Between Shades of Gray || Ruta Septeys

3:03 pm

Title: Between Shades of Gray
Author: Ruta Sepetys
Length: 344 pages
Publication date: March 22, 2011
Genre: YA historical fiction
Rating: 5/5

When I finished reading Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys, I made a comment to my husband that my heart was not okay. He asked why I felt like that, and I had to think about it for a moment. I think it's because the effect this story had on me reaches farther than just a fictional story.

I find myself constantly reaching for stories set in WWII, and most of them take place in Nazi Germany. This one was a first for me. This book is from the point of view from Lina, a 15 year old girl living in Lithuania in 1941, which is when Stalin was in power of the Soviet Union. Lina's family ends up getting deported for "crimes" against the Union, and they are put on trains headed to labour camps in Siberia. This is a story of their survival amidst the most deplorable and loathsome conditions, and them holding on to hope of being able to go home soon.

Sometimes I try to figure out why I like to read these kinds of stories so often. Of course, they are based on real life occurrences, and to read about the evil ways these people were treated makes me sick. It breaks my heart to think about how people are able to convince themselves that certain groups are not even human anymore and treat them worse than animals. (Reminds me of our society's attitude toward abortion, but this isn't about that.) It's just horrible to think about, and yet to see how Lina's family and their group of people banded together was so incredibly beautiful. In the midst of inhuman conditions, they showed each other such kindness. They banded together and became a fortress among themselves, and it was so beautiful.

This book was incredible, just incredible, and I want everyone to read it now. I could go on and on, but I want to you experience it for yourself. I borrowed this from this library and I'm going to be buying a copy for myself, this is something I can see myself reading again and again.

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  1. Loved the review Felicia! It was an amazing story!


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