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 Abdi Nazemian Adam Silvera Adib Khorram Aiden Thomas Aisha Saeed AJ Collins Alexandra Christo Alexene Farol Follmuth Alexis Hall Alex Kelly Alex Sanchez Alice Dolman Alice Oseman Alison Cochrun Al Riske Alwyn Hamilton A. Meredith Walters Amy Aislin Amy Harmon Amy S. Foster André Aciman Andy V Roamer Angie Thomas Annabeth Albert A. Poland Ashley Poston Ashley Woodfolk Audrey Coulthurst Becca Fitzpatrick Becky Albertalli Benjamin Alire Saenz Beth Bolden Bill Konigsberg B.L. Maxwell Briar Prescott Bri Spicer Brooke Skipstone Cale Dietrich Casey McQuiston Cassandra Clare C.G. Drews Chris Bedell Ciara Smyth Clarissa Pattern C.L. Beaumont Colleen Hoover Crystal Frasier C.S. Pacat Daven McQueen David Biddle David Yoon Dean Atta Debbie McGowan Debbie Rigaud Deborah Harkness Delia Owens D.G. Carothers Dhonielle Clayton Douglas Stuart Dustin Thao Elizabeth Acevedo Elizabeth Arroyo Elle Kennedy Elle Wright E. Lockhart Emily M. Danforth Emily Mims Erin Watt Ernest Cline Evan J. Corbin Eve Morton Everina Maxwell Evie Dunmore Felice Stevens Grace Williams Gwen Martin Hanya Yanagihara Hayden Stone Heather Truett Hettie Bell Holly Black Hope Irving Hudson Lin Ingrid Sterling Jacqueline Lee Jacqueline Woodson Jamie Deacon Jandy Nelson Jax Calder Jay Hogan Jeanette Winterson Jeff Zentner 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 John Green Jonny Garza Villa Julianne Donaldson Kacen Callender Kami Garcia Kara Leigh Miller Kasie West Kate Larkindale Katharine McGee Kathleen Mareé 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 Laurie Frankel Leah Johnson Lee Matthew Goldberg Leigh Bardugo Leylah Attar Lisa Henry Lisa Williamson Liv Rancourt Liz Plum Lola Noire Lynn Michaels Mackenzi Lee Madeline Miller Maggie Doolin Maggie Stiefvater Malin Persson Giolito Malorie Blackman Margaret Stohl Marie Lu Mary E. Pearson Mason Deaver Matthew R. Corr Melina Marchetta Meredith Russo Miel Moreland Mila Gray Miranda Kenneally Moa Backe Astot M. Tasia Nancy Garden Natalie Haynes Nicholas Sparks Nicola Yoon Nic Starr Nic Stone Nina Kenwood Nita Tyndall Nora Sakavic N.R. Walker Penny Aimes Phil Stamper Quinn Anderson Rachael Brownell Rachael Lippincott Rachel Hawkins Rainbow Rowell Ray Stoeve Rhiannon Wilde River Braun Roan Parrish Roseanne A. Brown Rowan MacKemsley Ruby Moone Ruta Sepetys Ryan La Sala Sally Green Sarah J. Maas Sarah Waters Sarina Bowen Saundra Mitchell Sidney Bell Simone Elkeles Siryn Sueng Sophia DeRise Sophie Gonzales Stephen Chbosky Stephenie Meyer Steven Salvatore Susan Mac Nicol Suzanne Collins Tahereh Mafi Tamara Girardi Teagan Hunter Tiffany D. Jackson Timothy Janovsky T.J. Klune T.L. Bradford Tomasz Jedrowski Tomi Adeyemi Val Wise Veronica Rossi Veronica Roth V.E. Schwab Wesley Chu Victor Dixen Victoria Aveyard Xan Van Rooyen Yamile Saied Méndez