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Reclaiming the Sand by A. Meredith Walters

Reclaiming the Sand

by A. Meredith Walters

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A controversial book with so much impact!
WOW! What a read... My mind is still reeling at this one.
The characters were unique and while at times they frustrated the hell out of me, I LOVED them!
Each one brought so much to the table....

The story is about a bully falling in love with the guy she has always picked on. Ever since they went to High School together she had a soft spot for him. Around her friends though, she built up a wall and joined in on the bullying. When he comes back into her life she realizes that she has feelings. She wants to pretend she doesn't, but finds him hard to resist.

Flynn is different. He suffers from Asperger's and struggles with socializing. He is brutally honest all the time and says everything that is on his mind. When it comes to Ellie he tries his best to impress her with his charm and good looks. Flynn is guarded and likes to keep people at a distance. Ellie helps him peel back the layers to expose him to a romance like no other. Together they struggle with building a relationship and trying to communicate without hurting one another. They both are different, but together they create a beautiful story!

This is a MUST READ.... There is a lesson behind it and the romance will consume your heart. At times you will want to throw the book, but you will want to come back... don't worry!

It shows that love overcomes all. ( )
  ReadersCandyb | Oct 7, 2016 |
Wow. I have quite the love-hate relationship with this book, much like the novel’s protagonist, Ellie, has with her frienemy-turned-romantic-interest Flynn Hendrick. On one hand, it was a mostly well-written story and a well-done depiction of a young adult on the Autism Spectrum, which was good. It depicts the Asperger’s character as multi-faceted and a sexual being, and the characters were pleasingly three-dimensional. But on the other hand, it was so damned depressing. I kept having to put it down and not wanting to return to it, because it just barely involved me enough to move past the uber-heavy subject matter.

Flynn, who has Asperger’s, is tormented by a gang of kids as a teenager, flanked reluctantly by the girl he falls hard for, Ellie McCallum. In the privacy of Flynn’s home, Ellie is his ‘friend.’ At school, with the clique watching, she is anything but. Flynn, an innocent, naive boy with a literal mind and a blunt tongue, can’t understand why Ellie hurts and betrays him again and again. Years later, Ellie runs into Flynn again when he returns to his hometown of Wellston, West Virginia. She’s still the same small-minded pathetic person, and he’s the same shy, awkward young man.

The book is narrated in alternating chapters by Flynn and Ellie. Flynn’s POV sections are set in the past, when he is brutalized by Ellie’s friends while Ellie watches and doesn’t lift a finger to help. Ellie’s chapters are set present-day, as she and Flynn reconnect and Ellie experiences an emotional awakening. The flashbacks are devastating, but the present-day chapters have an unnerving vibe because of how cruel Ellie was to Flynn, so watching them get cozy is discomforting to say the least. The only thing I can compare it to is a romance where the rapist hooks up with victim. What Ellie did to Flynn was emotional rape, and Flynn’s easy forgiveness of his tormenter is heartbreaking.

Yet, despite everything, I DO feel for Ellie. She’s a broken girl who grows up to be a troubled woman, hanging out with the same trash that accompanied her through the high school halls. These include Dania, expectant mother and drunk/addict extraordinaire, and Stu, a cruel and often downright sociopathic creep who callously uses women for sex. Ellie narration explains her actions somewhat, and she grows hugely as a character throughout the duration of the novel.

The writing is mostly good, though I found some of the lovey-dovey and sex scenes to contain more cheese than necessary. Ellie’s emotional dependance on Flynn to feel like half a person was disturbing, and I found it hard to believe that a relationship between a considerably Autistic and neurotic man and a self-loathing woman with her own baggage could work. I empathized with their love, but between Ellie’s meanness and Flynn’s tantrums, I couldn’t fully ‘ship’ this couple.

Although I found the subject matter painful, I am glad I read this book. The author obviously did her research on Autism, and there were many aspects of the novel I appreciated. On a side note, the editing needed a lot of work. There was a lot of incorrect homonym usage (“There” and “Their,” anyone?) and the book often read like a rough draft in terms of spelling and grammar. Although I had moments when I wasn’t enjoying this book too much, I am excited for the sequel, ‘Chasing the Tide,’ and want to continue Ellie and Flynn’s story when the novel comes out. I just sincerely hope A. Meredith Walters hires a new editor. A book I would recommend, but with some hesitation, as I think the subject matter could have been done slightly better. ( )
  filmbuff1994 | Jun 11, 2015 |
This story belongs up there with some of the greats.. As of yet the best work I've read from this outstandingly amazing author.

