Sunday, October 30, 2011

Review: Between Shades of Gray

Title: Between Shades of Gray
Author: Ruta Sepetys
Pages: 312 pages
Published by: Philomel Books
ISBN: 978-0-399-25412-3
Rating: A+

In 1941, fifteen-year-old Lina is preparing for art school, first dates, and all that summer has to offer. But one night, the Soviet secret police barge violently into her home, deporting her along with her mother and younger brother. They are being sent to Siberia. Lina's father has been separated from the family and sentenced to death in a prison camp. All is lost.
Lina fights for her life, fearless, vowing that if she survives she will honor her family, and the thousands like hers, by documenting their experience in her art and writing. She risks everything to use her art as messages, hoping they will make their way to her father's prison camp to let him know they are still alive.
It is a long and harrowing journey, and it is only their incredible strength, love, and hope that pull Lina and her family through each day. But will love be enough to keep them alive?
Between Shades of Gray is a riveting novel that steals your breath, captures your heart, and reveals the miraculous nature of the human spirit.

One word: Wow.

My friend hadn't read this book when she told me about it but she said that she heard it was really good. I was skeptical about it because I really don't like historical fiction except for a couple of exceptions. This has now been added to the list of exceptions! This novel was absolutely amazing. I know I say that for a lot of books but this book is the best historical fiction book I've read. Ever.

From the first word to the last, this novel really did capture my heart like it said it would. The historical fiction books that I like are almost all about people that have been through things like the Holocaust and concentration camps because I like to read about those experiences that people had even though they may not be real people. It's important to know what happened so things like that don't happen again. It really touches me how these people believe even though their situation is horrible.

I love how Sepetys added a lot of romance into this because it just brings the whole novel together. It's a beautiful love that persevered throughout the novel and it made me squeal like a little girl. I'm such a romance-loving person, ahahaa!

I love love loved the ending. So much. There was kind of a "in the future thing (epilogue) and I love those! I love books that tell you what happened in the future and this ending was really satisfying.

The novel was written really well and I like Sepetys' writing style. It's unique in a way that you don't notice it until you really concentrate on the writing, not the story. The author uses imagery specifically well which I think is one of the most important things in writing books. It makes it easier for readers to imagine everything in their heads.

Overall, one of my favorite books now and I recommend it to everyone. It's sad, happy, exciting, everything you could ask for in a novel.

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