This is one of the best books that I have read so far this year! When I finished reading Reclaiming The Sand, I had to stop and just reflect on the book and how it made me feel. Even now, I am not sure if any review that I write could adequately express my feelings or do this book the justice that it so deserves.
This is not a typical story about bullying. The victim of the bullying in this book has Asperger’s Syndrome, which is a milder variant of Autism. The subject matter is highly sensitive and emotional, but the author handles it with such accuracy and grace that it left me utterly speechless.
Ellie McCallum spent the majority of her youth in the foster care system. She hangs with the wrong crowd, she goes to parties and gets drunk. That is her life…until Flynn Hendrick transfers to her high school. Ellie’s life is miserable and lonely and she ends up deriving joy in tormenting other people. She is the ultimate “mean girl” and bully. Unfortunately, her target of choice is Flynn Hendrick.
Flynn Hendrick has Asperger’s Syndrome. He is different. This makes him the ideal candidate to be bullied. He is an intelligent, good looking young man who lives his life according to routines and schedules. He has an aversion to loud noises, he doesn’t like to be touched, and he is blunt and honest. He wants to be treated normally, or at least carry on his days peacefully. He has to endure the cruel behavior, insults, and his nickname, Freaky Flynn.
Despite her poor treatment of Flynn, Ellie develops a secret friendship with him. It has to remain a secret or else her so-called friends wouldn’t accept their friendship and would end up bullying her too. Hanging out with Flynn and going to his house after school is the normalcy that Ellie lacks and craves. It’s just too bad that she can’t accept her true friend out in the real world.
When tragic events take place, two young people’s lives face a dramatic change. Years later, Flynn and Ellie meet again. Ellie keeps running into Flynn everywhere. Despite her hard feelings and an enormous amount of guilt, she is drawn to Flynn, the one person who has ever made her feel special and wanted.
This book is an emotional journey through Flynn and Ellie’s lives. The story is fantastic and the characters are amazing. Reclaiming The Sand evolves from a story of bullying into a beautiful, slow burning love story between two unlikely and lonely individuals. A. Meredith Walters does an excellent job in portraying the many challenges and obstacles that existed in their relationship.
This is one of those books that stays with the reader long after they have finished the last page. It made me feel all of the emotions along with the characters. It is a heartbreaking, sad, touching, hopeful book of forgiveness and love.
2 Book Lovers Reviews