Monday, February 29, 2016

Review: Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys

SALT TO THE SEA by Ruta Sepetys
Series: -
Genre: Young Adult, Historical Fiction, War > World War II
Pages: 400
Published: February 2nd 2016 by Philomel Books
My rating: 4/5 stars

Goodreads summary: In the cruel winter of 1945, four very different young people narrate their stories. Joana, Emilia and Florian are part of desperate group of refugees trekking across Germany, bound together only by their desperation to reach the ship that can take them away from the war-ravaged land. Alfred is a German soldier stationed on that ship.
First sentence: "Guilt is a hunter."

I have never read anything like Salt to the Sea before. Never. It was an experience and a emotional ride, say the least. I really recommend you all to read this beautiful book.

What did I like about the book?
History and World War II World War II and historical fiction is incredibly interesting. I love to learn and read more about these things, because it's so important to not forget. I have always found books and movies particularly about WWII very interesting, but oh how it breaks my heart. It was the same with this book. Salt to the Sea was a heartwarming, and heartbreaking, sad and beautifully written story. The ending was beautiful and memorable and made me extremely emotional. I need more books with such an importance in my life. I will probably never forget this book and its characters.

Learning - I love to learn new things, especially things with a meaning, you know? I had no idea that the Wilhelm Gustloff was a true story: I didn't know that it had happened for real. And that is absolutely SAD. Why didn't I know that? It's a really crucial thing. The ship had around 5 times more passengers than the Titanic!

The Writing - There wasn't a thing about the writing that I disliked. It was true perfection. Ruta Sepetys' writing was perfect for a book about an important time as World War II. Her writing felt like poetry, but at the same time it didn't. It was just beautiful in that way. I must read Ruta Sepetys' Between Shades of Gray soon. The short chapters is something I need to add as well. It was a really fast read because of them. I love shorter-than-normal chapters.

THE CHARACTERS - I loved that the book followed kids and teens. I loved it. It would definitely not be the same with adult characters. The oldest person the book follows is Joana who I think is 22 years old. I overall enjoyed all the perspectives, Alfred's the least. It was a compelling story, that was even better with all the fantastic characters. This is a perfect example of a character driven book, and I love those books. 

Rich world building - The world was, as well as the writing, beautifully constructed. The world didn't shine happiness or joy, it shone war and loss. And that's what the book is about. The world made me emotional too, because this was reality in parts of Europe in 1945, and it's just awful. It felt like I was a part of the world and that I was in this with the characters - that is world building done right.

What didn't I like about the book?
Nothing really??! - Although I gave it 4 stars out of a solid 5 stars. I just think it wasn't my normal cup of tea, and I think it may have been my first historical fiction? I need to read more books from that genre, because it's gripping and in general so intriguing. The book was still fantastic, despite my rating. As I said, the genre isn't my usual cup of tea, but I hope it will be in the future.

This was a phenomenal book. Beautifully written. Fascinating characters - ★★★★

Why should you read this?
Salt to the Sea will, most definitely, make you cry. Or at least make you emotional. It's one of those important book that will (hopefully) make you think, and appreciate what you have.

1 comment:

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