I found this book through the recommendations page on Goodreads. It was published in March of 2014. It’s a contemporary romance that sounded interesting so I thought I’d give it a try.
Goodreads Book Description:
“Bully and victim.
Tormenter and tormented.
Villain and hero.
Ellie McCallum was a bully. No connection to anyone or anything. A sad and lonely existence for a young woman who had come to expect nothing more for herself. Her only happiness coming from making others miserable.
Particularly Freaky Flynn.
Flynn Hendrick lived a life completely disconnected even as he struggled to become something more than that boy with Asperger’s. He was taunted and teased, bearing the brunt of systematic and calculated cruelty, ultimately culminating in a catastrophic turn of events that brought Ellie and Flynn’s worlds crashing down.
But then Flynn and Ellie grew up.
And moved on.
Until years later when their paths unexpectedly cross again and the bully and the freak are face to face once more.
When labels come to define you, finding yourself feels impossible. Particularly for two people disconnected from the world who inexplicably find a connection in each other.
And out of the wreckage of their tragic beginnings, an unlikely love story unfolds.
But a painful past doesn’t always want to let go. And old wounds are never truly healed…and sometimes the further you try to run from yourself the closer you come to who you really are.”
This book totally threw me for a loop. I don’t know if I loved it or hated it. The main character pissed me off so much and I couldn’t connect with her on any level. The only saving grace to this book was Flynn. However, right in the prologue the author has Ellie say, “You will hate me. You will love him.” So the author wants us to dislike her, she knows she has made a detestable character that will hopefully redeem herself in our eyes. I just don’t know if I can forgive this character enough in the end to matter.
Ellie was a girl with a troubled past who was shuffled from foster home to foster home when she was a kid. She had anger issues, attachment issues, and she eventually ended up in Juvenile Detention for 2 years because of something she did (which was messed up as hell and one of the reasons I hate her so much). She was a bully in high school to a boy named Flynn that has Asperger’s and pretty much made his life a living hell. She becomes his friend, and then turns around and torments him along with her so called friends because she doesn’t want to be picked on for befriending him. The shit she does…….. I just wanted to kill her, and poor Flynn still wanted her as his friend.
Now she’s an adult with a messed up life and shitty friends that still haven’t grown up since high school. Dania, her so called best friend, is pregnant and still drinks and does drugs without a care in the world. Yeah…… Lovely bunch of people.
In comes Flynn, the saving grace of this whole book. This kid was put through so much crap, and he still finds joy in life through his art. Him and Ellie meet through coincidence when he moved back to town, and they become friends.
This is where it becomes confusing whether I love or hate this book. I hate Ellie and what she has done to Flynn, but since they become friends again she has tried to turn her life around for the better. She tries to be a true friend to Flynn to make up for how shitty she was to him as a kid. I just don’t think it’s enough though.
Flynn was a great character. We get his Point of View during flash back scenes, and my heart just broke for him. Trying to fit in and live his life with Asperger’s is hard for him, and he just wanted a friend. There’s many times he had breakdowns and outbursts that he couldn’t control, and you could feel all the emotions through the authors writing. I really wanted more of his POV during the present day scenes, maybe we will get more in the next book.
Overall this book drew out a lot of emotions. It kept me interested and I wanted to see how it was going to play out, but I just don’t know if I can forgive Ellie for what she’s done to him in the past. I just can’t wrap my head around their relationship and how forgiving Flynn has been go her. He deserves a better person than her.
We will see how the next book plays out.
My rating: 4 stars (only because I loved Flynn, and her writing style. Meredith Walters knows how to bring out emotions)
Goodreads Book Page: Reclaiming the Sand
Author Website: A. Meredith Walters
So let me know what you think. Would you read it?
Next book will be Chasing the Tide, the continuation of Flynn and Ellie’s story.