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Saturday, March 15, 2014

ARC Review: Reclaiming the Sand by A. Meredith Walters

Let me just start off by saying that this book is fantastic. It is unlike anything I have ever read before, and I find myself struggling to put into words all the emotions that this book had me feeling. This book is heartbreaking and emotional and yet it gives you hope that people truly can overcome anything. The journey that this book takes you on is not always easy or beautiful, and yet when reach the end you can't help but look back and think that not a single thing could have or should have been done differently. This book is by far one of the best that I have ever read and it is one that will stick with me forever. I have never read A. Meredith Walters before, but now I know that I will be looking for more of her books in the future.

Ellie has always been a bully. Growing up roving from foster home to foster home left her feeling as though the only way to make it was to blend in. She has always stuck by her best friend Dania and their group of friends. They all picked on Flynn Hendrick through school and made his life miserable. Flynn has Asperger's and because of that was made fun of and called Freaky Flynn. In public Ellie always went along with her friend and treated him horribly. But in private, Ellie and Flynn had developed a sort of friendship. After an awful accident, Ellie is sent to Juvenile Detention and spends the next several years locked up then on probation while Flynn leaves town. One day years later, Flynn returns and Ellie is taken by surprise. Ellie never thought that she would see Flynn again, and she isn't happy to discover that she is still drawn to him. Ellie quickly discovers that Flynn is not the same boy that he once was and yet not a lot has changed. Ellie struggles with her guilt from the past as well as what to do about her future. As she and Flynn spend more time together, she begins to wonder what the future could possibly hold for them. Can they put their painful past behind them and move forward together?

I loved Flynn. He was such an amazing character. He always said what was on his mind, even when it wasn't appropriate and I loved knowing exactly what was on his mind. I loved that he truly saw everything when it came to Ellie and he didn't let her get away with trying to hide herself from him. He was always encouraging her and he made her a better person. It absolutely broke my heart to see him struggle so much though and it was even worse to watch him endure the torture that Ellie and her friends put him through. There is really no way to describe how much it thoroughly wrecked me to watch that. I wanted Ellie and Flynn to work out so badly and for her to change, and yet having to see him go through all that made me want him to get as far away as possible from her. He always believed the best in her though and he saw something in her that no one else did. Ellie was admittedly a hard character to connect to or like. She was a coward, always afraid to stand up to others in defense of Flynn even when she felt it was wrong. She also would join in with them and then she would be trying to be nice and friendly with him the next minute. Yet despite all that, she was troubled herself and had a lot of issues because of her childhood. It isn't an excuse for her behavior and yet it was hard to truly hate her and not pity her. I liked watching her start to turn her life around though and figure out how great Flynn was and that he was worth everything. Ellie and Flynn had a great connection when Ellie wasn't fighting it, and I really liked how she was so patient with him after she really gave him a chance.

Overall, this story was really moving and emotional. I think that this story means so much more because of how very real it is. There are so many people that go through situations like this all the time and it continues to happen without most people doing anything to stop it. This book is one that I think everyone should read. I don't know a single person who hasn't dealt with or been a bully at some point in their lives, and I think that this book really opens up the reader's eyes to what it is like to be on both sides of that abuse. I absolutely adored Flynn, and I just couldn't help but fall in love with him in this story. He was so strong and so sure of himself and Ellie. His character is inspiring and makes you want to be a better person. I can't state enough how much I highly recommend that everyone read this book. A. Meredith Walters has written a beautiful story that flowed extremely well. I loved that she gave us some of both Ellie's and Flynn's point of views. I was instantly drawn in and invested in this book from the very start and found it almost impossible to put down. I look forward to reading more from Walters in the future.

**ARC provided by Inkslinger PR**

Purchase: | Amazon |


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