When Amanda offered this book for a review, I thought I'd never heard of it... I later found a copy in the stacks of books I'd found at work. I gad also never known about the conflict this book touches on. Because of this and more, I knew that this was a book that needed to be read.
Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys
Release Date: April 3rd, 2012
Genre: Young Adult, Historical Fiction
Lina is just like any other fifteen-year-old Lithuanian girl in 1941. She paints, she draws, she gets crushes on boys. Until one night when Soviet officers barge into her home, tearing her family from the comfortable life they've known. Separated from her father, forced onto a crowded and dirty train car, Lina, her mother and her young brother slowly make their way north, crossing the Arctic Circle, to a work camp in the coldest reaches of Siberia. Here they are forced, under Stalin's orders, to dig for beets and fight for their lives under the cruelest of conditions.
Lina finds solace in her art, meticulously--and at great risk-- documenting events by drawing, hoping these messages 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, spanning years and covering 6,500 miles, but it is through incredible strength, love, and hope that Lina ultimately survives. Between Shades of Gray is a novel that will steal your breath and capture your heart. (Goodreads)
My Bookish Likes:
Lina was so so strong. Her love for her family was so clear, and if I had been in that situation, I don't know if anything would have kept me fighting. But Lina did, and in some places she even had a sense of normalcy because of it. The strength of Lina made me really enjoy this book.
My Bookish Mehs:
Sadly, there were times in this book that I felt the writing too factual. Her voice faded into the narrative and didn't really stand out as much as I wish it would have. Also, the bald man was so awful, I probably would have punched him many times over. He was just a horrible person. Ugh.
Have you ever wondered what a human life is worth? That morning, my brother's was worth a pocket watch.
"Kostas," she sighed. "He was so clumsy, but he was so sincere. Sometimes there is such beauty in awkwardness. There's love and emotion trying to express itself, but at the time, it just ends up being awkward. Does that make sense?... Good men are often more practical than pretty."
This is a very important book in that it details a side of history and WWII that we never hear about, as well as being a good read.
I gave this book 4 stars on my Goodreads and there's a 90% chance that I would reread it.