This was such an emotional, beautiful and unique story, but also at times such a difficult and heartbreaking read. It’s a story about Flynn, who has Asperger’s, and Ellie, who was his friend but who also joined the others bullying him at school. I loved the extra dimension with the neurodivergent representation, but most of all, I loved it for being such a gripping and realistic story about finding forgiveness and allowing yourself to be vulnerable and open to love.
Ellie McCallum and Flynn Hendrick had such a tragic history together. Flynn loved Ellie from the first time he saw her, but Ellie was the tough girl growing up passed from foster home to foster home who had learned the hard way never to trust anyone or feel any emotions. Not until Flynn managed to break through her hard shell and become her friend. In secret. In school, Ellie kept tormenting and mocking him just like the others, calling him “Freaky Flynn” due to his Asperger’s that made it difficult for him to understand social codes.
I have to admit that I struggled with the beginning of this book. A lot! I just couldn’t connect with Ellie and I absolutely loathed her friends. It just made me so angry the way Ellie kept allowing her friends to ruin her life and all the bad decisions she made. But once Flynn entered the story everything changed… he stole my heart completely!
Flynn is one of those characters I will never forget. A. Meredith Walters did an amazing job showing us the world through Flynn’s eyes with the alternate POVs. Flynn was just such a beautiful soul. So pure and innocent, so shy and awkward, so loving and compassionate, and so bluntly honest at all times. It was impossible not to love him and wanting to protect him from all evil. The alternate POVs also gave us readers the possibility to get the full picture and the painful and devastating backstory to what happened between them six years ago and why Ellie had become so embittered by life that she’d given into her anger and guilt to hurt him and herself.
I don’t think I can say that I ended up loving Ellie, but I definitely understood the reasons for her horrible, selfish and mean behavior, and her character development was amazing. She’d been through so much, and she hated herself more than anyone else ever could, that it was hard not to pity her. Eventually she also learnt from her mistakes and allowed herself to connect with Flynn again, letting him teach her how to love.
If I could have skipped the first part (or made Ellie behave differently sooner), this book would have been such an amazing five star read, but taking into consideration the whole book and the way Ellie kept coming back to her horrible friends I have to settle for four stars. But I really love this book and urge you all to please give it a try! It’s such an intense, heartbreaking, sweet, powerful, beautiful and unique story and I can’t wait to continue to read about Flynn and Ellie in the sequel Chasing the Tide!
Thank you so much Sophie (Sophie’s Reading Corner) for the recommendation that made me find this gem!
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A. Meredith Walters
