what i really appreciated about this book in particular was the awareness brought to one aspect of WWII that tends to be forgotten i see countless of stories about the atrocities hitler condoned against the jewish, and i think we all tend to get caught up in that that we forget there was than one bad guy during that horrific time its been estimated that stalin killed approximately 10 million people he considered enemies to the soviet via forced relocation deportation to siberia not only during the war, but many years after and as much as linas story pained me to read, i am so very grateful for it its stories like this that remind me of the importance of hope and resilience and i cannot think of anything better to say than what she says herself, towards the end of her writingsthese writings may shock or horrify you, but that is not my intention it is my greatest hope that these pages stir your deepest well of human compassion i hope they prompt you to do something, to tell someone only then can we ensure that this kind of evil is never allowed to repeat itselfmay we always remember that 4 stars Really loved this book and it s story because I personally have never heard about this side of the war before and I m so grateful I know about it now.
This is not a pretty book.
Even though I found this novel exceptionally well written, it was not a pleasure to read It s about Lithuanians displaced to Siberian work camps during World War II It was pretty unflinchingly brutal, but here s why I think you ought to read it 1 It is a side of World War II that you might not have seen before I certainly hadn t heard these stories of displaced Europeans, and I have to say, having been to Lithuania on tour last year, it made so much of what they said have deeper meaning I found their fierce national pride lovely and charming when I was there after this novel, it seems incredibly brave and honorable.
2 Mom The mother is really the heroine of this story and that is my one nitpick about this novel the narrator has no arc and no agency all of the action is carried by her mother and her sort of boyfriend She has such an incredible flame and kindness in her One of my favorite book moms.
3 Shades of gray The title promises and the novel delivers Characters we think are horrid actually do incredibly kind things, and character we regard as friends do awful ones.
4 If you combine 2 and 3, you get my favorite part, which is that it makes you look at people an entirely new way I love books that stretch my brain, and this one sat with me for hours and hours.
5 Wonderful sense of place, even when the place isn t so wonderful Like Lucy Christopher, I trust the author to take me someplace different, and I ll be picking up whatever she writes next.
Actual rating 4.
5 starsAs soon as I saw this video, I knew I had to read this novel Between Shades of Gray isn t the type of book I d normally read, but I m extremely glad that I decided to read it.
Lina is a very strong and courageous character Despite the situation Lina is placed in at the young age of fifteen, she audaciously chooses to write about the terrible cruelties the Soviets are doing to those around her as well as her family and herself Lina is an artist, and she uses this talent to depict the ghastly scenes she s forces to witness on a daily basis She then hides her drawings where the NKVD, hopefully, won t find them In this she hopes that, one day, someone will find the proof of what really occurred, and make sure that it never happens again.
I m going to warn you, a good deal of this book is very grim and Sepetys doesn t cover up the horrors that were committed against these innocent people with euphemisms There are quite a few shocking, disturbing, and graphic scenes in this You ll probably want to read something light and fluffy after finishing it.
But much like the title of the book and the fledging plant sprouting up from the ice covered landscape on the book s cover signifies hope, the author does a wonderful job of incorporating snippets of hope even through the most grim of times for her characters.
Interspersed with Lina s time in the slavery camps, there are bittersweet flashbacks to Lina s life before her and her family were taken by the Soviets I think they helped to break up the scenes of abuse and heartache, making the novel palatable to the reader.
There is also a light romance in this that is both sweet and a welcome addition to a story such as this.
FAVORITE QUOTEI shut the bathroom door and caught sight of my face in the mirror I had no idea how quickly it was to change, to fade If I had, I would have stared at my reflection, memorizing it It was the last time I would look into a real mirror for than a decade Ruta Sepetys writing is erudite, yet simple, and it flows very well I just hope that this isn t one of those one hit wonder cases where the author has one story to tell and never writes anything again I d really like to read from Sepetys, whether it be stories such as this, or something completely different.
On a side note, the finished, physical copy of this I say it in this way because some people probably have an ARC or an ebook is quite gorgeous The jacket seems to be made of recycled paper, so it has a very natural, rustic look and feel to it And it has deckled edges, my favorite I think this is one of those books that will be highly praised by some like myself , and sadly overlooked by others It s easy to be distracted by the deluge of YA paranormal novels with the pretty covers and the pomp and heavy promotion, but, I assure you, Between Shades of Gray is than worth your reading time.
This book reminds me just how fortunate I am to be born in the era and country that I was, and I found it very humbling I m glad to have had the opportunity to read it, and I highly recommend it.