Review: Swimming in Sparkles by Debra Anastasia
She looked like what hope felt like. Sparkling. Ringed in rainbows and silver. She was so well-loved. So cherished. And lucky. Lucky in a way she could never understand. When she tucked herself into a bed with clean sheets and a door to lock when she wanted to be alone? Could she ever know what it was like to try to clean up for the week in a library bathroom?
Any follow-up to Drowning in Stars was going to have to be extraordinarily magnificent in order to, at the very least, reach the standard set by its predecessor--and Debra Anastasia met that challenge with seeming ease. Swimming in Sparkles is a companion novel, but it does well enough as a standalone that you don't necessarily need to read the book that came before it. However, because of how amazing Drowning in Stars was and the fact that there are recurring characters, I highly recommend that you dive in as soon as possible.
Swimming in Sparkles is the story of a young man named Ruffian. At seventeen, everything that he has known in his life is gone--the community he grew up in and the mother he loved above all else. All he has left are his meager possessions and the bare-bones of a part of his history. He's going to make things right by doing something that's considered wrong. He needs everything in place so suspicion doesn't fall on him like it always does. Theodosia Burathon is a means to an end. That's all she can ever be. There's no future with her, not when Teddi is everything good in the world. And Ruffian? Well, his future involves robbing a bank...
I'm not going to go into further detail as to what this book is about. Just like with Gaze and Pixie's story in Drowning in Stars, Ruffian and Teddi's tale is the kind that's best experienced when you go into it blind. No preconceived notions as to what you may think it's about or what may or may not happen. This is the sort of story that leaves you at a loss for words in the best way possible. Which is difficult when I'm now trying to write a review and explain to other readers why I'm as taken by Swimming in Sparkles as I am. How the heck was I supposed to not fall in love with Ruffian and Teddi?! They were endearing and remarkable; their story was food for my heart and soul. Debra Anastasia has left me impressed and inspired. Again. Five-plus stars.
Release Date: 28 March 2021
Date Read: 28 March 2021
Learn more about Debra Anastasia.
Purchase Swimming in Sparkles on Amazon.