Book: Between Shades of Gray
Author: Ruta Sepetys
Lina is just like any other fifteen-year-old Lithuanian girl in 1941. She paints, she draws, she gets crushes on boys. Until one night when Soviet officers barge into her home, tearing her family from the comfortable life they’ve known. Separated from her father, forced onto a crowded and dirty train car, Lina, her mother, and her young brother slowly make their way north, crossing the Arctic Circle, to a work camp in the coldest reaches of Siberia. Here they are forced, under Stalin’s orders, to dig for beets and fight for their lives under the cruelest of conditions.
Lina finds solace in her art, meticulously–and at great risk–documenting events by drawing, hoping these messages will make their way to her father’s prison camp to let him know they are still alive. It is a long and harrowing journey, spanning years and covering 6,500 miles, but it is through incredible strength, love, and hope that Lina ultimately survives.Between Shades of Gray is a novel that will steal your breath and capture your heart.
*disclaimer: this review is about the book and truthfully I have no knowledge about the soviets when I read this book. all my thought are all about the characters in the book and It doesn’t necessarily express my thoughts about anything in real life.
Well…this book. i’m kinda conflicted over it actually. on one hand, it was an addictive, sweet book, but on the other hand, i fucking HATED the main chracter. Let me rant about her here please:
I was so angry with her. WHY DID SHE HAVE TO SAY SO MANY OPINIONS ABOUT THE SOVIETS AND DRAW STUFF THAT DEGRADES THE SOVIETS SHE IS PROBABLY THE ONE WHO RUINED HER WHOLE FAMILY. BECAUSE OF HER. AND SHE STILL DOESNT LEARN. WHEN SHE GETS TAKEN SHE STILL SAYS SO MANY SUTFF ABIUT THE SOVIETS WHEN THEY WERE PROBABLY IN HEARING DISTANCE. DUMB ASS. STUPID. IDIOT.
And not all of the soviets are horrible people ok. Jeez, they have a family, they’re still people. they’re probably following orders from their superiors.
I hate that stupid girl urgh she thinks she knows everything stupid girl. And she thinks her family gave up their freedom for her cousin’s family but can you see that sooner or later, with her father being against the soviets, they would also be captured? stupid, even her 11 year old brother is wiser than her. when she was ranting and acting all HURT because of her father helping her cousin, her brother said softly “they had to give up some things too.” urgh stupid idiotic girl.
Ok ranting is done. anyway, but other than that, all the other characters were beautifully written and i loved the depth of the bald-hair man. i think this book is as much about the hardships faced by the captured people as their kindness in difficult times; their willingness to help others. i loved that part about it.
furthermore, before i read this, i never really understood what the soviets were. but through this i really gain a deeper understanding of the way the innocent people were treated during those dark times. this is actually a must-read for people who do not really know about the soviets.
Rating: 9 stars