Stone and Snow

Stone and SnowStone and Snow by Sibella Giorello
Series: Raleigh Harmon Mystery
Genres: Crime, Mystery, Young Adult
Published by Running Girl Productions on October 30, 2015
Pages: 262

 

About Stone and Snow (from the back cover:
Raleigh Harmon, teen geologist, has a seriously dysfunctional southern family, an encyclopedic knowledge of criminal codes, and a literally odd best friend named Drew Levinson. After surviving a terrifying experience, Raleigh’s ready to relax and enjoy the Christmas season with her new boyfriend. But her smart and kind classmate Sloane Stillman is suddenly found dead—by suicide. Only Drew refuses to believe it. Drew says science can prove Sloane didn’t kill herself. And the harder Raleigh tries to show Drew the truth, the more she herself questions the facts, and the people she once trusted. Christmas swirls in like a snowstorm, and Drew spirals downward, burying Raleigh under mountains of evidence about Sloane’s suicide, threatening to destroy everything, including Raleigh’s new relationship with her boyfriend. Desperate to put the pieces back together, Raleigh digs for answers, trying to uncover what really happened on that cold, silent night when Sloane Stillman lost her life. Stone and Snow is the second book in the Raleigh Harmon mystery series introducing the girl who will become a forensic geologist and FBI agent—provided she survives her high school years.

 

I have been a fan of the Raleigh Harmon series since it started in 2007 with The Stones Cry Out.  The wonderful old south feel combined with memorable characters and engaging mysteries has kept me coming back to this series.  While I do hope to continue Raleigh’s adult life at some point, it’s been very nice to find out how her future was shaped by her teen years as well as seeing how other characters have developed over the years.

The wonderful old south feel combined with memorable characters and engaging mysteries has kept me coming back to this series.

Whether an adult or a teen, Raleigh’s life has never been particularly easy.  There always seems to be something that keeps things from moving smoothly.  Be it her mother’s mental illness or best friend’s compulsions or simply navigating school and life, it seems as though Raleigh is always facing a barrage of obstacles.  However, I love watching her overcome each difficulty that’s thrown her way.  Even in her teen years her faith sustains her, even though I’m not sure she completely sees that.  Her faith is not showy or overtly used as a means to a solution to her problems.  Rather her faith is seen through her simply prayer of “Help” and her ability to persevere during the difficult times in her life.  I love seeing this often unconscience reliance on God and Him steadfastly walking with her through life.

Even though rocks aren’t my thing, it’s quite fun to see how they reveal secrets and solve crimes.

As expected, the mystery part of Stone and Snow is quite enjoyable.  Even though rocks aren’t my thing, it’s quite fun to see how they reveal secrets and solve crimes.  The potent combination of Drew’s physics with Raleigh’s geology is interesting to follow and fortunately kept at a level that most adults can understand.  Otherwise, these two highly intelligent teens could easily make the average adult feel less than average.

While the story is interesting and the science fascinating, the characters are ever the highlight of this series.  I adore Raleigh and would love just to give her a huge hug.

While the story is interesting and the science fascinating, the characters are ever the highlight of this series.  I adore Raleigh and would love just to give her a huge hug.  However, the supporting cast is equally strong.  Raleigh’s dad, David, is amazing!  I want a series with just him.  He is rapidly climbing to the top of my favorite fictional dads list.  DeMott is another fantastic character.  That perfect, patient, southern gentleman that most girls would swoon over.  But he remains humble and down to earth in a captivating way.  Sweet Drew with all her OCD tendencies combined with her quick intelligence and difficult home life makes her an easy character to love.  Raleigh’s sister, though quite abrasive, it’s obvious that she’s trying to cope, but doing it without God has caused her to turn to worldly comforts to ease her pain.  Teddy, the geology teacher, has a backstory that I can’t wait to discover.  Raleigh’s mom with her fragile mind and paranoid tendencies is still quite easy to like her and the reader wants to see her restored.  The downside to having read the adult books before this young adult series, though, is knowing what happens to some of these characters.  I know those events will come, and I’m already dreading a few of them.

Stone and Snow is a fun, quick read.  The mystery is entertaining and the characters are truly terrific.  For those who have not read any of the Raleigh Harmon books, they can be read out of order.  However, at this time, Stone and Spark is free for the kindle, so might as well start there.  🙂

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