by Ellen Wittlinger
Summary: "You shouldn't expect much of him. He's...he's damaged." Damaged. What a horrible word. Like a car after a wreck...It was how I'd been feeling myself. Slightly ruined, a big mess.
Lately there have been a lot of guys in Sandpiper's life. In the past year, she's gone through eight or nine different boyfriends — if you can call them that. She knows the boys are only using her for one thing, but she is using them, too.
The Walker is different from the others. He is kind and gentle. Mysterious. And most of all, he is the first guy who doesn't want Sandy for all the usual reasons. In fact, she's not sure if he wants her for any reason.
But she knows she wants to be around him. He makes her feel safe, when all the other parts of her life — like her family and friends — just make her feel awful. And when one of Sandy's exes starts harassing her, the Walker may be the only person who can help Sandy confront her uneasy past — and steady herself for a different future.
I didn't really go into this book with any expectations, it was just one of those books that I stumbled across and liked the cover and ended up buying it - I'm not sure whether I loved it or not. I read it in one sitting and I think my feelings for it are mostly positive...but yeah, not sure if I loved it.
Walker was the main reason I liked the story. I think he was awesome and his story was so sad, I just wanted to reach into the book and hug him tight. And yeah, he was just lovely.
Sandpiper (I'd whine about how bloody awful her name is but it's a point in the book so it wasn't just the author trying to make her a unique little snowflake) - I really didn't like her for a large portion of the book. She had a serious attitude problem and warped way of seeing things...but while she annoyed me, it wasn't because she was badly written, it was because she was given real flaws and they were well written. She grows as a character and by the end I liked her.
The plot...this is probably the part I'm unsure of. I liked it, but - I dunno, it had the same kind of feel that reading a Sarah Dessen book does only without the Sarah Dessen awesomeness where the story is just...it's real, but it's not one of those raw/gritty ones, and it deals with real issues and the plot isn't - I guess what I'm trying to say is that it's more character driven than plot driven (there is twists in the story and things, it just that most of it isn't particularly interesting on its own without the characters being interesting).
I really liked the writing and while I wasn't too into Sandpiper/Pipers poems (although a few were really good), I liked that addition to the book too. A few quotes I liked (one from the writing, one from one of her poems):
“I will meet you at the crossroads of damage and sorrow. We will recognize each other by the ragged holes in our hearts, sorry for everything, hoping to come home.”
“I loved the way his smiles came from far away and really meant something. He was serious in a way other guys I knew weren’t.”
I wish it hadn't ended where it did. I wish we were given a little something more instead of us being left to figure out how things turned out on our own but as far as endings go, it wasn't awful. It's just one of those books where I kind of wish there was an epilogue to give us some answers.
This review is awful - I tried leaving it for a while to give my thoughts time to clear a little but it's just not happening. I recommend the book, I read it in one sitting, I enjoyed it and it had good characters (Walker and Rachel were my favourites)...I know I liked it, I may have loved it, but I just don't know.
And I give up trying to explain my muddled thoughts on it (the fact that I had an awful day and haven't slept probably not helping the situation /oversharing).