DISCLAIMER: I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
Chris is a young adult who has just started to figure out a way to make money. A high school baseball star, his life quickly takes a turn when he becomes a drug addict and figures out a way to sell drugs to make his addiction possible. At his dealer's house one day, he runs into Allie, a beautiful clean-cut girl whose life is on the right track. Instantly they fall in love and Chris takes Allie down a path she never should go.
When a deal goes bad and Chris loses his stash, he can't afford to pay his dealer Mick. Unfortunately for Chris, Mick sends guys after Chris to bring him in and make him pay. But when one of Mick's guys finds him and Allie, he pulls them in to a money making scheme that goes bad. Very, very bad. Chris and Allie are on the run from Mick, cops, and their addictions.
When I first got invited to host this blog tour, I read the synopsis for the book, shrugged my shoulders, and said why not. To be completely honest, this book is simply not something I would ever pick up to read online or in a store. But being my first blog tour, I figured my choices would be slim, I'd drag myself through this book, and instantly forget it.
I was completely wrong.
I'm not sure how McLellan does it, but he manages to lure the reader into this world of drugs, deception, and poor life choices. He gets everything right, from the drug-addicted characters, to the paranoia that surrounds them. I literally felt scared for both of them.
I never actually felt bad for Chris because he was old enough to know right from wrong. I did, on the other hand, want to reach through the pages and grab him, tell him to leave Allie alone, and help him. Reading this book and seeing Chris and Allie continually make wrong decisions deeply affected me. Having never done drugs or had any friends that did, this entire world was completely new to me. I would literally wince while I read the book, screaming at the pages, begging Allie to turn things around. I always believed Chris was just too far gone, but time and time again, I hoped I was wrong.
I told one author once that I was almost done with his book and I'd get a review posted that day. His response was that he hoped he "stuck the landing". That term has always resonated with me in books because it doesn't matter how good the story is, if the ending just doesn't fly, the whole book is generally viewed negatively. Not only does McLellan stick the landing, he writes and ending that rivals some of the best, most shocking endings I have ever read in my entire life.
To say I was completely blown away by this book is an understatement. McLellan has the opportunity to fine tune his writing skills and honestly be a big name in the industry with innovative tales such as this. Gritty, raw, and sometimes over the top, American Flowers is a true novel and McLellan doesn't spare any details. I would definitely not recommend this book to anyone under the age of 16 because of this.
Long review short, stop reading this review and start reading this book.
I love to read and to discuss books. My preferred genre is sci-fi but I like to read mostly anything.