Saturday, March 5, 2016

Book Review: Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys

I only finished one book this week--but for a good reason! As youʻll see in my review, Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys is such a heavy book that required 100% of my attention. But I loved it! Hereʻs my book review!

Title: Salt to the Sea
Author: Ruta Sepetys
Publication: 2016, Philomel Books
Format: ebook
Genre: Historical Fiction
Links: Amazon -- Barnes & Noble -- Goodreads
Rating: 5/5
ReviewIt is January 1945 and World War II is still raging on. Thousands have lost their lives, homes, and families. Refugees trek across countries in hopes that they will finally be free from the hardships of war. For four teens, the Wilhelm Gustloff may be the ticket to escape. Told in four differing perspectives, Salt to the Sea is a heart-wrenching tale of hope in troubling times inspired by the single greatest tragedy in maritime history.

This book, I think, was pretty seriously hyped in the bookish community and you know what, people?! Believe the hype! This book exceeded my expectations completely. Iʻm only just getting in to Historical Fiction and this is my first Ruta Sepetys book but I think Iʻll have to give her other books a go.

What I Liked:
-The research and thought that went into this story. This book takes place round an event that is so, so tragic but not as well known as it should be. It is known as the greatest maritime tragedy in history and over 9,000 lives were lost in the tragedy, many of whom were children. I had no idea that this even happened! And though it takes place during an important time in history, the author does not make the history of the book overwhelming. The amount of information given is enough to understand what is going on while making you want to learn more. I definitely looked up the event on Wikipedia in the middle of my reading and that helped capture my heart even more.
-I enjoyed the different perspectives. That doesnʻt always work for me, but it worked here. It helped me understand the depth of the story and being able to see what was going on through different perspectives gave the book a little more power.
-The characters were absolutely remarkable. I feel very strongly about well-written and relatable characters. If I do not enjoy the characters, I probably will not enjoy the book. Thankfully, that wasnʻt a problem here because I adored the characters. They felt so real and so human. They had mysterious pasts and secrets. They were hopeful for the future. They were each so gorgeously written and so full of personality and life. I could relate to each of them in so many different ways.
-The writing and pacing was perfect. A lot of times, historical fiction books can feel a little slow. So much information is presented that you may feel like youʻre sitting in a history lesson rather than reading a book. That was not the case for this book. The writing was clear and the pacing was nice and steady. I enjoyed the shorter chapters, I feel like that really helped move things along.

Everything about this book is just so good. It sucked me in and I was unprepared to love it as much as I did. The writing was beautiful and the book flowed well. The characters became my best friends. The events broke my heart completely, but also kept me hopeful. I donʻt cry while reading books, but I certainly wanted to at the end of this one. It left me wanting more.

Have you read this book? Are you planning on reading this book? 


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