Review: Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys

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Yes, I have been getting a lot of reading done lately. Let’s get right into the review!

I am ashamed to say my first thoughts while reading Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys were “I hate this book. It’s too confusing. Each chapter is way too short and it switches between four characters.” I’m so thankful I decided to continue reading, because this may be one of the most influential books in my life.

It was given to me for Easter, and I took a short break from reading it, so I didn’t finish it until this morning (by the way, I’ve had a very productive morning. I woke up early to finish this, then proceeded to work out my arms, abs, legs, and did some cardio. Then I walked the dog, did yoga, cleaned, wrote, and am getting some blogging done! It’s not even 2:00 yet. Yay me).

I’m sorry the picture doesn’t have the true cover on it; I sometimes take the jackets off while reading. It’s a very pretty book:

 

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Not only is it gorgeous, but it was SUCH. A. GOOD. BOOK.

It’s 1945, nearly the end of World War II. Four teenagers, all born of a different country, cross paths on the German Ship Wilhelm Gustloff. Each of them has their secrets, and each of them has a different reason for leaving Germany. The ship is supposed to represent safety, until tragedy strikes, again, as it always does during brutal war.

World War II is my favorite time period to read about, as you all know. People think I’m crazy for wanting to read about such a miserable time period. But I’ve always been drawn towards those types of books, and this one was no different.

By the end, I was too shocked to cry. I was too sad, too changed.

This is the type of book that changes you forever.

I couldn’t believe how quickly I read it once I finally got into it. Because of the short chapters, I couldn’t put it down. It was truly captivating. All of the characters were ones I felt a true connection to.

Sepetys has an incredible, true talent. I felt the same way after reading Between Shades of Grey. And I just found out the two books are actually related, in terms of the characters. If you’ve read these books and want to know what I’m talking about, please leave a comment.

My heart is going crazy with excitement.

I absolutely love how she brings attention to the Lithuanian side of the war. Mostly everyone focuses on the mistreatment of the Jews, but it was really an eye-opener to read about something not well-known and understood.

Disaster kept me on the edge of my seat, and I think everyone was on their toes during the more gruesome parts. Every time a person died, I had to remind myself it was a small scale compared to everything that happened during the war.

If you don’t know much about this, I encourage you to educate yourself. It’s fascinating and terrible. I would never have thought I would find any form of entertainment in a book about such a sad topic, but it was surprising.

Joana, Emilia, Florian, and Alfred. The main characters I loved (except Alfred, but nobody liked him much). I even loved the side characters. They hold a special place in my heart.

Please, please, please read the book.

It’s just amazing how love continues throughout lack of peace. That’s all I have to say.

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