This novel was one of the sickest books I’ve read in a while and I’m glad that I got to be a part of this awesome blog tour!
“American Flowers” follows the lives of two neglected teenagers named Allie and Chris as they try to get themselves out of the mess that they’ve involuntarily fallen into.
From when he was a child, Chris has always been told that he was a mistake and hindered the lives of his parents despite being an A-student and exceptional baseball player. After his mother dies, his father falls into a pit of depression and further neglects Chris by becoming a reclusive alcoholic. Chris turns to a life of drugs and a directionless future. Then, he meets Allie Laughton, a girl who is running from a traumatic past and is just as lost as Chris. Together, they run their lives in to the ground as they get involved with a psychotic ex-convict and drug addict, the police and a dangerous woman with a dark past.
Michael A. McLellan has crafted such a wonderful novel. My heart ached for Chris and it was hard to read about his sad life and inevitable demise but I loved every moment of it. Still, from the description of the novel, I actually thought that this book would’ve headed in a different direction. I thought that once Chris met Allie and heard her story, he’d want to do right by her and be a changed man but instead he drags her down to his level despite the voices around him that warn him to do otherwise. I hung on to every word of the book and tried to predict what kind of ending the author would have for this destructive duo.
At certain parts of this novel I thought that this story was dragging and skipped a couple of pages to get back to the interesting parts. I found that some parts were just unnecessary chatter and didn’t really add to the development of the characters or the story in any way. Still, the secondary characters like Allie’s cousin, Chris’ best friend and Chris’ drug dealer were well-developed and often came across as voices of reason. Regardless of many warnings and advice, Chris and Allie refused to listen to anything anyone told them and continued down the road of destruction.
Besides being a heart-wrenching story about a couple on a road that leads to nowhere, “American Flowers” actually taught me a lot about drug abuse and the effects on the people who use drugs. I was aware of some of the side effects like how it ages you and the feeling of things crawling on you but I learnt new stuff like “the twitching” and what happens when you’ve been using crack for too long.
While this book delved into some dark topics like murder, drug addiction and rape, it’s a great warning for anyone that thinks that they can get involved with drugs and not get hooked.
About the Author
Michael A. McLellan is a self-proclaimed blue-collar writer. His body of work includes the 2014 novel, After and Again, the 2015 novel, American Flowers and the shorts, Joe Price and Anywhere But Here.
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