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Salt to the Sea
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Group Read Discussions > January 2018 --Salt to the Sea *NO SPOILERS*

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message 1: by Jasmine, Gatekeeper of Giveaways. (new) - rated it 3 stars

Jasmine | 1165 comments Mod
The book picked by our group to read for January 2018 was Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys. This is the NO SPOILER thread. Happy Reading!

Based on "the forgotten tragedy that was six times deadlier than the Titanic."--Time

Winter 1945. WWII. Four refugees. Four stories.

Each one born of a different homeland; each one hunted, and haunted, by tragedy, lies, war. As thousands desperately flock to the coast in the midst of a Soviet advance, four paths converge, vying for passage aboard the Wilhelm Gustloff, a ship that promises safety and freedom. But not all promises can be kept...

World War II is drawing to a close in East Prussia and thousands of refugees are on a desperate trek toward freedom, many with something to hide. Among them are Joana, Emilia, and Florian, whose paths converge en route to the ship that promises salvation, the Wilhelm Gustloff. Forced by circumstance to unite, the three find their strength, courage, and trust in each other tested with each step closer to safety.

Just when it seems freedom is within their grasp, tragedy strikes. Not country, nor culture, nor status matter as all ten thousand people—adults and children alike—aboard must fight for the same thing: survival.

Told in alternating points of view and perfect for fans of Anthony Doerr’s Pulitzer Prize-winning All the Light We Cannot See, Erik Larson’s Dead Wake, and Elizabeth Wein’s Printz Honor Book Code Name Verity, this masterful work of historical fiction is inspired by the real-life tragedy that was the sinking of the Wilhelm Gustloff—the greatest maritime disaster in history. As she did in Between Shades of Gray, Ruta Sepetys unearths a shockingly little-known casualty of a gruesome war, and proves that humanity and love can prevail, even in the darkest of hours.



Connie (connier) | 52 comments I started this one last night and I have to say I am not liking the short chapters and I am on page 40 and it is difficult to remember who is who at first. I finally have a grasp of it and look forward to seeing what is next.


message 3: by Jasmine, Gatekeeper of Giveaways. (new) - rated it 3 stars

Jasmine | 1165 comments Mod
Connie wrote: "I started this one last night and I have to say I am not liking the short chapters and I am on page 40 and it is difficult to remember who is who at first. I finally have a grasp of it and look for..."

This is what I just wrote about on the spoilers thread! The short chapters killed me.


message 4: by Alice (new)

Alice | 4597 comments I tried reading this book and did not like it last year. It was did not finish for me.


Katz Nancy from NJ (nancyk18) I hope to read Salt to the Sea this year.


Chelsea (challe232) | 3 comments I just finished Salt to the Sea tonight and I really loved it!! I am glad I joined this group!


Darlene Strickland (dmstrickland) | 3 comments I’m about halfway through and am really enjoying it. Unlike the majority of people I disliked All the Light We Cannot See and gave up halfway through. This book I really like and hope to finish this weekend.


Connie (connier) | 52 comments Darlene wrote: "I’m about halfway through and am really enjoying it. Unlike the majority of people I disliked All the Light We Cannot See and gave up halfway through. This book I really like and hope to finish thi..."

I really liked ALL THE LIGHT WE CANNOT SEE. I thought it was one of the best books I had read. I am sorry you couldn't finish it.


Darlene Strickland (dmstrickland) | 3 comments Connie - I should try reading All The Light again. I know I’m in the minority of people that didn’t like it so maybe it was a timing thing. With this book I liked the multiple characters and the different backgrounds and personalities. With All The Light I was frustrated with the time jump backwards and forwards and became bored with the two main characters. These characters were more interesting but you’ve motivated me to try one more time. Thx!


Connie (connier) | 52 comments Darlene wrote: "Connie - I should try reading All The Light again. I know I’m in the minority of people that didn’t like it so maybe it was a timing thing. With this book I liked the multiple characters and the di..."

I agree the jumping back and forth was a bit tedious, but I really did enjoy the characters. It has been a while since I read this one, but little blind girl was a true inspiration for me. The ending I didn't really care for either, but I thought the writing was very good. I am a person who likes things to move forward from a spot as well and I can see where this would make it difficult to read. There are really not many books that I have read that can do it very good.


There are too many good books to read out there that I don't know if going back and trying to read something you initially didn't care for is worth it. That is why there are so many books, because there are so many different types of readers. We each have our own style and appreciate that when reading.




Maureen | 351 comments I just started this book a few days ago. I really don't like the short and choppy chapters. I am starting to get into it. It took a long time to do this, it was hard keeping track of so many characters.


Elizabeth Stucker | 2 comments I'm about halfway through and am really struggling to get into the story. The short chapters are hard to really delve into, and I'm having a hard time with the writing style. Everything is so incredibly formal!! I feel like most of the phrasing doesn't fit the mold of the characters very well at all.


message 13: by Jasmine, Gatekeeper of Giveaways. (new) - rated it 3 stars

Jasmine | 1165 comments Mod
Elizabeth wrote: "I'm about halfway through and am really struggling to get into the story. The short chapters are hard to really delve into, and I'm having a hard time with the writing style. Everything is so incre..."

