Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Seeing Through Stones: A Contemporary Young Adult Novel by Rajdeep Paulus

Seeing Through Stones: A Contemporary Young Adult Novel (Swimming Through Clouds Book 2)
by Rajdeep Paulus
Publisher: Playlist Fiction
Published: Feb. 24.2015

Amazon Synopsis:

From Award-Winning, Young Adult author Rajdeep Paulus comes the sequel to Swimming Through Clouds, a powerful reminder that life is a battle you don’t fight alone. 

"I live in the in between. Between yesterday and forever. The way forward haunts me. The gap I must cover daunts me. And hope beckons, ‘Run to me,’ but I just learned to walk." 

After a lifetime of abuse, the Vanderbilt siblings flee their home, finally free to pursue new dreams while running from yesterday’s nightmares. 

Once bed-ridden Jesse navigates the Chicago streets, concealing his identity and planning revenge. A chance encounter in the rain 
introduces a girl who offers Jesse a glimpse of a sunnier future, but how will he weather the growing storm inside himself? 

Separated from her Post-it note prince, Talia hides at a safe house for survivors of domestic violence while her father turns the city upside-down to find her. Surrounded by women fighting their own demons, Talia faces her past at every turn.

Book Links

 Praise for Seeing Through Stones: 

"Brilliant. Smart. Brave. And daring." 
~ Masalamommas Reviewer Angie Seth 

“Tough and touching, resilient and raw—Rajdeep Paulus has crafted a story of love and abuse with the deft touch of a master… Paulus never allows her characters to be anything less than real and she never averts her pen from the realities that face far too many women and children. “ 
~ Tosca Lee, NY Times Bestselling Author of 
Havah and The Books of Mortals series with Ted Dekker 

“In this follow-up to her debut, Rajdeep Paulus quickly pulls her readers back into a heartfelt story that challenges our notions of family loyalty. Seeing Through Stones continues Talia’s healing journey, but, even better, it gives readers the long-awaited story of her heroic brother, Jesse. There’s something here for everyone, and perhaps the best part is Paulus’s weaving of multicultural characters and traditions into a rhythm as unique as it is refreshing.” 
~ Laura Anderson Kurk, Author of Glass Girl & Perfect Glass 

"After reading Rajdeep Paulus’s debut novel, I was incredibly eager to get my hands on the sequel. The wait was worth it! With a lyrical voice, heart-tugging characters and skillful handling of sensitive subject matter, Paulus’s sophomore novel is a beautiful piece of storytelling. I can’t recommend it enough." 
~Melissa Tagg, Author of Made to Last and Here to Stay 

“Seeing Through Stones both broke my heart and filled it with hope at the same time. Paulus’s writing simply soars as she paints her characters’ pains, fears, and hopes in a beautiful portrait of recovery and grace. With this book, Paulus has established herself as a powerful voice in Young Adult literature. I can’t wait to see what she has in store for us next.” 
~John W. Otte, Author of Numb and the Failstate series 

“Brilliantly crafted, Rajdeep Paulus stitched what seems dark and broken into a tapestry of hope and love.” 
~Jennifer Murgia, Author of Angel Star & Between These Lines 

My Thoughts:

Seeing Through Stones is the sequel to Swimming Through the Clouds. I would recommend reading the books in order. In Seeing Through Stones, we find Jesse and Talia escaping their father's clutches. But he's a high profile lawyer with a lot of resources, so how safe are they?

The story moves back and forth in viewpoint between the two of them because they are now separated. Talia's at a women's Center for Domestic Violence and Jesse has chosen to go on his own.

We learn more about both characters through flashbacks to earlier times with their father and our hearts are broken that a father could do such things to the ones he is supposed to love and protect. I could understand why Jesse felt the way he did, but I was relieved he changed his mind about carrying through with his plan.

Seeing Through Stones is an emotional wringer as the author takes you on a journey that survivors of abuse travel. It's a difficult road that leads to being strong enough to face the abuser, stand up to them and say "No, enough is enough! I will not take this any more!", and lay charges of abuse against them with the police.

There's more to this story than abuse however, because this is also a love story between Lagan and Talia. I am reminded of my own spouse when I see Lagan do everything he can to help both Talia and Jesse in each of their situations. Reading about Lagan helps me appreciate the man I married even more.

I liked that Seeing Through Stones didn't just look at women suffering abuse, but also looked at men who suffer abuse also. I think very little attention is paid to this subset of society. I know that there are shelters for women, but I wouldn't know where to send a young man for help.

The pace of this book was good. I liked the level of tension the author raised as Talia and Jesse's father was searching for them. The plot changes due to their decisions and actions kept the story fresh and interesting.

This book deserves all the praise that it was given above. The author truly brings the characters and their situations alive, making them real to the reader and a very gentle hand on such sensitive material.

I would highly recommend Seeing Through Stones for teens to 99. You won't be sorry you picked it up. I gave it 5 stars out of 5.

Thank you to the author for providing a copy of this 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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