Monday, April 7, 2014

JESSICA REVIEWS: RECLAIMING THE SAND by A. MEREDITH WALTERS

Reclaiming the SandSeries: Stand alone
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Publisher: Self-Pub
Publication Date: 3/17/14
Format: ebook
Source: Purchase
Rating: 5 stars

*THIS IS A STAND ALONE WITH NO CLIFFHANGER!*

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.

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18240649-reclaiming-the-sand?from_search=true




Our roles in each other’s lives had been to every extreme.
Bully and victim.
Friend.
Champion.
Lover.


Wow. Just...wow.
Let me go search for some duct tape, twine, Krazy Glue and whatever else I can find to put together my heart and emotions.
Holy hell, Flynn brought me to tears.
Now that I’ve somewhat breathed a bit and sort of put my crying heart together, I can now talk a bit about Ellie and Flynn’s story.

As I talked with Flynn in his moonlit yard, I felt the snarls of my rage loosen and fade away.
It had everything to do with the way he spoke to me. The way he had me reminiscing. The way he had reminded me of the girl I had been. One that wasn’t angry. That wasn’t bitter.
He made me remember a lonely girl who had been drawn to a sad boy and had found comfort in him.


I don’t even know where to start with this review. I mean, really, I am in awe of this author and her writing. Ever since I read one of her first books, FIND YOU IN THE DARK, I fell in love with her characters and her writing, and how I get so pulled into these characters’ world. I want to physically get into the pages and be one with the story.  I want to be friends with Flynn and throttle Ellie and pummel the shit out of her so-called friends.  The feelings that came from this book ranged anywhere from utter despair to ultimate sadness to downright rage. I think I even had heart palpitations because I wanted everything to be unicorns and rainbows. I wanted to hug Flynn so, SO badly. He was such a beautiful, BEAUTIFUL broken boy. At times, I even wanted to hug Ellie, a big damn squeeze to hopefully open her eyes and see the true beauty of this lost boy.

And I wait for Ellie while she picks the yellow flowers with the black dots in the middle.
I am going to be late. I have two minutes.
But I won’t leave Ellie by herself.
She comes back and starts walking with me. She holds the flowers and twists the stems together into a knot. She isn’t smiling anymore. Her mouth is turned down again.
Then she throws the flowers into the stream by the road. Why did she pick them and then throw them away?
“Why did you do that?” I ask, pointing to the flowers in the water.
“They’re too pretty,” she said.
“Like you,” I tell her. And that makes her smile. I am glad I said it.
She looks at me and I drop my eyes. I can’t look at her. It makes me feel strange.
“I’m too pretty?” she asks, her voice rising but she is still smiling.
I nod. “You’re beautiful.”
It is true. She is the most beautiful girl I have ever seen. Much prettier than the lady on the television that reads the news. She makes me feel funny inside too. But Ellie is prettier. She makes my stomach turn. I like her.
 

Oh Flynn, Flynn, FLYNN.

What can I say about this boy that won’t make me just want to weep and cuddle him simultaneously? When you read this story, I dare you not to fall head over heels in love with this boy. He is the epitome of beautifully broken.  He loves differently than you and l, but LOVES nonetheless. And his ever loving heart is so intense for Ellie. It is the truest and purest of all loves. He is direct and at times a bit hurtful but that is what makes him special. Ellie sees this and slowly falls for him. She knows that he has his faults and he isn’t like the other boys. It’s because he isn’t like other boys that she falls so deeply for him. But of course, obstacles and meddling asshole friends get in the way of their love.

 I had cared about Flynn. So much.It had scared me. I was terrified to feel anything for anyone. I had spent most of my life shutting everyone out. I hadn’t a defense against a quiet boy who was just as lost as I was. I had opened up.
I had let him in.
And then I had pushed him away in the only way I could.

By destroying him.
 

 

He had forgiven me. Even if he couldn’t say the words.

I loved this man. So much. But how many times would our destructive history derail the future we were attempting to build? Was it possible for two people who had hurt each other so badly be happy together?

I hoped so. Because I couldn’t imagine my life without Flynn Hendrick.

Somehow, someway, we were going to have to find a way to not only forgive each other, but to forgive our past.

If that was even possible.
 

