American Flowers

[EPUB] ✻ American Flowers Author Michael A. McLellan – Nineteenyearold Chris Shafer and seventeenyearold Allie Laughton came from similar backgrounds of neglect and indifference Chris spent his childhood desperately trying to gain his alcoholic parents' l Nineteenyearold Chris Shafer and seventeenyearold Allie Laughton came from similar backgrounds of neglect and indifference Chris spent his childhood desperately trying to gain his alcoholic parents' love Allie was dragged through an ugly divorce before narrowly escaping being molested by her mother's new boyfriend A chance meeting draws the two together and Allie is quickly caught up in Chris' newfound lifestyle Plagued by poor choices, Chris sets into motion a chain of events that drags them deeper into the murky world of meth Ultimately pursued by both the police and Chris' volatile tempered drug dealer, Chris and Allie are forced to confront their only real enemy: themselves.American Flowers

Michael’s love of books began with Beverly Cleary’s The Mouse and the Motorcycle when he was sevenyearsold Later influenced by the works of John Steinbeck, Harper Lee, Stephen King, James Baldwin, and Cormac McCarthy, Michael developed his style of storytelling A selfproclaimed bluecollar writer, he draws on his experiences and observations to bring relevant and compelling topics to life Mi.

Paperback  ì American Flowers PDF/EPUB ò
  • Paperback
  • 286 pages
  • American Flowers
  • Michael A. McLellan
  • English
  • 12 June 2018
  • 9781516830695

10 thoughts on “American Flowers

  1. says:

    American Flowers by Michael A. McLellan is a book about two teens, both from broken homes, who are struggling to get their lives together. Chris is caught up in drugs and Allie needs to find a place to live. Neither one of them have much support from anyone.

    Something these two characters have in common is horrible parents. They haven't been loved or instructed properly by anyone. Chris is in a bad spot due to poor decision-making; he just doesn't have the mental capacity, mainly because he's living with an alcoholic father who couldn't care less about him. Allie was just thrust into a bad position because her dad left, and a man her mother got involved with ended up abusing her. Allie tried to tell the truth but nobody believes her--she's simply told to stop making up stories which is incredibly distressing. These parts in the book were hard to read for me because it's a horrible position to be in, especially for a troubled teen. When Allie meets Chris, they fall in love with each other and one thing leads to another sending them both down a dark and dangerous path.

    This is my second book by Michael A. McLellan and it didn't disappoint. I'll be honest, some of the content in the book is hard to read, especially if you have issues reading about drug addiction and everything that goes along with it. The scenes are written so well though, accurately exposing the dangers of meth and how it can erode you physically and mentally. This would be a good book for young adults, but probably on the older side of the spectrum due to the mature content.

    Overall, this book gripped me from front to back. I love the author's style of writing and his books keep me engaged. I always appreciate a good twist and there's a big one here that shocked me. The book is totally unpredictable! With that said, I had a love/hate relationship with the ending of the book, only because I wanted more of an ending. I sat for awhile in complete shock and questioned a few things. It's hard to figure out how the title fits with the story until the end of the book which was really clever. I won't share and spoil everything, but I highly recommend this book. Try it and see what you think.

    Michael McLellan has become a favorite author and I can't wait to read more.


  2. says:

    My favorite new ‘author-discovery’, this year is Michael A. McLellan. He’s so ridiculously talented..... I’m surprised he’s not a household name. YET?/!

    “In the Shadow of Hanging Tree”, ( which I can’t say enough great things), is an outstanding historical fiction about the aftermath of the civil war in the 1860’s - weaving slavery with massacres of Native Americans. It was a page turning- intimate novel - and not always a genre I gravitate to. The writing simply keeps us fully engaged from start to finish with very memorable characters and one special man named Henry.

    “American Flowers”, is a completely different different type of book... with today’s contemporary problems involving teen substance abuse. It’s equally as gut-wrenching and intimate as “In the Shadow of Hanging Tree”.

    Michael McLellan’s prose is heartbreaking with real characters. The writing - once again is vibrantly imagined - another significant novel - rigorous- and keeps us off balance until the end.

    I’ve been vacationing in Napa my entire life....starting as a young munchkin visiting my grandparents cottage during the summers - then again -every- year of my 40 year marriage to Paul....
    And what I read in this novel - the teen drug happenings in Napa - current users of illicit drugs, was the opposite of our spa-mudbath-breathtaking vacations.

    I never had a drug addiction- (sugar yes) - but not drugs.
    We are taken into a dark world of young people...using and dealing, heavy duty drugs. We see how the addiction snowballs from dabbling to lies - to bigger problems - from accidents - assault - violence - regret - loss - and total despair.

