I shall review a book titled "Between Shade of Gray" by Ruta Sepetys.
Release Date: March 22nd 2011
Publisher: Philomel Books
The description of the book:
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.
The length of the journey that a reader has to go through in this book is just exhausting and heart breaking. "Between Shade of Gray" put a spotlight on a part of history that went missing. A part that kept hidden from 1941 to 1990.
The book takes place during the Second World War in Lithuania and how people were treated like animals. The book is narrated by Lina who is 15 years old and who loves drawing. She was taken by the NKVD along with her mother and brother. Lina kept drawing as a way to communicate with her dad.
From the first moment, you start feeling sorry for Lina. How she had to face all these hardships in order to survive. How she was too young compared to the challenges she had to face. Lina and her family would work so hard for some bread to eat. But I loved her sprit. She knew the ending of this torture was coming soon. Even if it took her 12 years. Lina's mother was my favorite character. She was strong in front of her children and sacrificed a lot for them.
It wouldn’t be a YA if there was no love interest. The relationship between Lina and Andrius was a beautiful thing. Under all these conditions that they had to live through, there were able to love and help each other.
Reading a YA that is full of historical events and facts is just so amazing because you are teaching readers about history in the way they like it. Because otherwise who would want to know who died and who survived unless it was written well.
Overall, I think Ruta's book was very informative and educational. Not to mention that it was heartbreaking but also it strengthens your soul at the same time. It makes you think about current events and makes you wonder where on earth the-treatments-of-humans-like-animals is happening. It takes YA genre to a whole new level.
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