I was filming a book video for youtube about my favourite books read so far this year (will be uploaded tomorrow) and decided I wanted to share my opinion about one of the books because it´s one of my favourite books ever.
The book is – as you probably know by reading the title – Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys. It was first published in 2011 so I´m a little late to the game, but I have been seeing it on booktube a few times over the years I have been watching booktube and every time I saw it I got a little bit more interested in it so I finally decided I wanted to buy it, and I did.
If you have read some of my other blog posts you might know I am very interested in world war two, and this book is set in that period, but it focuses on a different part of the war that I haven´t heard much about so I was excited about reading about something I didn´t know much about. I have never read a lot about what happened in Lithuania and places around there, so it was defiantly a new experience for me.
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.
I gave this book five stars out of five stars on goodreads; I loved the writing, the point of view and the story it self was wonderful and heartbreaking.
I became so envolved in the characters and story, all I wanted to do was to save them. I obviously knew that couldn´t happen; they are just characters, and if they had once existed, they would maybe not be alive today!
Even though the characters in the book aren´t real, they, and the story, are based on reality, and I think that hit me. Even though Lina and her family aren´t real, someone else went through something similar, and it just breaks my heart.
I think another reason for this hitting me like it did was that I imagined this happening to me and my family and friends, and it just made me so grateful for the time and place I live in!
This book stayed with me for weeks. After I finished it I was in a book hangover and couldn´t read anything else for a week or so. I cried while reading this book. I cried in the beginning when nothing too dramatic had happened, and I cried in the end.
I´m pretty sure this book will stay with me for a long time.
Thank you for reading, as always!
Have you read this book? What did you think about it?