Katya's Reviews > Between Shades of Gray

Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys
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Jan 05, 2012

it was amazing
bookshelves: 2011, historical-fiction, favorites, history, horror, realism, silently-contemplating, super-awesome, made-me-cry, the-ya-project
Read from June 23 to 24, 2011 — I own a copy

Also found here: http://theninjareader.tumblr.com/post...

It's a truth universally acknowledged that I rate books high if they make me cry. That can indicate a lot of things to a lot of different people, but let me tell you here and now: This is NOT a tear-jerker.

What it is, in fact, is the fictional story of a fifteen year old Lithuanian girl, Lina, whose family is arrested by the NKVD in 1941 and deported to a worker's camp in Siberia. It's a story of survival, and war, and the horrible trials of the human spirit, but most of all, it's a story about love.

And damn it if it didn't make me cry a river!

Waitaminute, waitaminute, alter ego butts in, you gave "The Beauty Myth" three stars and THIS is what you praise as your favorite? Shouldn't being stuffed into an Iron Maiden be what makes you cry?

True, but there are a few things that seperate these books. One, they're two completely different books concerning two completely different topics. Two, "The Beauty Myth" was 300 pages of Naomi Wolf waxing eloquent about conspiracy theories. "Between Shades of Gray" is 300 pages of the experiences of a young girl forced to grow up fast.

It's well known that you feel more strongly about a topic if it is imbued in the story of someone you know. In "The Beauty Myth", what moved me most wasn't the quoting of statistics, but the intimate and somehow disturbing account of the author's own battle with eating disorders when she was a teenager.

Similarly, Sepetys makes us feel the story by creating a heroine you can relate with. Lina is far from perfect - she likes to wallow in self-pity, judge, and while her drawings are lovely, she sketches details and forgets that they add up to a much bigger picture. However she also finds that there is more to life than clean-cut definitions. Yeah, yeah, I know, sounds hackneyed, but like I always say - it's not the originality that matters, it's the execution. And this is some pretty good execution.

Read it. Seriously, just read it.
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Quotes Katya Liked

Ruta Sepetys
“Have you ever wondered what a human life is worth? That morning, my brother's was worth a pocket watch.”
Ruta Sepetys, Between Shades of Gray

Ruta Sepetys
“I left the jutra to chop wood. I began my walk through the snow, five kilometers to the tree line. That's when I saw it. A tiny silver of gold appeared between shades of gray on the horizon.
I stared at the amber band of sunlight, smiling.
The sun had returned.
I closed my eyes. I felt Andrius moving close. "I'll see you," he said.
"Yes, I will see you," I whispered "I will."
I reached into my pocket and squeezed the stone.”
Ruta Sepetys, Between Shades of Gray

Ruta Sepetys
“Sometimes there is such beauty in awkwardness.”
Ruta Sepetys, Between Shades of Gray


Comments (showing 1-3 of 3) (3 new)

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message 1: by Angela (new)

Angela I've heard nothing but wonderful praise for this book, which means I really should pick up the ARC I've now had in my possession for four months. Opps.


Katya You should. I bought it brand new (big deal for me, since I had luggage weight to consider), and it was worth every pence.


message 3: by Angela (new)

Angela Will get on that soon then! :)


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