Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Seeing Through Stones~Rajdeep Paulus | Review

Title: Seeing Through Stones (Swimming Through Clouds #2)
Author: Rajdeep Paulus
Genre: YA Contemporary
Length: 240 Pages
Release: February 2014
My Rating: 5/5 Stars

I received a copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review.

"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.

This novel picks up right where the first one left us. Talia and Jesse have fled home and are now separated for the first time. Each of them is fighting their own internal battles as they try to come to terms with what happened to them growing up and how they will ever face their father again.

In the first novel the story was told entirely in first person from Talia's perspective. Here we get a dual perspective narrative with chapters narrated by Jesse and others by Talia. I love dual perspective stories, so this was an added bonus for me. 
For Jesse's portions of the novel we follow him as he learns to make his own way in the world and fights his demons, trying to decide what to do about the hatred he carries for his abusive father. Through all of his struggles Jesse meets Summer, a girl with a bright personality and a love for churros. The two begin a friendship that will either make or break Jesse as he runs from the father that has always seemed two steps ahead. 

Talia is dealing with her own demons as she adjusts to life in a women's shelter. Through group sessions, art therapy, and the other women, Talia begins to open up to the possibility of breaking free once and for all. She feels isolated since she is unable to see the two people that matter most in her world-Jesse and Lagan. But she has high hopes that she and Jesse can find a life together and Lagan sends her post-it not messages every chance he gets. 

Jesse and Talia are beautifully written characters. I love that they each have their own distinct voices. There are similarities between the two (obviously, they are siblings after all), but they are most definitely their own characters. Their fear of their father is heart wrenching, but exactly what I would expect. They are such courageous characters. 

The relationship between Lagan and Talia was just so sweet. This novel is so beautiful and Paulus's writing of this relationship is perfection. One thing that people who suffer this kind of abuse need to understand is that there really are people out there who will love you for you, no matter what you've been through. It just made me so happy. 

Jesse and Talia are one of the best sibling pairings I've ever read. When you grow up like they did you're either driven apart or driven together and it's inspiring to see them cling to each other and want to protect each other from everything, even when it's out of their control. It's just a gorgeous story. 

I highly recommend this to everyone who wants to read a story about the hope that you can find even through heartbreak. We're never truly alone.


  1. This sounds absolutely lovely. The title is enough to draw me in right away.

    1. It really is amazing. You should definitely read them. :) I'm doing a giveaway for a kindle copy on my review of Soaring Through Clouds, the third book in the trilogy.