Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Book Review: Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys

Title: Between Shades of Gray
Author: Ruta Sepetys
Genre: Historical Fiction
Subject: War
Publisher: Philomel Books
Release date: March, 2011
Length: 344 Pages
I got this book: From the library

From Goodreads:
"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. Between Shades of Gray is a novel that will steal your breath and capture your heart."

Personal opinion:
I read this book in one sitting. It grasped me from the first few pages and I couldn't put it down. It was a horrible story to read but at the same time it is powerful and hopeful. Lina is a strong character and I really liked how she was portrayed. She took risks and put everything on the line just to make sure that what happened here wouldn't be forgotten. It was because of people like Lina that these horrible facts came to the surface eventually. The most shocking thing about this novel was that I didn't even know this happened and that while I live in Europe. The only downside of this book to me was the sudden leap in time at the end of the story. It would have been more satisfying if it wouldn't have ended with just that one letter.

I liked it!

Purchase links: Amazon
Other reviews: None yet
If you have reviewed this book and want your link here, please leave a comment with the link, and I will add it :)


  1. I have heard so much about this book.... thanks for your review, I think I'm adding it to the list now. I'm a sucker for these types of books anyway, if they are done well.

  2. A mom of one of my students went to college with the author and let me borrow a copy of the ARC but I haven't gotten around to reading it yet. I really want to though.