Blog Review

Review: Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys

Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys12913325
Published: March 22 , 2011

It’s 1941 and fifteen-year-old artist Lina Vilkas is on Stalin’s extermination list. Deported to a prison camp in Siberia, Lina fights for her life, fearless, risking everything to save her family. It’s a long and harrowing journey and it is only their incredible strength, love, and hope that pull Lina and her family through each day. But will love be enough to keep them alive?


I never thought I’d pick up Shades of Gray and enjoy it as much as I did. I’m the kind of reader who absolutely loves high fantasy and such. Basically nothing close to historical fiction. I was insanely surprised by this!

I have never read a Ruta Sepetys book before. And I’m so glad that I did because I am now a HUGE fan! Her writing is so flawless and beautiful and keeps me wanting more, more and more. I don’t think I’ve ever picked up a historical fiction novel and if I have it’s been a REALLY long time. I had to slow my pace down for this book because I didn’t want it to end.

Between Shades of Gray is about a family, Lina, her brother Jonas and her parents and how they get separated from their father on the way from Lithuania to Siberia to work in desolate farm. Her family was taken in the dead of night by the NKVD (from what I understand they eventually become the KGB) for crimes they have not committed and crimes they don’t understand are being charged against them and the whole Lithuanian race.

I absolutely loved the strength in this book. There was so much of it seeing these people go through so much pain, turmoil, and just hard times. The way that they kept hope and life alive among them, it was absolutely stunning. I cannot believe the power and just the sure will in all of these characters. Even ones you don’t think are strong as others, are incredibly strong.

Although I don’t know must about the historical aspects of this book, you could tell Ruta Sepetys did a very VERY good job of researching and accuracies. But this book was very moving, informative, powerful, heart breakingly beautiful and all in all one of the most amazing reads of my year.

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12 COMMENTS

  • Jessi

    You should definitely check out Salt to the Sea next!! So so good!!

  • Bathtime Reads

    This is definitely going on my TBR list, I love historical fiction. Have you read The Bronze Horseman by Paulina Simons? It has a similar setting, and is absolutely brilliant.

  • Stephanie

    I haven’t read it but I have it on my kindle! I’ve been meaning to read it.

  • Stephanie

    I most definitely will! I’ve had my eye on it for a while.

  • awayinneverland

    I’m so glad you loved it!! She’s my new favorite author after picking this book up last year! Definitely read Salt to the Sea next by her because it goes off this book and then Out of the Easy which is so unique! And she’s working on a new book that I cannot wait for!

  • readthebloodybook

    I really want to read her books, but things I know will make me cry scare me.

  • Stephanie

    I didn’t really cry reading this. I like got moved and maybe like shed a tear or two nothing too extreme. But I really think you should give it a shot.

  • Stephanie

    I really do plan on picking up Salt to the Sea. I think she’s becoming one of my favorite authors.

  • readthebloodybook

    I suppose if I can handle Patrick Ness I can handle this.

  • Stephanie

    OMG FOR SURE. You’ve got this. I think Patrick Ness is so much harder to not ugly cry.

  • awayinneverland

    I’m so glad to hear it!! I love when people discover her books!

  • readthebloodybook

    I’ve never cried so hard in my life as I did in The Knife of Never Letting Go. I’m still not over it. Why Ness! Why!

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