Between Shades of Gray, Ruta Sepetys

Netgalley copy in exchange for an honest review. 

The Blurb 

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.

My Thoughts 

The characters are incredibly vivid and realistic, and you never know where the story is going to take you, but somehow you know it’s going to get worse and worse and worse.

But you keep on reading because it is so well researched. It’s a story about a reality those people shouldn’t have had to face, and people around the world still face today.

Besides, I really, really loved the fact that despite terrible things happening in the story, you still get the feeling that nothing is black and white (I’m hinting at a special character, but I won’t spoil).

Gripping story, terrifying, too. But so important.



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