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- Customer reviews: 171 customer ratings
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #188,042 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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The first destroyed me, the twisted pleasure felt by these cold, calculating bullies was a difficult process to follow. I disliked them so much that it was impossible to feel any compassion towards them even though they came from deprived and broken family backgrounds. Thrown from foster home to home, these kids formed destructive friendships based solely on circumstance.
The second, well, lets just say that if any character can do a complete 360 and come out a brighter and better person, then it was this girl! Her transition was one worth investing the time in, and I’m so pleased I continued with Ellie and Flynn’s story.
Flynn is the new kid at school. Even at fifteen, his life is set to his wristwatch. Every movement is calculated, premeditated, a coping mechanism for his condition. Flynn has Asbergers, a form of autism. He does not communicate well and he cannot bear to be touched.
Ellie is just going through the motions. She is bitter, angry, an outcast. Her friends are just like her. They take their anger and inflict it on others who look down upon them. Flynn is different. He is a 'tard' and the 'new' entertainment, one who cannot fight back.
However, there is more to Flynn than meets the eye, only he lets Ellie see it when they form a secret friendship. She is ashamed of her so-called friends behaviour towards him, because in reality, he may be different but he understands how it feels to be an outcast and she feels a strange connection to that.
But when Ellie's friends start berating her of her connection to ‘Freaky Flynn’, it just makes her hurt more, and she takes it out on the boy who has ever cared for the neglected state child, destroying them both.
Jump six years later and Ellie is out of Juvie but still on probation. Her friends are still losers. The world is a dark place and the town she grew up in still a prison. A dead end. Then he walks in... the beautiful 22 year old man is a far cry from the scared young boy she left behind, and he's about to feed her a bout of harsh reality. Her past and present are about to collide; opening up to the idea of a future she believed may never exist.
Reclaiming the sand is a story of second chances, of hope and seeking forgiveness. It's a story of challenging love and complicated friendships. It is a tough read and you will want to punch one or two, or even four characters in the face, including Ellie, but in the end all it takes is a leap of faith and one man's honesty to open the door to endless possibilities.
Flynn is a true book hero in every sense of the word, and I feel privileged that he came into my life. Thank you, A. Meredith Walters for your flawless deliverance in this deeply powerful and challenging read that touched every emotion. My heart went through obstacles aplenty, but the storyline was unique, her characters complex and profound - albeit unpleasant at times, it made for one hell of a reading experience!
Ellie a mixed up toxic teenager meets Flynn who has Aspergers . Even though Ellie is attracted to Flynn she gives into her bullying tendencies and joins in with the gangs humiliation of him.
Years later when Ellie recognises that her life of drinking and drug taking is not what she wants she meets Flynn her nemesis.
Ellie and Flynn's friendship is rekindled and with his encouragement she goes to college. Slowly she starts to leave her teenager life behind and start a new life.
I felt sadness and anger on how vulnerable people are humiliated. And hope, happiness and redemption when mistakes are recognised.
I struggled with it in parts but i felt for these characters.
I understand Ellie may be a difficult character fir many to like but i felt her struggle. Does that mean i didn't want to throttle her. NO! She infuriated me at times but i had hope they could turn it around.
I have no experience with Aspergers but i have to say Flynn truly amazed me!
I truly admire A Meredith Walters, this was my first novel by this author but will not be the last!
Top international reviews
Ellie ist ein wirkliches Biest. Sie ändert sich zwar im Laufe des Buches, jedoch konnte ich sie bis zum Ende nicht wirklich ausstehen. Ich war nicht in der Lage, ihr die schlimmen Dinge zu verzeihen, die sie Flynn angetan hat. Aber sie hat nicht nur Wut in mir ausgelöst, sondern auch Mitleid. Sie war zwar eine Mobberin, jedoch war sie eigentlich innerlich sehr schwach und sehnte sich nach Aufmerksamkeit und Liebe. Trotzdem finde ich, dass ihre Aktionen nicht zu verzeihen sind.
