Saturday, July 9, 2016

Salt To The Sea
Ruta Sepetys

Side Note:  Seriously guys, this author is talented and determined to share some of history's most well kept secrets. 

Goodreads Review:

Winter, 1945. Four teenagers. Four secrets.

Each one born of a different homeland; each one hunted, and haunted, by tragedy, lies…and war.

As thousands of desperate refugees flock to the coast in the midst of a Soviet advance, four paths converge, vying for passage aboard the Wilhelm Gustloff, a ship that promises safety and freedom.

Yet not all promises can be kept.

Inspired by the single greatest tragedy in maritime history, bestselling and award-winning author Ruta Sepetys (Between Shades of Gray) lifts the veil on a shockingly little-known casualty of World War II. An illuminating and life-affirming tale of heart and hope.

My Feelings:

What an exhilarating read, or story in my case! I am almost tearing up just beginning this review because of how much this book has touched me.  How amazing this writer portrays WWII refugees.  With Ukranian in my blood , (grandmother was full Ukranian), I felt that this book spoke a little to me as well, though Ukranians weren’t spotlighted here, so many people of Europe were targeted.I have to mention that I didn’t actually read this, instead I listened to it on CD in my car, in thanks to my library!  My boss had told me I can rent audio books from the library, and to my amazement, she was right!  I had been hearing about this historical fiction on Twitter and seeing many pics of the book on Instagram and something kept telling me to look into this one.  
I read the back cover and was sold.  I’ve always been a sucker for history on WWII but to listen to an audio version of a historical based YA fiction version, reached out to me and did not want to let me go.  So I picked it up and couldn’t stop.  The narrators of the book are phenomenal, although there is one of the four characters that just irked my nerves from the beginning and rightfully so!  I’m pretty sure Ruta meant for him to be that way, or at least I hope she did.  
Ruta’s world building is professionally done to say the least!  She knows how to write and completely engulfed me into this time period!  She created each character flawlessly.  Their back stories really helped the reader to get to know them and why they acted and thought the way they did.  With a more sorrowful tone throughout this read (as is expected) one might think, it would be depressing or melancholy at points.  But the history that backs up her characters stories, opens your eyes into the past!  At times you feel sad because this stuff really happened to people!  
Everything from the weather, to the sausages, to the expressions of a Nazi’s face, was so expertly written that once I began listening, I was there.  I was with Joana walking and with Emelia, looking at her pink hat.  I was with Florian as he fought to hold onto his own direction and not waiver even for a second.  I was with Alfred even if I didn’t want to be!! 
One of the best books I’ve ever read/listened to in my life!  I never knew that I loved historical fiction until now and I am so beyond grateful that I took a chance on my intuition and devoured this read.  For educational reasons, I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in WWII and what the life of a refugee was like.  For a YA who wants to read something different, something worthwhile, something meaningful, this is the book for you!  
I could go on and on and on if I could give you details, but obviously I can’t be a party pooper!  As a YA reader, a strongly urge you to give this a try and I promise you won’t regret it!

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