BOOK REVIEW & GIVEAWAY ~ RECLAIMING THE SAND BY A. MEREDITH WALTERS
February 7, 2019
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.
No doubt or second guessing about it, Reclaiming the Sand just earned a “best book of 2014” nomination from me. Three words come to mind when I was asked to describe the story: get-your-tissues-ready, OMG-the-writing-is-phenomenal, and Flynn-will-steal-your-heart. Technically three words right?
Normally this is where I launch into a brief description of the book and what I thought was great and yada yada, but this review is going to be a little different. I don’t want to give ANYTHING away so what you read from the blurb is all you’re getting from me. The reason I say this is because the entire story is based on the friendship/lover dynamic between Flynn and Ellie and the plot is a secondary factor in the book so there’s not much I can say about it. Instead, I’m going to focus on just the emotional aspect that may arise when you read…
Ellie is a bitch and mega twat. There’s just really no other way to say it. She’s ruthlessly mean to Flynn, who is the sweetest and kindest man and though he suffers from Asperger’s, he repeatedly forgives and reaches out to Ellie. How can anyone not fall for this man? I was tearing up at 7% and just didn’t stop crying until the end of the book, and even after that I sat for a good half hour and bawled my eyes out. In the middle of all that, I also might’ve deliriously messaged the author multiple times and got on her nerves. Anyways, my point is that you will CRY. You will FEEL. You will HATE. And then you will LOVE.
Even with me finishing the book, I can never fully understand why Ellie would direct so much poison and hate towards Flynn but I never condemned her. I mean, what she did is so unforgivable in many ways, and while I cried for Flynn and all the abuse he suffered, I also cried for Ellie. She was the victim of the inadequacies of the foster care system, repeatedly taking the heat for things she never should’ve experienced or gotten blamed for, and receive this kind of treatment at such a young age without an outlet is traumatizing, at least in my eyes. I, for one, sympathized for her and could forgive her because she did redeem herself in the second portion of the book.
And Flynn…this man with two hearts of gold just stole my heart. There are a couple of chapters completely in his POV and let me just tell you, grab some kind of stress/anxiety reliever because those chapters are the most heartbreaking I have ever read. I think the author did a fine job of writing in his perspective considering his Asperger’s, which in turn, made it that much harder to read because I got to hear his thoughts and experience his emotions when he was taunted and tortured first-hand. Just…GRAB SOMETHING to get you through it.
As for the romance aspect, I loved that the author slowly, expertly got to the point where both characters were comfortable to move forward with their relationship. With their destructive past, I expected a LOT of development and growth to happen before any kind of romance came in and the author delivered that flawlessly. Still, reminders of their past and old scars served as constant memories and I could really tell both Ellie and Flynn were making efforts to mend the cracks in their relationship.
Although the ending was a bit rushed given the drawn out nature of the rest of the book, it still delivered the emotional impact that was warranted and so I was pleased with the way the story concluded.
This is where my review sort of turns into a forum, and I say that because this book was thoroughly discussed in my Goodreads thread and I want to share that with you. Normally I don’t include these kind of things, but this book is SO unique, thoughtful, and bold I want you to get an idea of how my reading timeline worked and what others thought and said at the time.7% mark:
Me: Holy cow this book is awesome!! I’ve been told that Ellie is a mega twat so I’m prepared!! xx
Jenny: OMG! We’ve just finalised our review for this one. Ellie….I can’t even…twatis the right word but wait until you meet her friend!! Flynn on the other hand stole my heart. Can’t wait to hear your thoughts. The writing was wonderful. xx(
Me: Oh YAY!!! I’m equally excited to read y’all’s review! It’s like eating a box of Godiva chocolates hehe
I got a glimpse of Dania and UGH! Über super mega x infinity twat lol! Oh and the writing is beautiful, totally loving it so far <3 <— by the way, Dania is Ellie’s best friend and just watch out forJenny: OMG! I miss Godiva chocolates lolOh geez, you ain’t seen nothing yet! I wanted to bitch slap Dania soooo badly! Enjoy!