It is really, REALLY hard to get my eyes to mist up while reading a book. It is a RARITY when an author writes something so great, that she makes me cry. And whenever I would read Flynn’s POV, that’s exactly what would happen. We would get Ellie’s POV in present day. She made me want to seriously throttle her. But oh, when I would read Flynn’s POV of how their past became the horror that it was, I couldn’t help my tear ducts. My eyes would mist listening to Flynn talk about how they met, how he fell for her, how they became friends and not friends, and how he never stopped believing and loving her.  There came a moment where I just needed to lay the Kindle down for a bit, have some coffee, gather my nerves and then keep reading. I, too, was falling in love with Flynn. He was just…wonderful.

I pointed  upwards and tilted my head back. “Look up then,” I said in hushed tones.
Flynn obeyed and tilted his head back.
“What do you see?” I asked him.
Flynn was quiet, his yes trained on the sky above him. Finally he answered in an equally quiet voice.
“I see the universe.”
“It’s beautiful, isn’t it?”
Flynn looked over at me and I met his eyes. And he held them. He didn’t look away. “Yes. It’s beautiful.”

 
The only teeny tiny complaint that I have (if you even want to call it that) was that the ending was so abrupt. I thought my insides were going to come out of my eyeballs towards the end. As the author mentioned, it’s stand-alone book with no cliffhanger. But holy shit! I thought I was going to howl and scream like a banshee if the ending hadn’t been what it was. You will see what I mean when you read the book.
Definitely, definitely read Ellie and Flynn’s story. It’s quite a beautifully, heart wrenching, rollercoaster ride of a journey.

Favorite Quotes

“I’m so sorry, Flynn. For everything. For calling you names. For being your friend and then taking that friendship away because I was a coward. For not standing up for you when I should have. For not being stronger.”
“I know you’re sorry, Ellie.”
“Huh?”
“I know you’re sorry, Ellie. You weren’t very nice to me. You made me feel angry and sad and I cried a lot because of you. But now you make me smile. You laugh and I laugh and we have fun together. You want to be with me and I want to be with you. We belong together.”
“You think we belong together?”
“You make me feel good, Ellie. I make you laugh. We’re happy together. That’s all that matters.”
 


For a long time I was quite content with my seclusion. But now that I had Flynn in my life I realized how lonely I had truly been. How isolated I had allowed myself to be. I had existed, not lived, and there was a very big difference between the two.

 

Purchase Links
 
 
 
About the author
A. Meredith WaltersThe New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of Contemporary and Paranormal romance including The Find You in the Dark and Bad Rep series as well as the upcoming stand alone romance, Reclaiming the Sand, and a dark new adult series for Gallery Books.

A. Meredith spent ten years as a counselor for at risk teens and children. First working at a Domestic Violence/Sexual Assault program and then later a program for children with severe emotional and mental health issues. Her former clients and their stories continue to influence every aspect of her writing.

When not writing (or being tortured with all manner of beauty products at the hand of her very imaginative and extremely girly daughter), she is eating chocolate, watching reality television that could rot your brain and reading a smutty novel or two.

A. Meredith is represented by Michelle Johnson with the Inklings Literary Agency.


 
 
 
 
 

11 comments:

  1. Wow. Clearly this one needs hand holding. Glad you enjoyed.

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  2. Flynn sounds like such a great character. I already want to hug him just from reading your review!

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  3. So I think I need to meet this Flynn, he sounds wonderful. Great review!

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  4. Woah, this sounds like a beautiful story. I really want to meet Flynn!

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  5. Stand alone, a swoon worthy guy, awesome romance and fantastic writing? I'm getting this! Plus the title is great too, very catchy!

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  6. Wow- SOLD Jessica! I've been curious about this one and now you cemented the deal. I WILL be picking this one up, especially since you loved it so much!

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  7. My goodness - I can absolutely tell you were affected on a deep level here, Jessica. Lovely, lovely review and I already added it to my tbr. :)

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  8. aww wow Jessica! the review itself was beautiful. What an emotional read!

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  9. When a book brings you to tears, and makes you emotional, you know it's good! Flynn sounds great! Thanks for sharing :)

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  10. I've heard good things about this author and have been tempted to try her books. This sounds really good. Thanks for sharing.

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