Monday, April 25, 2016

Book Review & Giveaway: American Flowers Michael A. McLellan

American Flowers
Michael A. McLellan
Genre: Young Adult/New Adult Contemporary Drama/Thriller

Chris was in the second grade. His mom dropped the bowl of Fruit Loops in front of him splashing milk onto the sun-faded, oak table. "You know, I really wanted a baby," she said, poking one of her ever-present cigarettes into the corner of her mouth and lighting it with the Bic that she kept in her bathrobe. She drew in smoke, her cheeks sucking in momentarily while she did. Chris thought she looked like a fish whenever she did that. His dad didn't look like a fish when he smoked. She exhaled; it drifted upward to join the layer of smoke that always seemed to hover just below the ceiling in their house. "And then once I had one," she continued, "I found that I really didn't want one after all. But once you have a baby, you're stuck with it."
  A lump formed in Chris' throat and it was a real effort for him to swallow his bite of cereal.
 "You mean.... me, Mom?" he asked, his voice wavering and tears welling in his eyes. She picked up her vodka tumbler and drained it.
 "Of course I mean you. Now go to school."

Chris Shafer spent the next ten years trying to earn his parent's love—straight A student, baseball star....drug addict.
Enter Allie Laughton: smart, self-assured, and raised in a similar environment of indifference and neglect.

They hit it off immediately.

American Flowers follows the lives of Chris and Allie as they go from promising, young adults to the couple the media ignorantly begins calling a modern day Bonnie and Clyde. On the run from Chris' volatile-tempered drug dealer and manipulated by a psychotic ex-convict, Chris and Allie are caught in a dangerous game where there can be no winners.

My Review

American Flowers is a heartbreaking story about family dysfunction, young love, and drug addiction. Chris and Allie are two teenagers who aren't bad people but have found themselves drowning in drug addiction. This lifestyle leads to a horrific crime that changes life forever for them both.

I think the author did an amazing job depicting drug addiction. He showed how one moment, one choice, could change someone's entire future. Despite their terrible choices, you couldn't help but feel pity for these two characters as they fought to make it through each day while being fueled on drugs and the paranoia that it brought.

I wish the author would have stretched the ending just a bit more, but its abruptness didn't take away from its impact. I read this story in one sitting because I could not put it down. The author nailed the seedy characters, the naivety of the teens, and the cryptic, but strangely hopeful ending of the story. I highly recommend this one. 

Author Bio 

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.

Author Giveaway: (2) Signed copies of American Flowers, and (2) twenty-five dollar Amazon gift cards to (2) winners

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Michael Mclellan said...

Thanks for your incredibly kind words and your professionalism, Sage.

optojake said...

Very much agree - my turn is this Saturday and I can't wait to share my review. Wonderful book!

Eyes and Books

Michael Mclellan said...

Jake, I am completely speechless. All I can say is thank you. The positive responses on this blog tour (my first)have been nothing short of amazing. I will work hard to deserve your words.