    I was reminded about how aware kids are about their parents....and how setting a bad example has deep repercussions.
    We come to know two older teens —Chris and Allie —neither had good role models for parents. They fall deeper and deeper into a hole they can’t dig themselves out of. I kept wishing they had some parents - or ANY ADULT - whom were ‘for’ them..... creating safety for honest lines of communication.
    But this isn’t ‘that’ book of close parent/ teen connections....rather it’s an emotionally poignant charge novel - a relevant look at scary teen breakdowns.
    This is another page turning book.
    Both of Michael’s novels have that ‘hold-onto-your seatbelt feeling’. I’m not kidding about how totally immerse the reader feels.

    Incredibly eye opening look at the youth drug culture. Straight-lace folks and parents can learn a lot.

    I highly recommend reading ‘either/ both’ books by Michael McLellan .....
    .....(I’m not trying to sound like an annoying cheerleader here) - but this is an author worth reading.

    I promise no ‘less’ than powerful - engaging -
    - heartbreaking- realistic fiction!!!!

  3. says:

    Not being my usual genre of reading, I won this book in a giveaway on the ReadRantRockandRoll blog, so I gave it a try. The author is new to me but I have to say I will be reading more of his books now that I finished American Flowers in just one sitting.

    I couldn't put it down. A fast paced thrilling novel with an ending that is so surprising that I would never have expected it.

    Broken families leading to devastating life changes, two young lives that find love, however, seem to continue on a path of destruction. A riveting tale you won't want to miss. Highly recommend this book and the author Michael McClellan.

  4. says:

    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.

  5. says:

    If you’ve read anything by this author then you know he is very skilled in writing brilliant characterizations, regardless of the genre. American Flowers is no exception. While the subject matter is hard to digest and the story often difficult to read, Allie and Chris come alive. Their degradation and dark spiral into their addictions is vivid and causes a visceral reaction in the reader. It’s impossible not to feel for these poor kids, especially when you read about how much they have endured.

    This book is superbly written, evocative, and thought provoking. Despite it’s underlying themes, I found myself riveted. I heartily recommend it!

  6. says:

    If you’re looking for a book that makes you feel good with beautiful people, this isn’t for you. But if you’re looking for a well-written, raw glimpse into life amongst America’s disheartened, you’ll want to read Michael A. McLellan’s “American Flowers”.

    Don’t let the title fool you. There’s one question to keep in mind while reading this one: What happens to flowers when they aren’t properly cared for? That’s the tidbit of info you need to keep in the back of your mind when you begin this heavy book.

    “American Flowers” was so full of despair. I kept thinking does this situation really exist in our world. The answer is an unfortunate yes. There are people who live like this on a daily basis. It starts out innocently, just like it did for Chris and Allie. Then it escalates to a habit that can’t be shaken, no matter how hard they try.

    The next thought I had while reading McLellan’s book was could these characters be any more stupid. Chris won’t become your next book boyfriend unless you are drawn to the dumb ones. He’s not even the town’s bad boy. Chris Shafer is a kid who didn’t come from the wrong side of the tracks. He was smack dab in the middle of the tracks and didn’t know how to extricate himself from the situation. Chris’ best friend pointed it out plain as day—they were all dumb f*cks and weren’t going to amount to anything. To make matters worse, Chris didn’t have any positive role models encouraging him to do otherwise. In such a bleak atmosphere, what else could this kid do but fail.

    Allie, the girl he fell in love with, wasn’t in a good situation either. Can you imagine telling someone something terrible and they don’t believe you? It’s bad enough to experience that tragedy, but to have the one person you trust tell you it’s a lie… well, that’s just stretching the walls of sanity. Allie was a good girl, at least she wanted to be. The adults in her life, much like the ones in Chris’, weren’t good. They didn’t have her best interests at heart.

    Both Allie and Chris had potential. They were smart kids who could have gone on to school on scholarships. But no one cared about their futures. Remember those flowers?

    Every character in this book is guilty of THINKING they were doing the right thing. Chris and Allie believed that what they were doing didn’t have consequences. Allie’s cousin, Lisa, thought she was doing the right thing when she warned Allie about drug use. Problem was the girl wasn’t listening to her own advice. Mick, the supplier, thought he had the perfect setup and could continue to live beyond the reaches of the law. The adults may have started out wanting to do the right thing, but somewhere along the road the wheels fell off the truck. The parents were more irresponsible than their offspring. Chris and Allie crossed paths with an ex-con who thought he could pull off a perfect heist and not get implicated in anyway. The store owner thought he was doing the right thing instead of just cooperating. Even Jan, a woman who aided the couple, thought she had made the right decision. No one thoroughly thought before acting. Makes you wonder if they all drank from the same Kool-aid pitcher.