Almost everyone seems to be having difficulty with the short chapter. I'm guessing it was meant to appeal to the younger reader (since it is a YA book), but I agree that it makes it difficult to get into the story.


Chelsea | 2 comments Interesting to read the comments about the short chapters - I actually don't mind it. I think because it provides easy stopping points when I'm reading on the bus, etc. I'm really enjoying the characters and reading their different perspectives from the same scene.


Juliet Valcourt (julietvalcourt) | 13 comments I agree Chelsea, I’m listening on audiobook and the short chapters work fine in that medium. They have four different voice actors reading too so I haven’t found it confusing. I always like books from multiple characters and I appreciate writers who try out experimental styles. I’m not that far into yet, but I like it so far.


message 16: by Sara (new) - rated it 2 stars

Sara | 42 comments Jasmine wrote: "Elizabeth wrote: "I'm about halfway through and am really struggling to get into the story. The short chapters are hard to really delve into, and I'm having a hard time with the writing style. Ever..."

I agree with you Jasmine. This book was written for Young Adults in mind hence the smaller chapter which are really confusing for us.


Sonya I finished this one at the end of the year. I enjoyed it! Next?


Cheryl A | 935 comments As a big fan of YA fiction, I don't think that the intended audience was a factor in the chapter lengths. I've read large page count YA fiction with relatively few chapters (as best as I can remember - Michael Grants Front Lines and The Passion of Dolssa by Julie Berry both come to mind). I think that, with the exception of the voice of Alfred, the author was using the different voices to build a whole picture of the events shared among the characters. All four main characters, by themselves, fall in the the "unreliable narrator" catagory; it's only with each of their POVs that we "see" the whole picture and can imagine what a journey like theirs would have really been like.


Justina | 7 comments As a historical fiction fan, I am looking for a new read and thought I'd try an online book club. Am I too late to join? I read "Between Shades of Grey" and loved it.


message 20: by Jasmine, Gatekeeper of Giveaways. (new) - rated it 3 stars

Jasmine | 1165 comments Mod
Justina wrote: "As a historical fiction fan, I am looking for a new read and thought I'd try an online book club. Am I too late to join? I read "Between Shades of Grey" and loved it."

No you are not too late. We have the discussion all month long, and even after the month has ended the discussion threads stay open.


NancyJ (nancyjjj) I'm listening to an audio version, and so far I'm enjoying it. It's hard to keep the characters straight on audio, so I ordered the print book.


message 22: by Jasmine, Gatekeeper of Giveaways. (new) - rated it 3 stars

Jasmine | 1165 comments Mod
From all the comments it sounds like this book is a bit more enjoyable in audio form. I may have to "reread" it that way and see if I find it more enjoyable.


message 23: by Judy (new) - rated it 5 stars

Judy Jasmine wrote: "From all the comments it sounds like this book is a bit more enjoyable in audio form. I may have to "reread" it that way and see if I find it more enjoyable."

Although it took me some time to get acquainted with the different voices that tell the story for this novel, I did enjoy the audio version. The narrators are excellent, and when you realize that there are essentially four major characters that carry the story, it gets less confusing. I didn't know what to make of the ending. Has anyone gotten that far, yet? Won't say more on this thread, but wondered if anyone else had a problem with how the book ended.


Jeanette Lewis | 12 comments Salt to the Sea

https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...

Thank you to the Moderators and voters. This was a fabulous book, after I got over my anxious state at the beginning of the book I travelled in the snow with this little group and was totally immersed into all their stories. Thanks to the author for the historical notes. I had heard of the disaster of the Wilhelm Gustloff but not in detail.
5☆


message 25: by CuriosiD (new)

CuriosiD | 1 comments I was touched by the characters, their stories and their growth in this book. The short chapters authored by individual characters kept up a pace of captivating intensity that provided insight into the group dynamics. It also made me feel closer to my parents and their siblings who were deeply affected by WWII.


David Patneaude | 10 comments Cheryl A wrote: "As a big fan of YA fiction, I don't think that the intended audience was a factor in the chapter lengths. I've read large page count YA fiction with relatively few chapters (as best as I can rememb..."

Sonya wrote: "I finished this one at the end of the year. I enjoyed it! Next?"
I agree, Cheryl. It's been a year or two since I read the book, but I wasn't bothered by the short chapters and I don't think their length had anything to do with the book being aimed at a YA audience (I believe I read somewhere that something like 30% of the readers of "YA" books are adults). Anyway, the author created a group of memorable characters dealing with a supremely tough situation. Their struggles and accomplishments felt authentic. I recommend the book whenever someone mentions a fondness for historical YA or just historical fiction in general.


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