Saturday, November 10, 2012
Between Shades of Gray
Age range: 14 & up
Content: Mild relationship content, no-to-mild sexual content, no cursing, high violence (due to incredibly graphic descriptions)
Genre: Teen Fiction / Teen Adventure and Survival / Teen Historical Fiction
Publisher: Penguin Group
Where to get it: Barnes & Noble or Amazon or Target
Summary: They took me in my nightgown. It's 1941 and Lina is fifteen. She is not a criminal, she's just an ordinary Lithuanian girl, living an ordinary life. Until Soviet soldiers break into her home and tear her family apart. Her father is taken from them while Lina, her mother, and her younger brother are stuffed into a crowded train car with other undesirables. Making their way to a Siberian work camp, they are forced to fight for their lives. Lina finds serenity in her art, drawing to stay sane and document every event. Risking her and her family's lives, Lina implanted secret messages of their location into her drawings. She sneakily passes them along, hoping and praying the messages will make it to her father. Will their love, hope, and strength be enough for Lina and her family to make it out alive?
Opinions: This is basically one of the saddest books I've ever read. I cried a lot a lot a lot. But, of course, since the book strongly provokes emotion it is definitely a success as a story. I love it so much and it kills me that I can't tell you why it made me cry.
When I decided I wanted to buy the book, I went online and read some reviews. All of them were positive except for one. She said, "There's no romance! It's just a good sob story is all." Um, WRONG.
There is romance, trust me. It may not be outwardly romantic, sexual, or "arousing" like some other books. There's more of a meaningful and. . . innocent romance story that I, personally, love. I think it's the best love story I've ever read (and I've read a lot).
Plus, this book has rough cut pages. And you guys know how much I love my rough-cut pages. Amazing.
The story line in this reminded me of The Diary of Anne Frank which I have decided I need to read. But I'll probably read it next month because I can't handle anymore sobbing for now. I guess I should tell you that I don't completely understand all the history in this book. Like I can't pronounce any of the country names or tell you why they were deported or what kind of war was going on. But I did get the emotion and I understood enough to get the picture. I can tell you that all of the countries mentioned in the book are not made up and that the Soviet soldiers were very brutal. Gosh, I really hope I didn't just make myself sound like an utter idiot.
It kind of sucks that this book has to, like, practially share a title with Fifty Shades of Gray. Ugh. Nasty. This book came out first, just in case you were wondering. I've never read Fifty Shades, but I've heard that it's. . . inappropriate. So I will not be reviewing that ever.
I'm really bummed that no one I know in real life has read this book. I have no one to discuss it with. I'm probably going to make my mom and/or my best friend read it. So they can cry with me.
The actual writing in this book is really really good. She did everything right. Character developments, plot-line, descriptions. I'm impressed that this is Sepetys' first novel ever. She did an amazing job. She is now is one of my many writer idols.
Now I think I'm done. I definitely recommend this book if you don't mind emotionally sobbing. Even if you do mind it, just read it. And if you don't like it, oh well. Okay. Bye. Muah! *blows kisses*