Published March 17th 2014
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.
This story was simply beautiful in the best and worst way. I struggled with the bullying aspect of the book and it broke my heart to see how much Flynn went through, but overall this story touched my heart. Beautiful!
Bully and victim.
In Reclaiming the Sand, we get the honor of meeting Flynn who as Asperger’s Syndrome. As a result, he is constantly taunted, teased and bullied at school. When he meets Ellie, who has been raised in the foster care system and has suffered a different sort of torture, these two become unlikely friends. However, when Ellie’s friends bully Flynn in the most cruel ways possible, she does nothing to defend him, leaving him confused and hurt.
After a tragic event leads Ellie to spend years in a detention facility and later completing parole service, she runs into Flynn and they steadily begin to reform the friendship that was broken so many years prior. As she begins to allow herself to love Flynn and he shows her that he’s capable of building a relationship with her, these two learn how to speak each other’s language and form a bond once again.
I have to say just how much I came to adore Flynn. He was complex yet so tender and simple in the most resounding ways. To see that he was capable of love on a whole different level made this story magical and pure. It broke my heart to see how he suffered at the hands of ignorant people that taunted and teased him so cruelly, but it was hopeful to see how he was able to build a life for himself and learn to function in society on his own. Truly emotional!
As much as Ellie’s choices broke my heart, she still proved to be a worthy character. Her hard edges and callous ways for some reason didn’t make me angry, but rather sad. I completely understood why she made certain choices, and I believed her regret. To say she deserved Flynn took a lot out of me, because to juxtapose someone so innocent, pure and kind against a character like Ellie’s is tough to swallow. However, the ending proved to be the perfect blend of appropriate and hopeful.
Reclaiming the Sand was beautiful in so many ways. This story absolutely owned me!! He gave me a life I never dreamed I could have.
He had given me connection and belonging and acceptance.