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Sandpiper    by Ellen Wittlinger order for
by Ellen Wittlinger
Order:  USA  Can
Simon & Schuster, 2005 (2005)
* *   Reviewed by Lyn Seippel

Sandpiper has sworn off men. The problem is they haven't sworn off Sandpiper. In fact a group of them don't appreciate that they've been dumped and plan revenge. Sandpiper meets the Walker, a tortured young man, who walks continuously, trying to escape demons from his past. He helps Sandpiper escape a confrontation with Derek, the most vicious of her tormentors.

Sandpiper's past sexual behavior isn't pretty and she's never regretted it more than now as she helps plan her mother's upcoming wedding. Her actions have put her family in danger. Her sister's reputation suffers and the family pet is injured. Her mother's wedding is barely over when an escalation of the harassment becomes criminal.

It's hard to imagine finding Sandpiper sympathetic after learning about her conduct, but Wittlinger's skilful writing allows us to separate Sandpiper's actions from Sandpiper, the person. Wittlinger explores a reality involving teenagers that most writers and adults would prefer to wish out of existence. She also gives us a story of forgiveness. Not only the forgiveness of others, but will Sandpiper and the Walker be able to forgive themselves?

This captivating read is recommended for older teenagers.

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