Review: Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys

Title: Between Shades of Gray
Author: Ruta Sepetys
Pages: 344
Published: 03.22.11
Acquired: Purchased 
Goodreads Rating: 4.34
My Rating: 4.0

Goodreads Synopsis: 

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.

My Review:

It's no secret that I am a fan of Historical Fiction. So when I hear about a historical fiction book getting so much hype I have to look into it. I actually stumbled upon this book at a book fair I went to last summer and the price was just too good to pass up and I picked up a copy for myself. 

As I was packing for my trip, I wanted to take one print book with me along with my iPad, in case I had battery issues and needed something to read. I had many books that have been piling up in my closet just waiting to be read, but I was eager to take a stand alone and not a book that is part of series, since I did not want to be stuck with a massive cliffhanger that I could not remedy quickly. So alas this was the perfect choice for me to pick up for the trip.

I started reading this book on my flight from Los Angeles to New York after finishing Sun Poisoned by Nikki Rae. I had just run through a whole set of emotions and I thought that starting a new book would allow my emotions to settle before picking up again. I assumed there had to be some story, plot, and character development before anything significant happened. BOY I WAS WRONG!  I was already captivated and was holding on to my heart strings from the prologue. 

“Have you ever wondered what a human life is worth? That morning, my brother's was worth a pocket watch.” 

This was a beautiful story about a family fighting for their lives during a terrible war, where they are considered terrorists just for being born in the country they were. The main character is Lina a 15 year old girl, who is desperately trying to not lose hope and remain on to her sanity as long as possible. Filled with love for her family and hope of freedom, she must do everything in her power to stay strong and aid others in need. A horrific account of the brutalities and nightmares that is war, this story is beautiful and sad and definitely worth the read. 


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