Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Septys

  Reviewed by Bo
Between Shades of Gray is a novel that is putting author Ruta Septys on the literary map. It hooked me from the very beginning. I randomly picked up this book to pass time, but once I started reading I couldn’t stop. If you are looking for a love/survival book then this is the one for you.
            Lina, who is 15 years old, is residing in Lithuania, June 1941. Lina and her family are living right in the middle of a monstrous war. She is planning for a future career in the art world, until her and her family was taken by the Soviet Union. With her art abilities she sends clues in her drawings through many people in different camps, hoping to get back to her father. During this time of tragedy, she desperately fights the Soviets to save her, and the lives around her through the whole book. Can love and the desire to save her family keep her alive?
            Sepetys created characters that are well-developed and dynamic. Her effective and vivid descriptions makes it easy for the reader to imagine the characters and to bring them to life. I could picture Lina and I being friends from her amazing character details.I could literally see myself in their world interacting with them.
            Sepetys skill with words and her ability to effectively use imagery created a raw, gritty movie in my mind. I could easily feel Lina's pain and put myself in the character's horrible environment. The way that she describes the settings is unimaginable. When she describes Lina with her family in the soviets truck looking at the girl coming from the hospital, you can really see it in your brain.  Her ability of doing imagery makes this novel one of my favorites.  
WHEN I WOKE, the car was dark. I moved to the front and hung my head over the side for air. My hair swung away from my neck. A rush of air swirled around my face, and I breathed deeply. Gravel crunched.
This is one of those books you will never want to put down. Sepetys and her book Between Shades of Gray had such an effect on me; this novel and its characters will stay with me for the rest of my life. It made me want to go out and do something about the hardships Stalin created and prevent them from ever repeating themselves in history. I gave this book 4.5 out of 5 stars. I did not give it 5 stars, because I think she should have provided more details of what became of the characters and their struggle.  Sepetys could have easily written a second book that would answer the lingering questions that resulted from the very abrupt ending. 

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