Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys
Format: ARC (Thank you, Cyra!)
Publisher: Philomel Books
My Rating: 4/5
Winter, 1945. Four teenagers. Four secrets.
Each one born of a different homeland; each one hunted, and haunted, by tragedy, lies…and war.
As thousands of desperate refugees flock to the coast in the midst of a Soviet advance, four paths converge, vying for passage aboard the Wilhelm Gustloff, a ship that promises safety and freedom.
Yet not all promises can be kept.
“Can history disappear if it’s written in blood?”
Holy guacomole. That was one heck of a ride for a book…let me start off by saying this…this book NEEDED to be written and should be read by ALL. I’m so glad my friend Cyra from Rattle the Pages sent me her ARC copy to read since she loved the story herself so much, and boy did she have a right to love the story so much. Each character was so interesting and covered a lot of what children and young adults felt throughout the war. It took me about 100-200 pages to really understand the characters. After that the story FLEW BY. All the characters and their stories intertwine so beautifully and it was just done SO well. This book is told from 4 POV’S. Joanna, Emilia, Alfred and Florian. Their paths cross and it just goes on from there. Each POV lasts several pages (no more than 10) and really helps to make the book fast-paced. For the first 150 pages though I didn’t feel as connected to the characters as I would’ve liked because of that format. BUT, none the less, I still love them. Like I said, Sepetys does an outstanding job of capturing the attitude of the war and a terrible tragedy. (And sadly one that not many people know about.) Each character embodies how people would feel during the war. Guilt, fear, tension, longing for hope, grief, misery, etc. She makes you feel for these characters. And like I said, it was a is a story that needed to be told. I highly highly recommend you all read it. Whether you LOVE historical fiction or not. It’s just one of those books.