REVIEW: Flowertown by S.G. Redling

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars, Genre: Fiction/ Apocalyptic Fiction, Pages: 378, Level: Easy

Book Description from Barnes & Noble:

Seven years ago, a chemical spill brought the U.S. Army to rural Penn County, Iowa, where soldiers established a long-term, medically maintained quarantine. Officially, it’s called the PennCo Containment Area. But to the people trapped inside, their bodies tainted with chemicals that give off a sweet smell, it’s known simply as Flowertown.

The quarantine was supposed to save their lives, but many of the survivors have grown suspicious of the government’s real motives. But not Ellie Cauley – her rage long ago burned down to hard, cynical pessimism. When a series of deadly events forces Ellie out of her apathy, she must prepare to face an enemy powerful enough to unleash her greatest nightmare.

Feno Chemical spilled an experimental pesticide. Many people died and many were contaminated. A quarantined area was set up and people remained in that area for seven years, taking many different rounds of medicine to manage the side effects of the contamination, or to make them comfortable once they reached the point that they were just waiting to die. Living conditions have become atrocious and the supplies are arriving less frequently. Ellie and her best friend Bing practically live in a continuous state of marijuana high but Bing still manages to be a conspiracy nut. Something happens that finally makes Ellie believe that Bing may not be far from the truth and she begins to notice some strange things. She follows the clues and finds some very disturbing evidence about Feno Chemical’s true goal.

This is not really an apocalyptic scenario. However, the conditions inside the quarantine zone make life similar to a semi-apocalyptic situation. Residents have the added psychological burden of knowing that the rest of the world is still out there, are aware of the zone’s existence and seem to do little or nothing about it, including some family members.

There is a lot of cussing and pot smoking, some sex, discussion of sex and discussion of bodily functions; some parts are a little gross. So the book may not be appropriate for teens but it is basically a good mystery. There may be some discussion questions that come out of it although it seems to be aimed at entertainment rather than discussion. In addition, while I did not have this problem, I can see how some may find the beginning slow and will have a difficult time getting into the story right away. If you are one of those people, it will not be a quick read right away but I promise it does speed up. If you believe in government or big business conspiracies, or enjoy reading about them, I am confident you will love Flowertown.

Reviewed by Christina

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