This material was refreshing, raw, and real. Although this is considered fiction, the events are without a doubt possibile outcomes of some actual event. Its always easy to acknowledge that whatever you were exposed to is out there whether it be mostly good or mostly bad. In this case particularly, majority was bad. And sometimes its hard to comprehend how bad things can be. Thus, why this story basically has worst case scenario from the get-go with majority of the characters with their backdrop story, and gradually brings out the goodness that was there underneath all that gunk.

There was some funny moments, pull-your-hair-out moments, pull-your-teeth-out-moments, ass-kicking moments, ball-racking moments ( on Stu, Shane, Dania, Reggie, and *sigh* yes Ellie too), and tear-jerker moments (mainly from Flynn but Ellie and of course we can't forget Dania), but most of all, every single moment these characters had was heart-felt and meaningful. Not always from one character to another, but from the reader. To see how things happened, why they happened, and what was done to change it. Fix it. Everything was utterly significant, and promising.

A lot was to the max and very vuglar in reference to the things some of these characters did, and a lot left harm on others as well as themselves. They didn't have a care in the world. This was sickening and saddening. To read about how these characters were was raw and real and refreshing, because it was all straight up, no sugar-coated words. None of that was ever present, especially where Flynn was concerned with his own trouble understanding and comprehending human behavior and emotions. He spoke whatever came to mind. Tough-as-nails Ellie wasn't wasting her breath either. And with the rest of the gang, it was a what-you-see-is-what-you-get kind of thing. Nevertheless, this material was extraordinary and unique and commonplace in a weird, but fitting way.

Overall, this book brought me to the edge of my seat, falling of tears, pick-up smiles, and sweet words that were meant more than what they plainly said. ( )
  Lita2013 | Dec 25, 2014 |
At first I thought I wouldn't be able to get into this story with a protaganist who was seemingly hard and cruel, capable of having tormented a boy with Aspergers while in high school. But as the story went on, I found myself identifying more & more with Ellie, to the extent that I highlighted 37 various passages in my Kindle for that reason alone. Ellie had been abandoned by her mother at a young age, then raised in several foster care homes, none of them safe places. She would never allow herself to care about anyone. So when, in high school, she felt herself being drawn to the quiet, unassuming Flynn, she pushed him away with her cruelty. Now, after years of simply existing, partying with the same loser friends from high school, Ellie is beginning to feel a spark of hope for a different kind of future. She decides to go and meet with a counselor at the local community college, just to discuss her options (if, indeed, she has any). During this time, she begins running into Flynn, who has recently moved back to town. I won't give any more of the details, but it was a real pleasure to read about the tremendous growth that Ellie experiences by the end of the book. ( )
  Dawn94 | Dec 20, 2014 |
"But I didn't deserve easier. I deserved for it to be painful and difficult and for it to scrape me raw."

Actual Rating: 4.5/5 stars

This was the first time that I've read about this kind of disease (Asperger's). This story touched me so much that I cried. I want those books that make me feel attached to the characters! I want those books that wretched my heart and make me a pitiful person that was suffering a sobfest because I will never get over the story no matter how hard I tried. This book was one of those.

There's no coming back from this.

Ellie. She was Finn's friend when they weren't seen by other people. Some kind of friend, huh?

I saw an Ellie in me actually. Before, I had a friend that was in the list of "most-likely-to-be-bullied". And when people will saw us together, I make it a point to distance myself. I know, I know. I was a terrible friend. I know that my very young age at that time couldn't justify what I did and I regret being that person really.

Finn. He has Asperger's. It's some kind of this disease where a person is socially challenged. It was hard for them to communicate with other people that sometimes they tend to be misunderstood. They could not also get what others are trying to say because it seems like they like being just inside their own head.

I love Finn. I love his innocence. I love him for being so passionate in what he liked to do. God, he's just special you know? I like his easy smiles. Who would want panty-dropping smiles when you have Finn's? He's so easy to forgive. I'll admit that there were times that I found him exasperating like when he started rubbing his hands together but then I'll see him differently and suddenly all is right in the world.

This was not all that I could say about this book. I'll finish this review when I had the time. Definitely recommended! ( )
  margaraawr | Aug 8, 2014 |
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