Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Between Shades of Grey

by: Ruta Sepetys
Pages: 344
Format: Hardcover
Year pub: 2011
Publisher: Philomel Books
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.

Ahh. It was gorgeous. It was beautiful. It's the shades of grey and in between them. It was a treacherous, heart-wrenching adventure that moistened my eyes when I finished, and I hope, too, that history doesn't get repeated like this. Teaching of holding onto hope and love even in the depths of darkness. There's that seed of hope and love and there it is, springing up where it never could be.

From the first words that gets entered into your brain, I got sucked in with the very first sentence. The chapters are short which made reading the book pretty easy. The topic of what it was about, however, wasn't that easy. It hurt so badly when someone died and it struck me as mad sometimes that the NKVD were so terrible. The war was so terrible. It was just terrible, set in the WWII and Luthuanians, it was a brutal time period of our history.

Lina tells the story and her brave and strong opinions kept me on her side, understanding her, and getting a better feel of what is happening. During that time her father gets seperated and she stays close with her mom and brother. Her mother was kind, loving, and very caring. I emensely loved her for her big heart in caring for everyone even if it was an enemy. Jonas, I wish he had a better life, I wish all the characters did. They really touched me deeply, even Mr. Stalas who grew from hating him to him there was a big enjoyment. All the supporting were gave indepth and substance that I cared for each and everyone in their own way. The relationship with Andrius and Lina was sweet and I liked how it came in the end.

Truefully, the page between the last page of the last chapter to the epilogue I was screaming that someone must have ripped out the pages and it wasn't the last of it. But I could tell what Ruta wanted you to get from what you knew and guess like "oh are they living or dieing" and make a conclusion from there. The epilogue! Amazing, a nice end with the jar and a letter and just a nice, beautiful yet thorny, ending.

My Rating:


  1. This was a nice read. I didn't feel too connected to the characters but I did enjoy it.


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