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February 2016: World War II > Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys

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message 1: by Sarah (last edited Feb 28, 2016 01:09PM) (new)

Sarah | 195 comments Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys
3 stars

This is the story of four teenagers during WWII in the countryside of Prussia making their way toward the military ship Wilhelm Gustloff. The ship is evacuating people away from the brunt of the fighting. The teenagers stories are fictional but the ill-fated story of the ship Wilhelm Gustloff is true. This ship had more loss of life than the Titanic and Lusitania put together and yet not many people know this story at all.

A couple months ago I went to an author forum in St Paul. I went primarily to hear Laurie Halse Anderson speak, but was very interested to hear from the author of this book, Ruta Sepetys. Sarah Dessen was there as well as one other author whom I had never heard of, and now cant remember her name. After reading this book, I kind of wish this had been a book for adults. I don't mind reading YA, but this was more appropriate for 12 year olds than the broader range of teenagers it was rated for. The chapters are incredibly short and each chapter is from the perspective from all four of the main characters. This made for a lot of bouncing around, which to me made it hard to get to know the characters well. Over all I'm glad I got to know this story, but I felt it could've have been executed better.

message 2: by Anita (new)

Anita Pomerantz | 6305 comments Interesting. I wonder if there are any adult books about the Wilhelm Gustloff. It sounds pretty interesting, and I had not heard of it until now. Not big on reading YA (especially YA you rated with three stars), but this sounds like an interesting topic to pursue.

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