Friday, 17 February 2017

Between Shades of Gray, by Ruta Sepetys

Hey guys, this is Abi here,
And it's been a while since I've posted a review, so I thought I would! (Also I've now got three reviews that I need to do, so I think it's time I post a review!)
Today's review is Between Shades of Grey, and I hope you enjoy it!

Between Shades of Grey, by Ruta Sepetys
Title: Between Shades of Gray
Author: Ruta Sepetys
Genre: Historical fiction 
Release date: 22nd March, 2011
Pages: 338
Blurb: " That morning, my brother's life
was worth a pocket watch...
One night fifteen-year-old Lina, her mother and
young brother are hauled from their home by
Soviet guards, thrown into cattle cars and sent away.
They are being deported to Siberia.

An unimaginable and harrowing journey has begun.
Lina doesn't know if she'll ever see her father or
her friends again. But she refused to give up hope.

Lina hopes for her family.
For her country.
For her future.
For love- first love, with the boy she barely knows
but knows she does not want to lose...
Will hope keep Lina alive?"

My Thoughts
In the past year or so I've been increasingly interested in this book. I knew it gave you a new side to a war that took place in 1941, but what I didn't know was how powerful it was. Until I read the book itself. And I was blown away by how powerful, and hopeful it was.
The first line from this book is "They too me in my nightgown." Now when I was reading this line, it surprised me how quickly it got into the thick of it. And it didn't let me go, (which I know I say a lot, but this one truly didn't.)
The story starts the night that Lina, her mother, and her brother are taken by the Soviets army. Now, this book is set in the time when there was the Soviets Army was head of everything. And if you weren't for the Soviets, you were taken, along with your family, and transported to a concentration camp.
And that is basically what happens in this story. And what I loved, but also hated, was that Sepetys really didn't hold back on the almost brutal reality of what happens on the journey to the concentration camps, like just imagine being held in a pitch black room for days on end without washing or even eating. I hated that the survivors went through that, but the way that Sepetys wrote it was so powerful and so gripping, you'd look up from the book and two hours would have passed. So what I'm saying by this point is, DON'T read this if you're having a bad day, or you can't deal with the monstrosity of this story.  

And to make the story even more brutal, we get to see some of Lina's (the main character), memories from before she was taken. It was good for character development, because we got to see who she was before this horrific event that nobody thinks they'll ever survive.

Now, on to the characters. The main character is Lina, a teenager with a gift for drawing, who I loved as a character almost immediately. She is strong and resistant, (which is dangerous in a place where the Soviets are killing off people daily) but she does not give up. You really get to see her go from being a scared little girl, to a person who is strong for her family, for her friends, and her country.
There are also Lina's parents and her brother. As her father wasn't with his family at the time they were taken, we don't get to see a lot of him, though he is in the story some of the time. Her mother is in the story though. She often takes a leadership role, and she was one of my favourite characters, because she was like a beacon of hope for not just her family, but also the rest of the people stuck in captivity.
To make sure the whole story wasn't totally depressing, there was also a love interest that was sweet and cute, to the point that you were rooting for them to somehow get out of this situation alive.

As for Sepetys' writing, it was simple, and it flowed really well. I wasn't bored by the writing for even one second throughout this novel, and that was down to the writing.

Overall, I am so glad I read this. It was heartfelt, and raw, and by the time the end came around, I was sobbing with despair about... just about everything. I loved this book, just for the characters, and the hope that was evident from the start, and how realistic the story was. I look forward to reading more by Sepetys in the future, I can assure you. This book made me take a look at what my life is like, and made me feel really fortunate for what I have. I'm glad I read this and, and I cannot stress this enough, I highly recommend you read this!

So that was my review of Between Shades of Gray! I feel like it was kind of all over the place, but if you have any thought yourself on the book, or my review, let me know in the comments!
I hope you have an amazing day, and I will see you all on Monday!

-Abi xxxxx