08 February, 2016


Title: Salt to the Sea
Author: Ruta Sepetys
Series: -
Genres: YA, Historical Fiction, War
Publisher: Penguin Random House
Source: ARC
Pages: 400
Publishing date: 4th February, 2016

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Each one born of a different homeland; each one hunted, and haunted, by tragedy, lies…and war.

As thousands of desperate refugees 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.

Yet not all promises can be kept.

Inspired by the single greatest tragedy in maritime history, bestselling and award-winning author Ruta Sepetys (Between Shades of Gray) lifts the veil on a shockingly little-known casualty of World War II. An illuminating and life-affirming tale of heart and hope.
I have read Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys previously and very much loved it so ever since I was Salt to the Sea being around for an ARC I was trying to get it. And finally my wish came true, I got my very own arc copy of one of my most anticipated releases of 2016 - Salt to the Sea! Whoop whoop whoop!

THE WORLD: In this book Ruta transforms us into the past. We are in what now is Poland near Gdynia. Tho back during WWII it was called Gotenhafen and belonged to Nazi Germany. The timing of this book is right before Hitler killed himself in Berlin so yet it is the time when America joined the war and Germany started to lose. Therefore, Germans were forced to run back from chasing Russians. What I love about this book is that Ruta Sepetys keeps to the facts. She does not sugar coat and she does not modify history to her liking. What you read in this book is historically correct. And frankly, even tho the character in the book are fiction let's face it, Ruta just gave names to many many people who went through what her characters did.

CHARACTERS: There are four POVs in this book: Lithuanian Joana, Polish Emilia, Prussian Florian and German Alfred. Now Joana is actually a cousin of Lina Vilkas, the main character we read about in Between Shades of Gray so really even it is not a series, this book tells a story of what was happening on the German side of Europe while Lina was taken to Siberia. So yes Joana...she is a trained medic aka war nurse. What I mean is that war made her into a medic. She is compassionate and made me realize that being a medic during war is probably the best profession. I really loved Joana, I literary cannot say a single thing about her that I did not like. Then we have Emilia...now her story is so tragic. Like seriously you are reading and sometimes you stop to take a breath. Fascinating and sad but true, no sugar coating. Like you know this book Into the River by Ted Dawe and how everybody is saying that oh how good it is because he writes about sex for teenagers. Well you know what, you do not need to write about sex to shake teenagers to the bone. And Ruta Sepetys proved it! I do not believe there is a single person who reads this book and does not stop to thing about what it says. Anyways, let's go back to the characters. Florian for me at first was strange but over time you start to like him and even love him. I especially enjoyed the meaning of his story, not everything is about survival and power. And then there was Alfred and let me tell you, Ruta has created a super creepy character. I had a feeling about his Hannelore but still...the level of delusion, I have studied biographies and cases of sociopaths and trust me when I say that Ruta Sepetys nailed it. Just so good!

LOVE: There is romance in this book but it is so subtle so cute. After all, it was all about survival and not finding love.

PLUS: As I mentioned already, the accuracy of history, especially the way Ruta Sepetys wrote about Russians. All this actually happened and all we know are things we see in the movies.

MINUS: After the big change I was not sure how I felt about the final ending. And why America? That felt me a little bit sad but other than that no minuses.

OVERALL: I cannot tell you enough how good this book is. If you have not read it - go get it NOW! It broke me completely and still I regret nothing, best book of 2016!

What do you guys think about SALT TO THE SEA?