Monday, November 21, 2011

Review: Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys






Publisher: Philomel
Pages: 344
Source: Personal Copy
Category: Young Adult/Historical


Lina, a child artist knows that something is brewing in her world, she can feel her parents constant unease. Her father is quick to snap at her, her mother seems worried. However, nothing prepared her for the night the NKVD came knocking on their door, forcing Lina, her younger brother Jonas, and mother Elena out the door. Her father was no where to be seen, and no one would explain where he was. Lina and her family were quickly rushed out the door, loaded into a truck with other confused neighbours. These victims unknown to them were labeled political prisoners. A long, tortuous journey takes a turn for the worst when they are loaded into cattle cars with very little food or water traveling for weeks. Lina was terrified, perplexed and furious. Her mother was calm, collected and strategic. Her brother matured in the matter of days. Life as she knew it would never be the same.

If you’re looking for an amazing read, a book you put down but can’t stop thinking about...pick this one up. The book trailer alone will leave you desperate to get your hands on this one. This emotional page-turner uncovers a new Holocaust/World War II story, Ruta Sepetys introduces her readers to Stalin’s reign of terror. Hitlers horrors are widely told, but the atrocities of Stalin not so much. Ruta Sepetys gives these victims a voice. I love the variety of characters in this book, even in the worst of times personalities are distinct. I was constantly in awe of the perseverance of certain characters. The group of captives band together when given nothing to survive on. There are those who are resourceful, those who are desperate, and those who have given up. I really don’t want to give too much details about this one, I think it’s really important to read this book and be carried on the journey yourself. I would read the words, and not want to stop because I was afraid of how it would end. Long after I closed the book, I was left wondering and realizing how true some of these stories were. I know this book is categorized as Young Adult, but honestly don’t let that discourage you from reading it. This is a book for everyone. This book had the same impact on me as “Night” by Eli Weisel.

Please...do yourself a favor...read it!

13 comments:

  1. Sounds great, thanks for the review. I am adding it to my TBR list.

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  2. I've heard nothing but amazing things about this book, I really need to pick it up. I have to be in the right mood for something this powerful and heavy, but it's definitely going on my list as a must have:)

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  3. Wow! This one sounds kind of horrible, get amazingly good. I think I'll have to put it on my wishlist! I bet it's just as great as you say it is. Great review!

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  4. I have this book, and can't wait to read it. All the reviews I have read have touted the amazingness of the story, and I think that I need to dig it out and set it right on top of the toppling stack! Great review on this one today! I am so glad that you loved it!

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  5. I adored this book. It was deeply personal to me since members of my family were exiled to Siberia. You don't read about those events much, so I'm so glad Sepetys wrote the book.

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  6. Ooooh I've been wanting to read this one for a while. I need to check and see if has been released in paperback yet. Alexis reviewed this as well and I've wanted it since. Sounds like a fascinating story that will keep me on engaged. Great review!

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  7. I'm glad to hear you liked this! I have this but haven't read it yet. I haven't read many YA historicals this sounds so good. And there isn't that many books about Stalin's reign. Thanks for the review!

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  8. Glad to see you loved this book as much as I did. I agree that it was hard to put down and impossible to stop thinking about it. I'll link to your review on War Through the Generations.

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  9. Oh my gosh, I'm SO SO glad you loved this one!! I've had it on hold at the library for the LONGEST time -- and I've almost forgotten about it, but your review reminded me exactly why I put it on hold in the first place! Not many YA books touch on such serious things like this!

    Amazing review, Mrs. Q! I think books that stick with you are the best kinds out there, and I can't wait to get my hands on a copy of this! :)

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  10. This was a fantastic book! I had never heard about the exile to Siberia until I read this book. I agree that this is a must read! Great review!

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  11. Wow this book sounds seriously good! I need to pull out my copy and start reading!

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  12. This one is one of my favorite reads of the year (and, yes, the trailer made me cry long before I got my hands on the book!)

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  13. I'm so glad you loved this one, it's also one of my favorites! I bawled through this in some sections, and it certainly taught me something about World War II that I never knew.

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