Monday, April 27, 2015

Book Review: Soaring Through Stars by Rajdeep Paulus

Soaring Through Stars: A Contemporary Young Adult Novel (Swimming Through Clouds Bk 3)
by Rajdeep Paulus
Publisher: Birch House Press
Published: Apr. 23, 2015

Amazon Synopsis:

“I live in the in between. Between holding on and letting go. Hurt clings to me. Hope teases me. Home. I can’t explain it, but sometimes, I just want to go home.” 

Talia and Jesse Vanderbilt have escaped a childhood full of abuse, and when they have a chance to put their father behind bars, setbacks arise from every direction. The siblings can't help but consider the option to walk away and move on with their lives. 

Then someone unexpected brings his own secrets, forcing the Vanderbilt teens to revisit their pasts and rethink their plans. Through it all, Lagan and Talia’s Post-it love story blossoms, while Jesse and Summer hit roadblocks. 

From the award-winning author of Swimming Through Clouds and Seeing Through Stones comes a powerful story of freedom and belonging in this final book of the young adult trilogy that began with an invitation on a little Post-it note.

Book Links

My Thoughts:

Talia has just moved her things out of the women's shelter and is in the process of moving into her brother Jesse's apartment. While they wait for the pizza to be delivered to celebrate the fact that they are safe and together again, the police arrive and Jesse is arrested for arson and illegal possession of an armed weapon.

This sets in motion the roller-coaster ride of twists and turns in this touching love story. Soaring Through Stars is rich with the message of the importance of not just romantic love, but family love too.

The story is written in such a way that it feels like Talia and Jesse are talking to the reader. The novel is written in the first person point of view, from both Talia and Jesse's perspective. I liked this because it felt as though each of them were speaking to the reader personally.

The author has the ability to evoke emotion in the reader, enabling the reader to identify with the characters. It is easy to feel the pain and anger Jesse holds for his father and feel that anger right along with him. Paulus is a talented writer in the making and I'm looking forward to what she has in store for us in her next project.

Many victims of abuse do not follow through with charges against their abusers for a variety of reasons. Soaring Through Stars  deals with a few of those reasons and allows those of us who have never been in that situation some insight into why the abused individual might make the choice not to make that final step that would potentially free them from the one that violated them. These insights give the reader a fresh understanding of the horrible situation the victim must endure in order to get justice for what has been done to them.

Soaring Through Stars is considered young-adult fiction but I would recommend it for all adults. It (along with Swimming Through Clouds and Seeing Through Stones) deal with the very difficult topic of abuse and trafficking. All three books are poignant, sometimes painful yet positive. The series does an incredible job of handling such a difficult subject which is often hidden and shrouded because the victims feel ashamed.

I loved that despite the ashes of Talia and Jesse’s past, Lagan and Talia’s Post-it love story could continue to grow and bloom. Jesse’s character continued to mature and develop now that he could interact with the world instead of being cooped up at home in a wheelchair. The question is though, will he allow his anger to keep everyone at arm’s length, or will he learn to let others close to him?

I gave Soaring Through Stars 5 stars out of 5. The series is a definite must-read.

Thank you to the author for providing a copy of the book is 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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