Aus diesem Grund fand ich Flynn auch sehr toll. Obwohl Ellie ihn immer wieder verletzt hat, konnte er ihr immer verzeihen. Sie war die einzige, die ihn irgendwie auch verstehen konnte und ihn auch glücklich machte. Flynn ist einfach ein Charakter, den mag mögen muss. Er hat das Asperger Syndrom, was ihn etwas von den anderen Menschen unterscheidet. Jedoch finde ich es wirklich abstoßend, wie Menschen darauf reagieren und nicht etwas Verständnis aufbringen. Das hat mich unglaublich wütend gemacht.
Auch wenn es sich hier um eine Liebesgeschichte zwischen Flynn und Ellie handelt, so geht es auch um Ellie's Entwicklung. Sie will etwas in ihrem Leben ändern und nicht mehr so ignorant sein wie früher. Ihre Freunde dagegen haben überhaupt nicht die Absicht, erwachsen zu werden. Ich fand sie sogar noch schlimmer als Ellie und fühlte mich von ihren Handlungen wirklich abgestoßen. Ich habe wirklich die ganze Zeit gehofft, dass Ellie sich irgendwann mal von ihnen loslöst.
Insgesamt bin ich wirklich sehr von diesem Buch beeindruckt. Es hat mich unheimlich gefesselt, obwohl ich die ganze Zeit auch etwas Hass für die Protagonistin empfand. Aber ich glaube, gerade das war auch gerade das Fesselnde an dem Buch. Die Fähigkeit, auch mit solch einem Charakter mitfiebern zu können. Und Flynn war natürlich mein Lieblingscharakter. Er ist unschuldig und manchmal auch kindlich, zugleich aber auch sehr erwachsen. Ich fand ich einfach unheimlich interessant. Ich für meinen Teil mag die Bücher dieser Autorin sehr und dieses ist keine Ausnahme. Ich kann "Reclaiming the Sand" sehr empfehlen.
Walters has done a wonderful job telling the story of Ellie & Flynn. The topics raised are taboo and i honestly can't say that I have previously read a book with similar themes.
The story is built from the ground up and we are able to fully connect with each character. I do not condone some of the things Ellie does or her behavior, but its understandable coming from someone who has such low expectations of herself. And then there's Flynn. Sweet, misunderstood Flynn. He grows and flourishes and though his younger years are tragic and grief stricken he has managed to come out strong and sure of himself (as much as one can be with his condition),
I found that i keep asking myself "How can anyone else understand him, if he cant understand himself??"
This story tells you of the highs and lows of the misunderstood boy and the bully girl that realize that without each they are not whole.
Job well done 4.5 stars!!
Okay so this book.
I want to get into a lot of detail just because, I think that this is a controversial book.
I wanted to read it because the author worked in a field that I want to work in, which is counselling teens at risk (another word for teenagers at risk of physical and sociological abuse.)
This book begins with:
"I am an ugly Person.
I do ugly things.
I think ugly thoughts.
You will hate me.
But you will love him.
It's hard not to.
He is everything that I'm not."
I was already hooked in and that's only a snippet of the intro!
We meet Ellie- Ellie is a girl whom life has dealt a heavy hand of injustice. The one thing she wants more than anything in the world has been denied to her over and over again.
What is that thing? Love. pure and simple, unadulterated love.
So the only way our Ellie copes with life is by having sex with random men, partying incessantly, sniffling drugs and a dead end job. Her life is going nowhere and she knows it.
The only way she survives is by hurting or bullying others who would see it for it's possibilities of goodness.
Now Flynn is a character I have never encountered before in other books. I mean, who writes and portrays a character suffering from asperger syndrome?
This book broke my heart.
Flynn is a boy who was denied something he craved. Friendship. But many knows that friendship can sometimes be found in unlikely places. This was what this book was about.
Can the bully and the bullied find common ground to find the meaning of trust, friendship and perhaps something more?
It's labelled as a contemporary romance. But this book is SO much more than that, I felt like it was a case study of the injustices of this world, of the prejudices and of the wrongs we humans, pan out to those we deem as 'unfortunate'.
In truth the unfortunate ones are us. this book offers you a real dose of reality.
Why i think this book is great and that's not because I'm majoring in sociology at university, but because I've seen people going through what Ellie has.
