: What if the bomb had actually been dropped? What if your family was the only one with a shelter? In the summer of 1962, the possibility of nuclear war is all anyone talks about. But Scott’s dad is the only one in the neighborhood who actually prepares for the worst. As the neighbors scoff, he builds a bomb shelter to hold his family and stocks it with just enough supplies to keep the four of them alive for two critical weeks. In the middle of the night in late October, when the unthinkable happens, those same neighbors force their way into the shelter before Scott’s dad can shut the door. With not enough room, not enough food, and not enough air, life inside the shelter is filthy, physically draining, and emotionally fraught. But even worse is the question of what will — and won’t — remain when the door is opened again. Internationally best-selling author Todd Strasser has written his most impressive and personal novel to date, ruthlessly yet sensitively exploring the terrifying what-ifs of one of the most explosive moments in human history.

{kindly taken from Goodreads}

My Thoughts: The true reason I put this book on hold at the library is the cover. I just couldn’t resist the fun design combined with the awesome typography! After reading it, I can’t say it is one of my all-time favorites, but the story was solid, and I can definitely see it appealing to many other readers. It was also set during the 1960’s, which is my favorite time period to read about, so the book couldn’t be all that bad, right?! :)

It’s the summer of 1962, and Scott and his friends are looking forward to the hours of free time they now have because school is out. However, looming over everyone’s heads is the possibility of a nuclear war, and that’s when things get interesting. Nothing happened in reality, but the author, Todd Strasser decided to explore what would happen if the bomb was actually dropped. I think that the whole idea is quite interesting! There are so many effects linked to this possible nuclear bomb, so I love that the author took on a slightly difficult topic to write about. One thing I wish was done {especially since this book is being marked for middle grade} was for it to be made clear that this book is fiction. I think that there’s such a thin line of fact and fiction with some of the details talked about in the story, so some of the younger readers could get confused. However, the book was really well-written. The dialogue felt too simplistic at times, but the actual plot was fast-paced and engaging enough that I finished it in the course of one day!

I didn’t really know what to make of Scott. The way the book was set up was that the chapters alternated between Scott’s time in the bomb shelter and then him reminiscing about recent events. Because of this, I felt like there was a huge disconnect with Scott’s character. It was hard, for me anyways, to notice much growth because it kept flip-flopping back and forth between his times of maturity and immaturity. Thoughts, friends? I don’t think that’s the effect the author was going for, but it felt too “jumpy,” for a lack of a better word.

Despite the lackluster main character, I really liked the different supporting characters. There were a lot of personalities clashing in that bomb shelter! It often reminded me of the story of Anne Frank. Stick a group of people in a small space for a period of time, and things will go crazy.

Overall, Fallout was an interesting read. I’m still not sure if it was my personal cup of tea, but historical fiction fans will hopefully enjoy it!

Pros: Fast-moving plot and good supporting characters.

Cons: The main character had little development, and at times, it was difficult to understand what message the author was trying to convey.

Heads Up: There are some things that could have definitely been dialed down without ruining the story, which is a bit disappointing! Language, sexual scenes, and underage drinking are a few things that I can remember.

Overall: I give it 3 stars {***} and I recommend it for ages 12 and up.

Have a wonderful night!
Bella :)


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