Why? because that is one of the reasons I started this blog. Darn it.
Between Shades of Grey by Ruta Sepetys is easily going to be my favorite YA book for 2014. Although, Gayle Forman's If I Stay is a very close second.
|I think I'm going to start adding a photo of the book description. Sometimes I prefer to read the publisher's description and only the reviewer's thoughts.|
The title of Sepetys's book is misleading in today's post-50 Shades of Grey world (a book I've yet to read). It was a book recommended by someone that I ordered off Amazon without really knowing what the book was about. (as a side note: it bugs me I can't remember who and why I wanted to read a certain book so I've started adding where I got book suggestion to my Evernote Wish List) The shades of grey in which Sepetys references are people's skin color, the sky color, people's attitudes, etc. It has nothing to do with sex.
This YA novel tells the tale of Lina and her family as they are deported to Siberia from Lithuania during Stalin's reign of terror. Growing up before the crash of the USSR, I remember people defecting, the threat of deportation to Siberia, the Kremlin and KGB. My kids don't understand the enormous difference in that world and the post-USSR world they grew up in. Actually, now that I think about it, was Siberian exile still an actual threat in the 60s and 70s? Anyone remember? I remember it being something we would use as a behavioural saying: behave or you'll be sent to Siberia.
|I love when books add extras such as this map. I like the added visual without having to Google or search for a map. I also like when publishers/authors add a page or section on the history or relevant facts of the time period.|
Anyways, in the 1940s, it was no joke. It was reality for a lot of innocent people. Sepetys does an excellent job of telling a tale that could easily be the truth for any Lithuanian family during that time period. I read it while I was on vacation and had to stop myself from reading it in one day. I drug this book out for several days because I didn't want it to end. Even though there is an ending to the book, I wanted it to continue and continue. I wanted to go back in time and help this little girl. Lina was a strong person. I'm not sure I would be able to endure all that she did especially at her age.
I have a fascination with Russia and its history. The previous book I read, The Lost Crown, dealt with Russia as well, the end of the Romanov era. Both books would pair nicely with some nonfiction reading as Beth at Too Fond suggested in her post Book Pairings. I was not impressed with The Lost Crown. I did tend to skim it in lots of places but it did spark my interest in reading about the czar.
Between Shades of Grey - READ it
The Lost Crown - skip it unless you also have a fascination with Russia