Ellie decides to change.
But can a person whose lived this way for so long, can she do such a drastic turn around?
Guess you'll just have to find out!
Now why i think this book isn't for everyone
1. There is a lot of sexual themes and scenes (though some are not descriptive). This book is trying to portray that they're hormonal teenagers who think sex is an easy avenue for love and that's the only way they believe they can attain love.
2. It has A LOT of cussing, the F-bombs grows rampant in this story.
3. It has a lot of alcohol and drug abuse and the results of it while facing pregnancy.
4. Bullying, Lots and lots, of heart breaking vileness and the horrors it causes.
6. Foster care horrors and pedophiles.
If you can't stomach that, and I must admit my stomach went queasy at a lot of it. Which is bad considering i want to be a youth worker! you may question yourself whether you really wanna go there.
Flynn's character opened my eyes to a lot of the prejudices i didn't know I had towards individuals with a disability! My gosh, i was mortified! He is an amazing person and yet...if he was real, I probably would never have tried to know him.
I remember when i was in middle years and there was a kid named Shane (ironic huh?) he had a disability and whilst i never bullied him and i was nerve rude, I didn't exactly try to be a friend to him...I regret that, he was probably a really nice person. (And by getting to know i don't mean in a romantic sense, not that there's anything bad with falling in love with an individual suffering from a syndrome or disability...see it's controversial!)
At the end of this book, i also wanted to go hug my cousin i haven't seen in years and apologise for that 10 year old me- who was too scared to talk to him because he had autism, and i didn't understand him and was to scared to try.
I know I was ten but it helped me see that prejudices suck and you should never allowed preconceived notions stop you from loving people (it doesn't have to be romantic love!)
yea this book is pretty full on.
Again i reiterate- it is not for everyone!
have a good read!
-Find more reviews on Goodreads- Emmeline (The Book Herald)
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This is an unusual love story, but a wonderful one. We all need that someone in our life who can 'reclaim the sand'. We also need to recognise that we cannot always define what is 'normal'.
This is my first experience of reading a story by Meredith Walters, it won't be my last.
I give it a 4.5 star rating - the writing could have been a little better.
And Flynn himself has lots of transformation by the end as well, constantly pushing himself to overcome his disease to be the best person he can possibly be despite his limitations and how people treat him. After reading this novel, I feel I do have a better understanding of how someone struggling with Asperger might act. What their struggles in life might be and how difficult it can be for someone to start a relationship with that disease if you don't have the patience and understanding and the desire to make it work. Even Dania, the most destructive and dislikable character for me became something just a little bit better at the end.
I enjoyed how believable all the characters were in this book. The ones the author wanted you to hate, you hated. The ones she wanted you to sympathize with you did, and her biggest triumph is Ellie, in my opinion. Ellie starts off as someone destructive and going nowhere and turns into someone who learns from her mistakes, learns to open herself up to someone else, and learns to be a better her. Sure she stumbles along the way and even falls back into some of her destructive patterns as people can do, but she always picks herself up.
My only complaint and this would really be a 4.5 star rating, is that there were more than a few editing errors I caught that tripped me up every once in a while. Mostly missing words or verb tense type of stuff. Other than that, if you want a novel that will make you think and really see the struggle of a difficult relationship that finds its footing through its mishaps, this book does a wonderful job of taking you through a journey you won't forget.
However, if you can't handle stories with realistic, destructive people who drop f-bombs and make horrible life decisions, this story may not be for you as Ellie's friends are definitely that scourge type of society that say and do whatever they want and don't care who they hurt.
This well written beautiful book about the unconventional relationship between Ellie and Flynn had me both crying and smiling often. Ellie, the bully, and Flynn, the sensitive boy no one bothered to understand. They start a secret friendship in high school that can only be described as difficult. Yet after some tragic events that led them to not seeing each other for 6 years, that secret friendship begins again and this time around difficult probably would've been considered easy.
Flynn is a sweet, gentle, yet determined man. He has Asperger's syndrome, so therefore he is blunt and doesn't always get when someone is teasing him. And Ellie, who had teased him cruelly in high school, is the one who can get through to him. She loves his blunt nature and his gift for seeing the world as a much better place than she could ever imagine.