    McLellan’s book contained two distinct messages. The first was a blatant advertisement against drug use. It reminded me of the PSAs about meth use. Poignant. Real. Scary. He did such an excellent job detailing this world. I wondered what level of intimacy he had with the subject matter (Great research, that’s what it was). The second message hits you after the end of the book. You’ll need to close the cover (or turn off the app) and think for a moment. I won’t ruin it for you. Although this book can be categorized as New Adult, it’s one of those that needs to be read by PARENTS too. The second message is for us. It’s one we can’t afford to miss. Correction. It’s one our children can’t afford for US to miss.

    The ending of this heart wrenching book kept me from giving a 5-star rating. It sort of left me feeling ‘meh’. I wanted more. I needed to know more about what happened to Allie. Yes, we have imaginations and can figure it out, but after so much hopelessness I needed a definite ray of sunshine.

    McLellan’s “American Flowers” is a must-read book. It’s relevant. It’s gut-wrenching. It’s a dose of reality embedded in fiction. Due to its subject matter, language, and sexual situations, it is advised for mature readers 18+.

  7. says:

    I loved this book. It was interesting and fast moving. I learned alot about drugs, lol. Worth the read. I was a Goodread winner with this book and so glad i did.

  8. says:

    Michael McLellan has proven to be a gifted all-around author. I have read his three novels. All three novels, while very well written have completely different genres. That, in and of itself, is the mark of a truly talented author.

    I just finished American Flowers for the second time, and I am thirsty for more. The first time through I must have rushed because this time I was completely captivated by the story.

    Every night I read thirty minutes with my twelve-year-old daughter. Like church, we must attend our reading session and discuss our book when the alarm on her phone sounds off. (we are not permitted to read ahead) I usually choose a favorite King novel for these sessions as I know they are but sips of a fine drink.

    Perhaps reading this book in thirty-minute sessions allowed me to absorb the story. American Flowers is a powerful novel about love, life, drugs, and second chances. The main character is 19-year-old Chris Shafer, a struggling drug addict in Napa California. His promising baseball talent dashed by the failings of his parents seemed to launch him into the world of drug addiction and crime. Even at his lowest, love finds a way when he meets Allie.

    Allie is a seventeen-year-old beauty from the California central valley who falls for Chris hard.
    The darkness of addiction is subtle and deadly as it grips its victims and holds them like prisoners. Allie, the naive beauty learns very quickly just how dark the world of drugs can be. She finds herself caught on a rollercoaster ride with Chris as she is pulled deeper and deeper into the dark world of drug dealing and crime. There trouble only intensifies when they are mugged of their money and drugs. They find themselves forced to participate in an armed robbery with Donnie, a degenerate ex-con who has spent half his life in prison. As you might expect the robbery leads to them having to flee northern California. The story moves smoothly and the characters believable.

    I can see how readers fall in love with Chris and Allie and root them along hoping their quest for happily ever after will finally be realized. I also understand the disdain readers must feel for the well-described villains in this book. I appreciate the cities and settings the author takes the reader as I spent a year in Blythe California, and I live thirty minutes from Napa so that added to my enjoyment of this novel.

    I hate spoilers, so I will simply say, fans of Stephen King would love this book, it is sharp, and raw in places. Not a book for the faint-hearted. But a story that will chill you and cause you to ponder its powerful message. Well done Mr. McLellan. I anxiously await your new book!

  9. says:

    As if I’m surprised, Michael A. McLellan’s American Flowers blew me away. This is my second read of his, and it did not disappoint.

    Michael A. McLellan has a gift for creating realistic and believable characters. Chris is struggling with drug addiction and Allie has no where to go. The two have had very difficult lives and when they get together and fall in love, things get dangerous.

    The plot of this novel is intriguing, captivating and unsettling at times. It is so beautifully written it feels real. Parts were difficult to read, but I think that’s just a testament to how incredible of an author Michael A. McLellan is.

    I highly recommend reading this novel. It’s definitely going into my favorite reads of 2019!

    *I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.*

  10. says:

    I received American Flowers free through Goodreads. I started it on Tuesday and finished it Thursday. I did not want to put it down! The author's feelings for these young people comes through on every page. Two young people who have no real family,(and who do not know the support most of us grew up with) meet, quickly bond, and follow their hearts right into pure devastation. I especially liked the cover of this book. I don't usually feel drawn by the cover, but the feel of the book in my hands is extraordinary.
    I'm thinking of buying this for my college-student granddaughter. I'm sure she will like it, too.

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