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Posted March 17, 2014
I want to start out by saying that when I write 5 star reviews, I do it so that the author can read my words and feel good about impacting another reader. I usually choose my words carefully and try to focus on everything that moved, touched, or impressed me.
Well, I can say that I'm writing this one for me. Sorry A. Meredith Walters, but I'm going to be a little selfish with this one.
Almost four years ago, I had my first child. A beautiful, chubby, blue-eyed joy that I couldn't wait to teach. I was a new mother; overwhelmed, overjoyed with the new adventure of raising a child and showing him how to be a man. But by the time he hit 18 months, it was obvious he wasn't like other kids. He couldn't stack blocks, he wasn't speaking, and he couldn't find the motor skills to hold a fork. Two months later, the school district slapped an autism diagnosis on him, and I froze.
I don't think it's easy for any mother to send their child off to school that first day, all alone on a big bus, with strangers all around them. But I can't even express to you how terrifying it was for me to do this, even before he hit 24 months; handing him over to smiling strangers reassuring me he was in good hands. He was still my beautiful baby boy, and I didn't care that he was 'different.' But it wasn't about me, it was about my son.
Junior will be 4 in June, and just now is he starting to pair two words together. When I read the first Flynn chapters, I almost vomited for how much I cried. This author gave my son a voice; one I've never heard, one I might never hear. And I can't tell you how monumentally grateful I am for that. And even though the book opened my eyes to the fact that people are going to hate my son, call him a 'freak,' or bully him to the point of physical harm (because people can suck), it was still a harsh reality that I hadn't considered, but should've.
This book spoke directly to me.
So while I could sit here and tell you that the writing was flawless, the flow natural, the story supreme, and even the secondary characters were written in such detail that they popped out from the pages, I'm not going to deny the fact that those weren't the things that stood out for me. A. Meredith Walters is a New York Times bestseller for a reason - she doesn't mess around. She's not the kind of author that slaps a diagnosis on her characters without putting the research and dedication behind it. You do the math - the book is superb. No. For me, Reclaiming the Sand has blown a hole through my chest and grabbed hold of my beating heart and will stay there forever. Flynn and Ellie won my heart, but better yet, I'm walking away with a better grip on my reality and a stronger mother for my boy.
It has also given me hope.
Thank you for writing this book.
6 out of 6 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted March 17, 2014
Beautiful. Brilliant. Inspiring. Reclaiming The Sand simply left me speechless. The prologue itself left me reeling. I knew as soon as I started this book, I wouldn't be the same. And I wasn't. This story will destroy anything you think about love. About what love can do. What love is capable of. And you will question your definition of love.
"He sees the beauty of where other's don't. He hears love when others only hear pain. He gives me the strength to become the person I've been terrified to be"
Ellie McCallum was a lost and lonely girl growing up. She didn't connect to anyone or anything. She felt better about herself by tearing others down. Enter Flynn Hendrick. Freaky Flynn. Flynn was different simply because he had Aspergers. Ellie continuously bullied Flynn and encouraged her troubled friends to do the same. After an act committed by Ellie, she is thrown in juvenile jail. Years later she is released and lives her life, and runs in to Flynn. The one person she's despised for so many years. The only person that she found possible to love. Ever.
"My heart exploded in my chest in a million tiny fragments. All because of a glimpse of dark green eyes that I hadn't I realized I missed"
This is not your typical read. You're going to hurt. You're going to feel it ALL. Ellie is in so much pain. Pain that no one should ever experience. And her friends? They hurt too. And your heart goes out to every single one of them. How can you show kindness when you don't know it yourself? How do you love, when you've never experienced it? All those years ago, Ellie had a connection to Flynn. And she loved him. She didn't know it at the time. So she resorted to the emotion she knows so well-anger. And lots of it. When she runs into him again, years later the feelings she has suppressed for so long surfaces in the most intense way possible.
"I'll be careful Flynn. I promise"
"I know you will, Ellie. I trust you."
I LIVED this book. It consumed me. Although the writing is at a slower pace than what I am used to, it was flawless. It was breathtaking. I held on to every word. Flynn doesn't verbally discuss his love for Ellie, but you FEEL it. It is raw, passionate, and all consuming. He loves her like no one else can. unconditionally. His love goes where love doesn't go. It's deep. His love finds her in the dark and does not want to let go. And Ellie? You will hate her. You will be mad at her. But you will understand her. And her love for Flynn? It's so beautiful it hurts.
"So I followed the man who had stolen my heart and stitched up my soul..."
Phenomenal doesn't even begin to describe Reclaiming The Sand. This inspirational story will stay with me a long time to come. It is life changing. It is throughout provoking. It challenges everything you know about love. Flynn changed Ellie's world. He will change yours.
2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted May 26, 2014
All i can say is wow! This book really draws out the waterworks.i cried alot during this book ,i guess you could say that the pain in this book is enough to make anyones heart feel like its being squeezed in a iron fist.At moments i had to stop reading ,squeeze my eyes shut and just breath for a few moments because of the things that Ellie did .Her description of how you would feel about the charecters in this book was right on point.i loved the way you could understand how each charecter was feeling at all times it made it easier to connect to so over all i say this book was a job well done and to all those out there who are thinking about reading this book ,i have two words .BUY IT!!!!!!
1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted December 7, 2014
It's the first I've read by Meredith Walters. Awesome story about love an forgiveness. I can't wait to read more of her stories. Nothing cookie cuter about this.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted December 1, 2014
Posted November 11, 2014
I'm having a hard time finding the words to say about this book. What a great story about two lost souls finding their way together. My only regret is that I don't get to hear more from them. You will not regret reading this!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted October 10, 2014
Posted August 23, 2014
Posted July 15, 2014
Posted April 8, 2014
Posted April 7, 2014
Another great story by A. Meredith Walters. Loved it. Had to put it down to go to work (what a pain) but, couldn't stop thinking about it all day. Wish the epilogue were longer but, happy there was one. This story is unique. The love story a treasure. And the writing is well done. I highly recommend this book.