All 1 Star 2 Stars 3 Stars 4 Stars 5 Stars Abbi Glines Abby Kaitz Abdi Nazemian Adam Silvera Adib Khorram Aiden Thomas Aisha Saeed Aislinn Brophy AJ Collins Alexandra Christo Alex Beltran Alexene Farol Follmuth Alexis Hall Alex Kelly Alex Sanchez Alice Dolman Alice Oseman Alice Winn Ali Hazelwood Alison Cochrun Al Riske Alwyn Hamilton Amanda Ferreira Amanda Woody A. Meredith Walters Amy Aislin Amy Harmon Amy S. Foster Amy Spalding André Aciman Andy V Roamer Angie Thomas Annabeth Albert A. Poland Ashley Poston Ashley Woodfolk Ashlyn Kane Audrey Coulthurst Ban Gilmartin Becca Fitzpatrick Becky Albertalli Benjamin Alire Saenz Beth Bolden Bill Konigsberg B.L. Maxwell Briar Prescott Bri Spicer Brooke Skipstone Cait Nary Cale Dietrich Cara Dee Casey McQuiston Cassandra Clare Cat Sebastian C.F. White C.G. Drews Charlie Adhara Charli Meadows Chasten Buttigieg Chris Bedell Christina Lauren Christina Lee Ciara Smyth Claerie Kavanaugh Clarissa Pattern C.L. Beaumont Colette Davison Colleen Hoover Courtney Kae Crystal Frasier C.S. Pacat Dallas Smith Daven McQueen David Biddle David Yoon Dean Atta Debbie McGowan Debbie Rigaud Debbie Schrack Deborah Harkness Delia Owens D.G. Carothers Dhonielle Clayton D.N. Bryn Douglas Stuart Dustin Thao Elisa A. Bonnin Elizabeth Acevedo Elizabeth Arroyo Elle Kennedy Elle Wright E.L. Massey E. Lockhart Emery Lee Emily M. Danforth Emily Mims Erin Watt Ernest Cline Evan J. Corbin Eve Morton Everina Maxwell Evie Dunmore Felice Stevens F.T. Lukens Grace Williams Gwen Martin Hannah Grace Hanya Yanagihara Hayden Stone Heather Truett H.E. Edgmon Hettie Bell Holly Black Hope Irving H.S. Valley Hudson Lin Ingrid Sterling Jacob Gelman Jacqueline Lee Jacqueline Woodson James L. Sutter Jamie Deacon Jandy Nelson Jax Calder Jay Hogan Jeanette Winterson Jeff Zentner Jen Bailey Jenna Evans Welch Jenn Burke Jennifer E. Smith Jennifer G. Edelson Jennifer Gilmore Jennifer Iacopelli Jennifer Kropf Jennifer Niven Jenny Downham Jenny Han Jeremy Ray Jesse H. Reign Joelle Lynne John Green Jonny Garza Villa Julianne Donaldson Julian Winters Kacen Callender Kami Garcia Kara Leigh Miller Kasie West Kate Larkindale Katharine McGee Kathleen Mareé Kathy Anderson K.A. Tucker KD Casey Kendall Grey Kevin Van Whye Kiley Reid Kim Fielding Kim Holden Kim Liggett Kitty Bardot Kris Ripper K.S. Marsden Laura Hall Laura Pavlov Laura Silverman Lauren James Lauren Shippen Laurie Frankel Leah Johnson Lee Matthew Goldberg Leigh Bardugo Lex Croucher Leylah Attar Lisa Henry Lisa Williamson Lisa Wingate Liv Rancourt Liz Plum Lola Noire Lynn Michaels Mackenzi Lee Madeline Miller Magdalena Di Sotru Maggie Doolin Maggie Stiefvater Malin Persson Giolito Malorie Blackman Margaret Stohl Marie Lu Mary E. Pearson Mason Deaver Matthew R. Corr M.A. Wardell Melanie Munton Melina Marchetta Meredith Russo Miel Moreland Mila Gray Miranda Kenneally Moa Backe Astot Morgan James M. Tasia Nancy Garden Natalie Haynes Nathaniel Shea Nicholas Sparks Nicola Yoon Nic Starr Nic Stone Nina Kenwood Nita Tyndall Nora Sakavic N.R. Walker Nyla K. Owen Lach Penny Aimes Phil Stamper Quinn Anderson Rachael Brownell Rachael Lippincott Rachel Hawkins Rachel Reid Racquel Marie Rainbow Rowell Ray Stoeve Renée Dahlia Rhiannon Wilde Riley Hart River Braun Roan Parrish Robin Gow Roseanne A. Brown Rowan MacKemsley Ruby Moone Ruta Sepetys Ryan La Sala Sally Green Sally Rooney Sarah J. Maas Sarah Waters Sarina Bowen Sasha Laurens Saundra Mitchell Saxon James Serena Bell Shannon O’Connor Sidney Bell Simone Elkeles Siryn Sueng Sophia DeRise Sophia Soames Sophie Gonzales S.R. Lane Stephen Chbosky Stephenie Meyer Steven Salvatore Susan Mac Nicol Suzanne Collins Tahereh Mafi Tal Bauer Tamara Girardi Taylor Jenkins Reid Teagan Hunter Terry J. Benton-Walker Tiffany D. Jackson Timothy Janovsky T.J. Klune T.L. Bradford Tobly McSmith Tomasz Jedrowski Tomi Adeyemi Tracy Deonn Tucker Shaw Val Wise Veronica Rossi Veronica Roth V.E. Schwab Wesley Chu Victor Dixen Victoria Aveyard V.L. Stuart Xan Van Rooyen Yamile Saied Méndez