Eager reader of history, mystery, classics, biographies, steampunk, lit fic, science, scifi, and etc. My reviews are mostly positive--I rarely finish or write about books I don't enjoy. My TBR is too high for that.
Even though suspense-filled books aren’t usually gripping or even interesting the second time through, one reading is not going to be enough for me with Flowertown. The characters are living, breathing, flesh and blood realized, the aftermath of disaster setting had my adrenaline working overtime from start to finish, and it’s filled with plot twists that--when they hit--were as disorienting to me as they were to the the characters, including one turnaround that’s such a doozy I want to go back and see how the author managed to pull it off so masterfully.
Seven years ago the chemical spill of an experimental pesticide killed scores of people in rural Iowa, and those who survived are still living in hell. The properties of this pesticide make people who have been exposed to it carriers, so they’ve been herded into a compound, quarantined by the US Army, and compelled to take drugs that wreak havoc on their bodies in an effort to keep them alive and prevent the spread of the poison. Everyone who takes the drugs gives off a sickening sweet smell, hence the name Flowertown for the containment zone. After years of isolation the infrastructure is crumbling--it’s hard to get anybody in to fix things--and since TV and internet rarely work they are almost completely cut off from the world in their dilapidated outpost.
We see all of this through the eyes of Ellie Cauley, who has a hair-trigger temper but has given up expecting anything to get better. Her best friend is full of conspiracy theories and her roommate is enduring extra debilitating drugs in the hope that she can suppress the pesticide's affects long enough to attend her sister’s Las Vegas wedding, but Ellie spends her time getting high and fraternizing with an army sergeant. That is until it starts to seem like her paranoid friend is right. When their situation starts to become even more suspect and sinister, Ellie fights back with the only thing left to her, her rage. Don’t start this book late at night--it’s very hard to put down once you begin reading it.