Posted April 5, 2014
Reclaiming the Sand is a wonderfully beautiful book. It’s the type of book that will stick with you long after you’ve read it. It’s sweet, touching, heartbreaking, and absolutely perfect.
Told from the perspectives of Ellie and Flynn, the story gripped my heart from the very beginning. Ellie was right. At times, I hated her. I absolutely hated her and how she handled her life. Of course, I held out hope for her. In my heart, I truly felt Ellie wanted nothing more than to be better than what she had been (not just for Flynn, but for herself as well). And she was right again when she said I’d love Flynn. I did, oh so much. Of course, he’s not your typical “book boyfriend.” He’s different. He has Asperger’s (a form of Autism). None of that mattered, though. He has honest (to a fault), he was sweet, and he was innocence. I fell in love with Flynn.
Ellie and Flynn’s story was unlike anything that I’ve read. It was unconventional, full of trials that most people never have to deal with, and full of a love that most of the world longs to experience but won’t. The author writes their story with a beauty that most (let’s be honest, all) romance novels should be jealous of. Even though you’ll likely hate Ellie at times and become frustrated with Flynn, their story will penetrate your soul and stay with you long after you’ve read it.
Reclaiming the Sand is my favorite book (so far) of the year.
You can read all of my reviews on my blog, KDH Reviews.
Posted March 28, 2014
I really enjoyed reading about Ellie and Flynn. Another great story and she did a fabulous job with writing about these tough subjects.
Only gave this 4 stars because I still think the Find You in the Dark series was her best work yet. Can't wait for her next book later this year though!
Posted March 27, 2014
Posted March 23, 2014
This was a very difficult and intense read. It is raw and gritty, with moments of painful beauty.
I had a harder time than usual to relate to AMW’s writing. Maybe it was the subject, perhaps the pain that emanated from Ellie…I’m not sure which was more difficult for me to handle. Bullying is such a hot button topic in my household. It was difficult to reconcile my liking Ellie and wanting her to have happiness, love AND hope, that when my feelings toward her changed and I truly started rooting for her it was effortless.
To say Ellie was dealt a bad hand would be a gross understatement. As she says the town was dying and taking her right along. But there were bright moments- moments with Flynn that she was sure she didn’t deserve. So she did what most agree, disaffected youth will do- she pushed it away. Tormented him. Destroying her heart and life in the process.
Fast forward six years. Flynn is back. And all of Ellie’s friends revert back to high school. Yet the shine that was there for Ellie and Flynn remains.
Let me say that my NEED to knock some sense into Ellie’s “friends” was strong. So much pain and destruction.
Finding the strength to make it more and to put someone else’s happiness above her own seems impossible.
Watching the two of them mature and connect broke my heart. And laugh out loud. Ultimately bringing a sense of hope that brought the entire journey together for me. That connection made allowed the story to become even more real. Seeing forgiveness. Happiness. Hope.
Flynn wants Ellie’s happiness. And for them to be together- he has given her a place in his heart and life. His innocence and honesty push Ellie to be more, want more. But more is not in Wellsburg.
The end left me needing more- more details, more love, more hope. Yep I am a greedy one. But the Epilogue brought it all together for me- even in its vague manner- making me use my imagination and heart to fill in the rest of their story.
Posted March 20, 2014
Posted March 19, 2014
A. Meredith Walters wields a mighty pen! She also writes one of my very favorite series- Find You in the Dark. I cannot possibly say enough how much I adore that series, but we're not talking about that book; we're talking about Reclaiming the Sand. Because I love the other books so much, this book had a lot to live up to. How could she possibly write another story as beautiful as her other ones? Well, I'm happy to say that she did. This book broke my heart and put it back together again. It was brilliantly evocative and beautiful beyond words. I adored Ellie and Flynn. Their past and their present were so heartbreaking, but also heartwarming. I couldn't help but root for them from the very first chapter and cheer for them at the last. Brava, A. Meredith Walters! You've done it again!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted March 20, 2014
Posted March 17, 2014
I’m sorry Ellie McCallum. You said I would hate you. I thought I would. Maybe I should have, but I didn’t. I couldn’t. Much like Flynn didn’t.
Reclaiming the Sand is the amazing story of a broken, lonely girl and the broken, lonely boy she loves and hurts over and over. It is the story of growing up unloved, learning to love yourself, learning to love someone else, learning to let someone else love you. All things most of us take for granted. But these things don’t come naturally for everyone. They didn’t come naturally to Ellie or to Flynn. This story is also about forgiveness; forgiving yourself and forgiving others; believing you are worth forgiving, worth loving.
Reclaiming the Sand is not an easy story to read. It is heartbreaking on so many levels. Knowing what Ellie has lived through and watching her destroy relationships before she can be left and destroyed, witnessing the flashbacks of things that Ellie did to Flynn, crushing his heart again and again, seeing the self hate and guilt that Ellie lives with every day, this is a tragic story. It is also a beautiful story of love and acceptance; putting the horrible past in the past and moving forward.
This is the kind of story that makes you want to take care of others, make sure people are treated well. It will make you wish you had taken up for anyone you saw mistreated in the past (or thankful you stood up at the time). It will make you consider the way in which you treat people currently. It is so easy to speak harshly, not considering the affect our words may have on someone else. You never know what someone has gone through that caused him/her to be a certain way or what someone might currently be going through. This story will make you want to be a better person…at least it did for me.
Posted July 22, 2014
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