Between Shades of Gray by: Ruta Sepetys

I had to read this book for my school book club. I guess it should be said right off the bat that I don’t like realistic fiction, I’m all about fantasy and sic-fi.

The reason why there hasn’t been a book review up here recently is because before I read this book I’ve been trying to read Lord of the Rings and I failed so so miserably, I’m about hundred pages in and I’ve officially called quits on it, I’m returning it back to my library. The book is okay, it’s just so slow I just can’t finish it.

Anyway back to Between Shades of Gray, this book is about the russian holocaust. Put into the view of 16/17 year old Lithuanian girl named Lina, we see through her eyes her journey from her home in Lithuania all the way to Siberia and learn about her survival in the Arctic Circle.
I got a bit misty eyed at a few pieces, but in comparison to the time I cried three times while watching Wreck-it Ralph that’s nothing, this book really isn’t about the sadness and horror of the work camps, but about the strength it takes to survive.

The writing of this book is beautiful, plot aside, I was quite drawn into everything and could picture clearly everything that was happening to Lina and her fellow prisoners.

One thing, though, is that I feel like the author should have put Lina’s drawings into the story as well. Lina vividly describes each picture she drew and I think it would have been a nice touch, to actually see her pain, sorrow, and anger along with her words would have made this book all the more memorable.My biggest problem with this book, and it really does bug me, is the ending. In the author’s note it does mention that real holocaust survivors put their writings and drawings into time capsules of sorts for people to find later when it was safe for them to be shared to the world, but the whole thing just didn’t work for me. Lina’s letter does make a sort of conclusion, but there is one big gaping whole in her words, the letter doesn’t mention whether or not her father is alive or dead. I guess it’s safe to assume the latter, but clarification would have been nice. One of the biggest conflicts that Lina goes through is the uncertainty of her father’s fate, but then in the very ending it’s not mentioned at all. RAWR, about to go into monster attack mode, it kills me that much. Unless I missed something this book failed epically.
I rate it at 3/5


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