Ellie's life has never been easy but with Flynn, things seem possible. When they reconnect all these years later, it is Flynn who lets her see that she can have more that she thought she deserved.
Their love for each other is not measured by words but by actions. Flynn will only let Ellie touch him and when they do, it's like magic for both of them.
I cannot even fully convey how I feel after reading this book. It made me laugh, smile and cry more times than I can count. It was just so wonderful to read about people with true feelings. A. Meredith Walters created characters that are real. Flynn and Ellie are real. People who just want to bring out the best in each other and maybe don't always know how or even how to say it.
I highly recommend this book. It is one that will stay with me for a long time to come. I am hopeful we will hear more from this crew because even though they have already said so much, I think they might have more to share in the future.
A huge 5+++ stars. Yeah, it's that good.
I do ugly things.
I think ugly thoughts.
You will hate me.
You will detest the choices I have made.
You won't understand me at all.
You may feel some sympathy. A shred of sadness for the woman I've become. It's not hard to feel bad for the person who has fallen so far. But you will love him. ---Ellie, Reclaiming the Sand
Reclaiming the Sand is an emotional, heart felt and incredible read. I love the original plot and story line. Walters truly engages her readers and pulls them in to feel what her characters are feeling. This book touches on several hard topics; disabilities, drugs, alcohol, sex, bullying and putting your life in danger.
Ellie is an anger and heartless character. She's had a bad life and thinks this is all that's left for her until she sees Flynn again. Their journey starts over again and you start to feel their love. Flynn has Aspergers and is very high functioning. He loves art and Ellie. There are many moments in the book that make you swoon and you'll want your own Flynn.
"I'd like it if you could come by the studio and sit with me sometime," he said before I could leave.
Ellie pushes and pushes due to her awful "friends" and the dark secret from her past she holds. But soon she drops her walls and lets Flynn in. Once she does their love explodes. They teach each other how to love and care for one another. When Flynn has his panic attacks, Ellie is there for him. She's patient even though she does get angry. The reality of RTS is amazing. It's not a light and fluffy read-it's REAL. The characters are going through so much in their lives and their feelings are real.
There are so many swoon worthy moments. Moments that touch your heart and make you smile and cry. This book broke my heart in so many ways. I won't go into more of the spoilers but trust me when I say this book will blow your mind.
"People who shared a connection like ours were never that far apart."
I don't know if I have the words to express how beautiful this story was. It's not a typical romance by any means, but I completely fell in love with Flynn. I felt for him. My heart broke for him and I wanted to reach through the pages of the book to wrap him in my arms and hug him when he didn't understand what was happening in the world around him, like other people would.
And even though Ellie wasn't someone you originally wanted to like, I felt for her just the same. I loved watching her grow throughout the story and discover who she truly was. I think this story is a must-read for every young woman who struggles with her confidence and standing up for not only herself, but for others. Because of the struggles Ellie goes through with her friends and wanting to fit in, and yet wanting something better for her life, I think she's relatable to every woman.
I don't want to post spoilers....but you MUST read this book. It will take you on a roller coaster ride of emotions and you will love every single page.
My heart broke every time I read about the things Flynn was put through, and knowing that Ellie, his friend, was there all the time doing the bullying just made it worse.
I am glad I got to see her changing from the hurtful person she was to Flynn and also to herself, to a person who wants to chase her dreams and is not afraid to stand up for Flynn and for herself.
Surprisingly, I did not hate Ellie as much as I thought I would, I even felt sorry for her because it was like she was living two different lives, and I think the reason for her bullying towards Flynn was because she did not want to be a target herself, so she just went with it.
And Flynn, well, his chapters were the hardest to read, knowing what he was feeling and thinking, sometimes I had to take deep breaths to keep my tears from falling and go on.
This is not an easy book to read but it is definitely worth it. You will not be disappointed. A book capable of making us feel so many emotions is definitely worth reading.
I hope there is a continuation because I was left wanting more. I want to know what happens next…