Synopses & Reviews
Derek really liked me -- at least, he acted that way. I liked him too at first, but it lasted only a few weeks before he was getting on my nerves. And once I break it off with a guy, I don't even want to see him anymore. For a while I feel like I don't want to see any guys anymore, but that doesn't last long either.
Sandpiper Hollow Ragsdale has a bad reputation. At first she just wanted a boyfriend, but now she's had a dozen and doesn't know what she saw in any of them. When one of Sandy's exes, Derek, starts harassing her, a mysterious boy called the Walker comes to her aid. Walker spends his days wandering through town. When Sandy begins to walk with him, he evades her questions, unwilling to reveal anything about himself. She's interested but wary -- why is Walker so secretive? As Derek's aggressions turn dangerous, Sandy and Walker are forced to confront the pain of their pasts, which each of them would rather forget.
Ellen Wittlinger's powerful story of two people struggling to overcome personal demons exemplifies why School Library Journal said that her writing conveys a fundamental truth and that she evokes caring in readers and gives them plenty to think about.
"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.
About the Author
Ellen Wittlinger is the critically acclaimed author of the teen novels Love & Lies: Marisol's Story, Parrotfish, Blind Faith, Sandpiper, Heart on My Sleeve, Zigzag, and Hard Love (an American Library Association Michael L. Printz Honor Book and a Lambda Literary Award winner), and the middle-grade novel Gracie's Girl. She has a bachelor's degree from Millikin University in Decatur, Illinois, and an M.F.A. from the University of Iowa. A former children's librarian, she lives with her husband in Haydenville, Massachusetts.