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My rating: 4 stars
"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."
After finishing Lead Me Not (you can read my review here), I couldn't resist and not pick up one more novel by A. Meredith Walters. I am happy that I did, because what I read was equally good as her latest novel and completely different when it comes to the story.
I did not expect that. One of the biggest cliches of new adult genre is alpha male/bad boy who falls in love with the good girl. A lot of drama and angst. Reclaiming the Sand is a novel that might not appeal to the fans of genre. Why? For starters, forget about bad boys and melodramatic make out sessions. There is nothing easy here and you could find yourself in situation where you wouldn't know if you hate main character or you forgive her. Ellie is usually that girl we find somewhere on sidelines in new adult books - unlikeable character who at some point choose to do a good thing and in the end we start to believe that there might still be hope for her redemption. It was hard to "accept" her and even harder to empathize with her because a lot of things that she had done were cruel and mean. Ellie is a bully. Nothing cannot undo her past, but I kind of understood some of her actions and in the end I didn't resent her that much.
Flynn. One thing I can promise you is that you have never met main male character like this in any new adult novel you have read so far. Flynn is complete opposite to Kellan Kyle and Travis Maddox type of boys. Struggling his whole life with Asperger's, Flynn had a hard time growing up, adjusting to change and interacting with other people. Ellie didn't make things any easier for him. My heart broke every time when he would smile and say that she is his friend now because she smiles at him and talks with him. Or when he would let her hold his hand. And I was so proud when he stood up for himself. I melted when he told her this:
"I’m upset, Ellie! Because you won’t talk to me! Because you always hurt me! You make it so hard to love you!"
Please, read this! Reclaiming the Sand is a book worth reading, especially for all of you who have doubts about genre or no love for alpha males.
Song that fits the book --- Dustin Tebbutt "The Breach"