Friday, May 9, 2014

Book Review: Swimming Through the Clouds with Rajdeep Paulus

Swimming Through the Clouds
By Rajdeep Paulus
Publisher: Playlist Fiction
Published: Jan. 13, 2014
ASIN: B00D0V236K

Amazon Synopsis:

I live in the in between. Between what if and what is. It’s how I manage. It’s the only way I know. Everyone has their way. This is mine.

When high school, cell phone disruption forces a classroom ban, the words on a Post-it note spark a sticky romance between two unlikely friends. Transfer student Talia Vanderbilt has one goal at her new school: to blend in with the walls. Lagan Desai, basketball captain and mathlete, would do just about anything to befriend the new girl. One Post-it note at a time, Lagan persuades Talia to peel back her heart, slowly 
revealing her treasure chest of pain—an absent mother, a bedridden brother, and an abusive father. In a world where hurt is inevitable, the two teens search for a safe place to weather the storms of life. Together.

Semi-Finalist Genesis Contest (YA Fiction) 
Finalist (2nd Place) NORWA (YA Fiction) 
Finalist Women of Faith Full Manuscript 
Finalist Wisconsin RWA Honorable Mention (YA Fiction) 

Book Links

My Thoughts:

Swimming Through the Clouds is an exceptionally well-written novel dealing with a painful topic. I was totally captivated within the first few paragraphs and didn’t want to put the book down until it was completed.

When Talia Vanderbilt, a new student at her school is paired up with Lagan Desai, the two begin communicating through his post-it notes. She’s not supposed to socialize with anyone and she’d really rather be invisible. Lagan on the other hand would give almost anything to get to know her better.

Talia’s life if full of lists and punishment. If the lists are not satisfactorily completed on time, she is punished. The punishment? Boiling water poured over her arm. One second for each item not completed to her father’s satisfaction. There’s punishment for breaking the long list of rules too. Harsh punishment. Why doesn’t she call the authorities and leave? Her dad has connections and she’d never get away. Besides, there’s her brother to think about. He’s been in a wheelchair, unable to speak or walk ever since the accident when he “fell” off the roof. If she left, who would protect him from her father?

This is one of the most beautiful, touching, clean love stories I have ever read. It is a story of learning to trust, to be brave enough to share yourself with another person, to be vulnerable and believe the other person will still accept you.

The characters in this novel are very real to life. The pain and fear are realistic. I believe that Talia’s and Jesse’s fear of their father’s control and retribution if they try to run away from him would actually happen.

I find it difficult to believe that Swimming Through the Clouds is Rajdeep Paulus’ debut novel. She is a gifted story-teller. Definitely a writer to watch, uh, scratch that, a writer to READ.  Once you read this book, you will definitely want to pick up the sequel, Seeing Through Stones.

I very highly recommend Swimming Through the Clouds to people of all ages – teens to age 99. I give it 5 stars plus! out of 5.

Thank you to the author for providing a copy of the book in exchange for a fair and honest review. A positive opinion was not required. All thoughts are my own.

About the Author:

Rajdeep decided to be a writer during her junior year in high school after her English teacher gave her an “F” but told her she had potential. She studied English Literature at Northwestern University, and she writes masala-marinated, Young Adult Fiction, blogging weekly at InSearchofWaterfalls dot com.

When Paulus is not tapping on her Mac, you can find her dancing with her four princesses, kayaking with her hubs, coaching basketball or eating dark chocolate while sipping a frothy, sugar-free latte. She secretly hopes to one day own a laptop that functions under water! Oops. The secret’s out.

Author Links
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