Author: Ruta Sepetys · Authors · Book Reviews

Book Review » Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys

Title: Between Shades of Gray

Ruta Sepetys

Historical Fiction, Young Adult.

ISBN: 9780670920853

Published: 2011

Publisher: Penguin

Format: Paperback

Pages: 352

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.

MY RATING: 3 Starts


Before I say anything let me just tell you that I am not going to say only amazing this about this book, I know everyone seems to love this story but I didn’t so if you don’t like honest reviews then I just recommend you don’t read this review because I’m going to be really honest here.

I gave this book 3 stars, not 3.5 Stars as I usually do, I gave it 3 Stars because I really feel it was not worth that half point you know ?! I was truly disappointed on this book because I heard amazing things about it and when I started hearing about it I was not even into Historical Fiction and people’s comments made me want to buy this book, thankfully I didn’t buy it when I wanted to buy it because I am sure the rating was going to be even lower than 3 Stars since I was not even into the genre. Let me explain to you what I am trying to say here: I always said “NO” to Historical Fiction and anything you could say about it would make me want even less to read this genre and this year I started buying a lot of Historical Fiction books and I actually loved the two I’ve read so far so I really was expecting a lot from this one since I am totally into Historical Fiction right now but it was far from what I expected it to be.

About this book, here we go:

This was not a heavy reading, it was not a light reading either, it was a fast reading for sure. I like the way this book is written, I really the way Ruta Sepetys wrote the book and how she was able to transmit all the information she wanted to, so my problem is not with Ruta Sepetys, it is really with the book/story !

I feel like maybe it is me but this book is so over-hyped I can’t even tell you how much I feel that ! I didn’t like the characters to be honest, I didn’t like any of them, I couldn’t just connect with any of them and for me that’s really important, to connect with the characters. I know this is supposed to be an “informative” reading and not a book that is supposed to make you feel attached to the characters, I mean, I know it is a Fiction book but the subject is really delicate because we are talking about something that really happened at some point in this world something that was not pretty at all and I know maybe I wasn’t supposed to like the characters of feel anything for them but I like to feel things for the characters when I read a book and that was really missing here !

I am really interested on reading “Salt to the Sea” by the same author because as I said before I really like Ruta’s type of writing, I just didn’t like this book I guess so I really want to read more books written by this author so I can “form” a great opinion about her.

Before I go let’s just appreciate this cover ! Oh lord, so beautiful !




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