I have two reviews for you today! In the past two days I have finished both Hardwired by Meredith Wild and Fallout by Ellen Hopkins. Both books are four star reads for me. They are wildly different in genre and content, but I loved each in their own way.
Let’s begin with Wild’s Hardwired. This book is the first in her Hackers series and what a great first book. I have purchased the remaining books in the series and am ready to dive right in! The push and pull between the two main characters, Erica and Blake, is addictive to say the least. Every time I picked up the book I didn’t want to rejoin reality because I was sucked right into their banter and their growing relationship.
The book begins with Erica, a recent Harvard graduate, trying to get angel funding for her social media website, Clozpin. During this meeting she meets the man that she accidentally stumbled into the previous night, Blake. He is a well-known investor in the Boston area and is a rumored hacker. He passes on helping her fund her business, but he is intrigued by her. Little by little we start to see Blake try to worm his way into Erica’s life. She pushes back, afraid of falling in love, uneasy about relationships due to her past.
As the story progresses we find Erica warming up to Blake. He is more alpha male than she thinks she wants, but she puts him in his place when necessary. She is not afraid to tell him hell no, to shoot him down, or to walk away when she feels the need to. Her strength is what made me love Erica. She wasn’t going to allow herself to be walked all over. She was her own person. And her business was her own. She made concessions and compromises, as did he. In no way was she the only one to compromise and that I can appreciate. Makes it more realistic for me. Well, as realistic as a billionaire romance can be.
This book leaves us with more to come and a slight cliffhanger. Nothing too extreme. I am interested to see where the next book takes us in Erica and Blake’s relationship and to see her business grow. The next book is titled Hardpressed and it is waiting patiently on my Kindle as we speak. This book is geared toward a mature audience so it is for 18+ only. It can be found at your local big box bookstore and possibly your local independent bookstore (I found my hard copy at a local indie bookstore). It can also be found on Amazon.com in hard copy or for Kindle. Enjoy!
Now let’s leave the world of romance and journey into the world of meth addiction with Ellen Hopkins’ final book in her Crank series, Fallout. In the previous two books we followed Kristina and her downward spiral into meth addiction. We saw her experiment, become an addict, become a mother, face prison time, lie, cheat, and steal. Now we get to witness the reality of having a meth addicted birth mother through the eyes of three of Kristina’s five children.
Hunter, Summer, and Autumn are all Kristina’s children. Hunter is in college and has a girlfriend, Nikki. He was adopted by his grandparents when he was little and has grown up in a loving, supportive household. He knows he has siblings out there somewhere, but isn’t entirely sure of where. He struggles with staying faithful to his girlfriend and we see him use drugs (not meth) as an escape. He strongly dislikes his birth mother and doesn’t understand why she doesn’t want to spend time with her children. He frequently says that she is selfish and only cares about herself.
Autumn is Kristina and Trey’s daughter together. She is pregnant with her at the end of the second book in the series, Glass. Autumn has been taken in by her aunt Cora and her paternal grandfather. She is unaware of the fact that she has three bothers and a sister out there. We follow her as she falls in love with the new boy in school and ultimately becomes pregnant (although we never learn how this turns out for her). She suffers from panic attacks and obsessive-compulsive disorder. There is a point in the book where she realizes where her anxiety comes from. It is heartbreaking because she could only have been two or three and yet she remembers visions of cowering in bed while her meth addicted parents fight.
Summer is the third oldest child of Kristina’s and she sees her mother from time to time, but is in foster care for the majority of the book. We learn how being in foster care has disrupted her life and continues to disrupt her life. She does spend a little bit of time living with her dad in-between two placements and this is where she learns that she has a sister named Autumn. She has always wanted a sister. Summer has a meth addicted boyfriend, Kyle. He frequently asks her if she wants some, but she never says yes. She knows what it has done to her family. At one point he tells her he would never let her do it because of the danger it poses. He is a flawed character, no doubt, but it seems like he really does love Summer.
In the end what can these three young adults do but hope? Hope for a better tomorrow. Hope to not turn out like their birth mother. Hope to become more. Hope for love and acceptance. Hope to do better, be better, live better. I believe these kids have a long struggle on their hands, but that they can make it. Meth addiction ends with them. They will do better than their mother.
This book is widely available at local big box bookstores and on Amazon.com. The series is a great series and is based on the author’s personal experience with her daughter.