Katy: Oh I have this one, enjoy Feifei :))) Me: Thanks Katy! Ohhhh this book is making me cry non stop!! Katy: Oh hell, but that’s why I love Meredith’s books!! Loved her find you in the dark series… I’ll be watching out for your updates :)))) Me: Loved that series too! This is really good but it’s so heartbreaking >_< Katy: Ohhhh :((( good luck x Mysza: That good, huh? Me: It’s so good!!! A heartbreaking story but it’s amazing! <3
Mysza: Well then, just one-clicked this one. Thanks for updates, they really encouraged me:) Me: You’re welcome! I just finished it and wow…get the tissues ready! I can’t breathe through my nose since its all stuffed lol <— this is me responding after I finished since I ignored Goodreads after this 19% mark
100%markMe: I actually finished this 30 mins ago but just sat here crying and crying. My heart hurts. My face hurts from all the crying. And I have to breathe through my mouth because my nose is clogged up.Claire: I will save this one for at home then…..Nothing worse than crying like a nutter when you are on public transport!! Me: Definitely save it for home!!!!! I should’ve thought of that before since I now have to go to work looking like Rudolph the Reindeer Bibliophilia: My kinda book then Me: Haha Sim: I was going to start while eating breakfast and waiting for the office computer to fire up. I guess I’d better not – thanks for the heads-up! Me: LOL! A tearjerker is putting it lightly :/ Claire: Lol, I’m going to start it when I get home this evening Gena: ahh!! so excited for this!!! did you love it Feifei? Brandi: Lots of crying…I will have to stock up on alcohol and tissues. Jessica: *hugs*Denisse: oh honey…. I want to read this and cry too. love this author. reading this with my girl Patty later on this week. Sending you big hugs… Sammy: *hugs*Jennifer: I’m sorry I didn’t give you a heads up about the tears that come with this story I didn’t know if you were a crier like me when it comes to books!!!! Baba: *hands tissues* J.B.: This sounds quite interesting. I think I’m not ready for such an intense crying book at the moment. Glad you seemed to enjoy it. Me to Claire: ENJOY!! Me to Gena: I LOVED IT Gena!!! It was really emotional for me but I pulled through! I think you’d like it Me to Brandi: LOL yes that’d definitely help! I only had my sleeve… Me to Jessica: ((hugs)) ♥ Me to Denisse: Ooooh y’all are in for a treat! ((hugs)) <3
Me to Sammy: ((uber squishy hugs)) Me to Jennifer: Haha no problem!! I’m actually glad you didn’t so I could experience it full-force! If you had told me I’d probably sucked up my tears Oh and you’re totally right!! This book is awesome! <3
Me to Baba: Thank you Baba!! ♥ ♥ Me to J.B.: Thank you J.B.! I didn’t expect it to be so intense and tear-inducing but wouldn’t have it any other way! Hope you like it if you read it Mysza: O.M.G. Feifei, I’m at 16% and it sounds so promising, so far it’s a great reading! Me: Yay!!! Hope it continues to be that way! Hugs and kisses ahead of time! ♥ J: Okay I have to ask….(view spoiler) You know me….too many feels aren’t good for me. LMAO! Me: LOL I get you. I can’t handle all the feels either and this one took the cake. (view spoiler) Ugh. I still can’t breathe through my nose haha Mysza: Thank God, woof… (thanks for asking J, it’s been eating me) <— you’ll get the woof reference when you read it Me: Haha! Enjoy
Assenette: Ok, I was going to read during my breaks & lunch time, but I see I need to wait until I get home. I’m already feeling nervous and I’m just one chapter in.
Me: Oh definitely a good call! That prologue was something! Enjoy!
J: Phew…okay, I can read it then! I think! Thanks friend!
Nikki: Snot inducing torture?? Sounds freaking fantastic! Just added it!
Me: LMAO!! Haven’t heard of that one, brilliant! It is fantastic but puts your emotions through the wringer :/
E: That awesome? Got to get me one of these soonish then
Chelsea: Wow fei that good? Can’t wait… I wonder if i’m gonna cry coz I haven’t cried over a book yet, just slightly teary- eyed but that’s it =)
Me: GET IT!!!!!!
I didn’t think I was going to such a baby but the waterworks started at 7% lol
Lisa: Enjjjjjoooooooooy !!!!! You love to torture yourself don’t you ? LOL
Me: Thanks dear and LOL!! Had no idea it was a tearjerker haha! A bumpy read but worth it
E: Started! Page 7 now. *clutches a box of tissue*
So you can see, this book wasn’t just me reading it by myself or only my take from it; I got to fully experience everything this book had to offer with all the above chats and then some…if you’re looking for a highly emotional, life-changing, soul-etching read, I would recommend this one, and while you’re at it, grab some friends and tissues and HAPPY READING!