Seeing Through Stones by Rajdeep Paulus
Published by Createspace on February 1, 2014
Genre(s): fiction, christian, contemporary, young adult
Format & Pages: paperback, 240
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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.
The second book in this trilogy, Seeing Through Stones picks up right where Swimming Through Clouds left us. If you haven’t read that yet, you might want to do so before continuing. I will do my best to keep any spoilers out of this review, but it is possible I might inadvertently allude to something that might spoil the first book for you. You’ve been warned.
While Swimming Through Clouds focuses on Talia’s perspective, this book introduces her brother, Jesse’s, point of view. After being entrenched in Talia’s story, it was interesting to watch how events unfolded through Jesse’s eyes. While I absolutely do not mind books that switch perspectives every chapter, there are times when it seems like an author uses this approach to move the plot along, but I didn’t feel that here. Instead, it seemed like an insightful interpretation of real life. Have you ever watched two people have an argument, only to realize they each think they are making a particular point while the other party hears something completely different? Our unique life experiences tend to filter how we view things, and this is rendered beautifully in this book as we see moments from the point of view of both these characters.
Slower paced than the first book, Seeing Through Stones provides a chance to catch our breath. But it was no less gripping. Paulus takes this opportunity to develop her characters, and we see a lot of growth in both Talia and Jesse. This is where this book shines, in the internal struggles each of these characters go through as they come of age, learn more about the world beyond the household they grew up in and how to navigate through it. I’m very much looking forward to see how the story is concluded in Soaring Through Stars.