Sunday, 17 July 2016

Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys

Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys
Published: Philomel Books, February 2nd, 2016
Pages: 391
Source: Hardcover, purchased
Genre: Historical Fiction
Rating: 5/5

How I Felt: Another beautiful historical fiction from Ruta Sepetys. The talent and passion while reading her books is quite evident. I hope she continues to write books in this genre in the future because they are so good and she is so talented.

I cried so much. I loved all of these characters. I loved how each one was so distinct and I never forgot whose perspective I was reading from. They were all so unique and had such strong voices. I grew to love the majority of them very much. I say majority because I hated Alfred. He creeped me out. Badly. I hated his perspective because it was so majorly warped. He was so delusional I couldn't tell if it was an act or if this guy was for real. And the whole thing with this Hannelore girl was a little weird too. To sum up, Alfred is weird and I don't like him.

I'm so happy we got to see what happened to Joana. In Between Shades of Gray Lina is constantly wondering how her cousin is doing. By getting to see from Joana's perspective we learn about what caused Lina's family to be arrested and what happened in those few years between the last chapter and the epilogue of Between Shades of Gray.

Florian is a precious cinnamon roll and must be protected at all costs. I love Florian.

Emilia had me sobbing the most. I felt so attached to her after getting to know her full story. When revelations were made about her past, I bawled my eyes out. I felt so bad for her, and she was so young. The ending also had me bawling my eyes out for her. Gosh, these books make me cry like nobody's business.

Another character I loved was the Shoe Poet. I loved getting to hear him describe people based on their shoes. He was so wise. I love elderly in books. It's so important that they share their story.

I love how Ruta writes books on topics ignored by many others. The sinking of the Wilhelm Gustloff had a much higher casualty toll than the Titanic, yet hardly anyone knows about it. I love how Ruta is able to make me care so deeply for these fictional characters, yet also inform and educate me on an important and devastating tragedy from history that most often gets neglected.

Overall, I loved this book. I don't know which of Ruta's two books that I've read is my favourite. I love them both so deeply. I highly recommend you read this one as well. This story deserves to be heard. I would suggest reading Between Shades of Gray before this one so you can connect the story lines together, but it isn't necessary to understand either novel. Beautiful.

Thanks for reading!

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