Thursday, June 16, 2016

Review: Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys

This book came out five years ago. And I just read it today. But then again, I hadn't really read the summary for it until I read another book by this author, Salt to the Sea, months ago. And then I read about this one. And I had to have it. Because I love reading YA books about war, though they are heartbreaking.

I don't know what to say about this book. It was pretty evil. Yet I didn't feel that bad about things, as I didn't get all the emotions from this book that I wanted. Aw. But even so. It was so very heartbreaking. And I hate and love reading books about war. People in charge were so cruel to other people. Shudders.

It breaks my heart to read about how cruel some people can be. Yet it is the most interesting thing to read about. Because it is exciting. And real. So real. Because it all happened. And not that long ago. Shudders. I wouldn't be able to survive a war. I really wouldn't. I hope I never have to. But I fear that a war is coming. Sigh. But anyway. I must admit that I don't really know anything about the war with Russia and the soviets. How long it lasted. How awful it was for people. The author notes says more than twenty million people were killed in this war. And I just. That is so many people. Sad face. So awful. Just so cruel. I don't understand it one bit. Yet I loved reading about it. And I really do want to read more YA war books, but there aren't many.

This book tells the story of fifteen year old Lina. Who was taken from her home along with her family. Her father was taken to a prison in a different place, but Lina and her mother and her younger brother, Jonas, was taken on a train headed for Siberia. And oh god. Reading about that was pretty awful. So many people inside that train. Having to use a hole in the floor for a bathroom. Having no food. Moving for so many days. It was so cruel. Yet interesting to read about. She met Andrius on this train. And many others.

I loved reading about Lina. I did like this girl a whole bunch. I didn't fully connect with her, another reason for why this is a four star, but I did like her oh so much. And I liked her brother too. And her mom. We also get to know so many other characters, and I did like getting to know them all. The bald man was so rude most of the time, yet he could be kind too. So many people I got to know died. Aw. But I liked reading about all of them even so. There was one guard who was sort of nice. But just a small part of the story.

There is a small part of romance in this book. And I liked it oh so much. Andrius was the most awesome. A couple of years older than Lina. He was so kind and sweet. Yet Lina was a bit rude towards him for a long time. Sigh. So much time was wasted. But then they got past that, and started liking each other. There is a little bit of kissing. So cute. But not much at all. Not nearly enough. Then they are separated. Ugh. For twelve years, I believe. Uuugh. See my notes about that below. Aw. But yeah. I adored Andrius.

There is so much happening in this book. Yet I was disappointed that it wasn't longer. Hmph. But yeah. I'm glad I got to read it now. Because I did like it lots. The plot is so good. So evil. Reading about Lina trapped in work camps, having so little to eat, starving and freezing. And so many others died because of it. It was so mean to read about. But I also liked it so much. I'm not sure what else to say about this book. I enjoyed it. Lina had it very bad, yet it could have been so much worse. Thankfully, it was not that bad.

I must say something about the ending. And it will be spoilery. Sigh. I just finished this book, and my gosh, the ending left me feeling a bit disappointed. Lina has been captive for about a year and a half. It ends with her and her brother far north, in a work camp, away from the boy she likes, and then there is just a small epilogue page. I was so disappointed. Especially when that epilogue said she had been captive for twelve years. Why didn't we get to see when she was set free? That should have been there.

Like. When she was reunited with the boy. How she got free. What happened after that. I feel so cheated. I wanted to read about all of that the very most. Ugh. I didn't get the bad journey, when we didn't get to read about her happy ending. So disappointed. I hear there will be a movie. Please let it end better. I hope. But yeah. Even though I was so disappointed in the ending, I'm still giving this book a four star. Because I did like it lots. And ahh, if you, like me, have yet to read this book, then do so now. Really.


  1. I've had this book sitting on my shelf since it came out and have yet to read it. I may have to push it to the top of the pile!

  2. I really need to read this, as I loved Out of the Easy by the same author. I really LOVED it to bits! If you want to read my gushing review you can find i there. No war, the story takes place in New Orleans. The main character is so memorable, I adored her.

  3. Oh, this book is on my required reading list for this year! I can't wait to read it. :)

  4. I loved this book. You are right, people can be so cruel to each other.. War always makes me sad and wonder why we keep up with these useless fights.

  5. I don't think I could read this even hearing how beautiful this author's writing is. It just sounds too heart-wrenching and emotional. Sorry you didn't get a more satisfying ending, Carina. That sucks! Wonderful review! :)


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