A Guy, a Girl, and a Teen Book Blog

A Guy, a Girl, and a Teen Book Blog

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys

Title: Salt to the Sea
Author: Ruta Sepetys
Pages: 400
Publisher: Philomel Books
ISBN: 9780399160301
Publication Date: February 2, 2016*
AR Levels: TBD
Goodreads Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/25614492-salt-to-the-sea

In a nutshell: Sepetys returns to the setting of World War II in her new book that's told from the perspective of four young adults from various countries, including Lithuanian nurse Joana, runaway Prussian soldier Florian, Polish refugee Emilia, and Nazi sailor Alfred, each of whom has a secret to hide. It highlights yet another historical event I was unaware of - the tragic maritime disaster of the Wilhelm Gustloff, a German ship carrying wounded soldiers and civilian refugees that was attacked and sunk by a Russian submarine in the Baltic Sea, claiming what was probably over 10,000 lives.

I'd recommend it to grades: 9 and up

I'd recommend it to: historical fiction readers, fans of The Book Thief or Titanic, and anyone who likes a good survival story

What I liked most about this book: After reading this third book by Ruta Sepetys, I'm officially adding her to my list of favorite historical fiction authors. I could wax poetic for days about her gorgeous writing and genius way of revealing the plot without telling it outright, but I'll keep this short and sweet. I adored Between Shades of Gray, and I didn't immediately realize that this was a companion novel of sorts. Yet again Sepetys manages to tell a horrific tale in a way that is hauntingly beautiful and hopeful. It's full of bravery, romance, pain, love, and sacrifice, and I loved every page of it.

Single favorite moment (without getting spoiler-y): I promised not to go on and on about the beautiful language, but I'll just leave this sentence here: "War had bled color from everything, leaving nothing but a storm of gray."

Star rating (where 5 stars is awesome and 0 stars is atrocious): 5 stars

*I read an ARC from the publisher thanks to an awesome co-worker who got it at ALA this year. Thanks, Janis!!! :)