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Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Between Shades of Gray by @RutaSepetys {BookReview} with #Excerpt

Title: Between Shades of Gray
Author: Ruta Sepetys
Published: April 2012
Publisher: Speak
Young Adult, Historical Fiction, World War II
Rating: 4 ****
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It's 1941 and fifteen-year-old artist Lina Vilkas is on Stalin's extermination list. Deported to a prison camp in Siberia, Lina fights for her life, fearless, risking everything to save her family. It's a long and harrowing journey and it is only their incredible strength, love, and hope that pull Lina and her family through each day. But will love be enough to keep them alive?

Ruta Sepetys (www.rutasepetys.com) was born and raised in Michigan in a family of artists, readers, and music lovers. She is the award-winning, bestselling author of BETWEEN SHADES OF GRAY, OUT OF THE EASY, and the upcoming SALT TO THE SEA. Ruta lives with her family in Nashville, Tennessee. Follow her on Twitter at @RutaSepetys.

"All opinions are 100% honest and my own."

Things you Need to Know! 
World War II devastation, Deaths, Cruelty, No Rape 

This book was very good. It is one of those books that will stay with you for much longer than it took to read.  I almost wasnt going to read it. Due to the fact of all the horrible things that happen in the first few chapters.  I am very glad that I stuck it out.  The only issue I had with this book was that the ending was very abrupt and we were left with a few questions.  Other than that though this book was a beautifully written piece of art.

The character Lina whom is our MC (main character) my god this girl had guts! I don't think I could have survived a 1/4 of what she went through. I am a big shower person. I don't go to bed without taking one.  I would not do well in her situation. Her mother was also very brave and strong. She fought and gave everything she could for her children. To keep them safe.  That I can relate to. I would do everything in my power to keep my children safe.

This is one book that I believe should be in the hands of all school kids.  This should be required reading for English and History class. I understand that it is fiction but it does give a very clear picture of what these people went through during this time.  I am sure from other things I've seen about WWII that things were even worse than what is depicted in this story but I do believe this one should be in every library across the country. I will be giving this to my almost 13 year old Endy. This summer for her to read.

There is so much that I want to say about this story but, I just can't find the words. I read this in two days and stayed up pretty late finishing it. I had to know if Lina and her family and those who became her family survived. I will be picking up this authors other books as well. And I recommend that everyone should read this story for themselves. 


Chapter 1:

They took me in my nightgown.
Thinking back, the signs were there—family photos burned in the fireplace, Mother sewing her best silver and jewelry into the lining of her coat late at night, and Papa not returning from work. My younger brother, Jonas, was asking questions. I asked questions, too, but perhaps I refused to acknowledge the signs. Only later did I realize that Mother and Father intended we escape. We did not escape.
We were taken.
June 14, 1941. I had changed into my nightgown and settled in at my desk to write my cousin Joana a letter. I opened a new ivory writing tablet and a case of pens and pencils, a gift from my aunt for my fifteenth birthday.
The evening breeze floated through the open window over my desk, waltzing the curtain from side to side. I could smell the lily of the valley that Mother and I had planted two years ago. Dear Joana.
It wasn’t a knocking. It was an urgent booming that made me jump in my chair. Fists pounded on our front door. No one stirred inside the house. I left my desk and peered out into the hallway. My mother stood flat against the wall facing our framed map of Lithuania, her eyes closed and her face pulled with an anxiety I had never seen. She was praying.
“Mother,” said Jonas, only one of his eyes visible through the crack in his door, “are you going to open it? It sounds as if they might break it down.”
Mother’s head turned to see both Jonas and me peering out of our rooms. She attempted a forced smile. “Yes, darling. I will open the door. I won’t let anyone break down our door.”
The heels of her shoes echoed down the wooden floor of the hallway and her long, thin skirt swayed about her ankles. Mother was elegant and beautiful, stunning in fact, with an unusually wide smile that lit up everything around her. I was fortunate to have Mother’s honey-colored hair and her bright blue eyes. Jonas had her smile.
Loud voices thundered from the foyer.
“NKVD!” whispered Jonas, growing pale. “Tadas said they took his neighbors away in a truck. They’re arresting people.”
“No. Not here,” I replied. The Soviet secret police had no business at our house. I walked down the hallway to listen and peeked around the corner. Jonas was right. Three NKVD officers had Mother encircled. They wore blue hats with a red border and a gold star above the brim. A tall officer had our passports in his hand.
“We need more time. We’ll be ready in the morning,” Mother said.
“Twenty minutes—or you won’t live to see morning,” said the officer.
“Please, lower your voice. I have children,” whispered Mother.
“Twenty minutes,” the officer barked. He threw his burning cigarette onto our clean living room floor and ground it into the wood with his boot.
We were about to become cigarettes.

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