Liza's Reviews > Between Shades of Gray

Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys
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's review
Jun 21, 2012

it was amazing
bookshelves: autographed, favorite, young-adult, young-adult-historical-fiction, classroom-library, want-to-read-more-from-this-author
Read from June 21 to 23, 2012

I wasn't initially interested in Between Shades of Gray until I heard Sepetys speak in a panel at Houston Teen Book con. I was fascinated by the research she did and what she volunteered to do during a documentary. You simply have to hear her speak about her time in prison-voluntarily. I was interested to see how it would translate into a novel about a teen during Stalin's regime.

Once you're finished you will feel emotionally wrecked by Lina's experience. It's so horrifying. I'm not one to cry, because of a book, but towards the end I became teary eyed as it seemed all hope was lost. The ending is so bittersweet that when you try to imagine what Lina experienced in its immediate aftermath you shudder at all the possibilities. The epilogue was hopeful and sweet.

There are so many characters that stand out from the officers of the NKVD to Andrius a boy that Lina meets during their harrowing journey to Siberia of all places. The conditions they lived in were so ghastly and the decisions people made to survive makes you pity all those involved in this bleak period. Though Lina, her mother, her brother Jonas, and father were fictional characters by the end you would swear they were real.

These hidden atrocities really make you wonder what else is going on in the world that we've turned a blind eye too.

The novel is so beautiful, emotional, and painful that it will stay with you. You have to read this if you're on the fence about it. Whereas other books may become lost to time, this is one of those books that can stand up to the test of time.

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Reading Progress

06/23/2012 page 205

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