Book Review: Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys

Salt to the Sea
Author: Ruta Sepetys
Reading Level: Young Adult
Genre: Historical Fiction
Released: February 2nd 2016
Review Source: Philomel Books

The author of Between Shades of Gray returns to WWII in this epic novel that shines a light on one of the war's most devastating—yet unknown—tragedies.

In 1945, World War II is drawing to a close in East Prussia, and thousands of refugees are on a desperate trek toward freedom, almost all of them with something to hide. Among them are Joana, Emilia, and Florian, whose paths converge en route to the ship that promises salvation, the Wilhelm Gustloff. Forced by circumstance to unite, the three find their strength, courage, and trust in each other tested with each step closer toward safety.

Just when it seems freedom is within their grasp, tragedy strikes. Not country, nor culture, nor status matter as all ten thousand people aboard must fight for the same thing: survival.

Before I start this review, I want to point out I’d never read a book by Ruta Sepetys and I was not aware of how incredible she is at storytelling. This book blew my mind with the vivid descriptions. Is like bringing history back again and living it as you read on.

Salt to the Sea is about four teenagers who are connected by a ship called the Wilhelm Gustloff.  This is the ship that sunk in the Baltic Sea while evacuating German civilians. Okay, let me be honest, I had no idea this happened in January 30, 1945. The moment I finished Salt to the Sea, I had to do some research on my own about this event in history.

As I was saying, this book is about four teenagers and we follow their paths to the ship along with their secrets. These teenagers will take you in a ride full of ups and downs. One will break your heart completely, the other will warm your heart with her kindness, one will bring you suspicious yet at the end will take over your heart and the other one is one that you’ll wish you can smack him, hard. I don’t want to mention names, as I would love for you to be clueless, with no sense of what these characters would do to you. And who would be the one that would just piss you off. Just be ready to read a fast paced, gut-wrenching tale that will have you questioning yourself more than often. A book that will have you flying thru pages wondering what will happen next.

Be unprepared, just pick this book and read it. Trust me, the less you know, the more this book would blow your mind.

Salt to the Sea is amazing. A wonderful book to start of 2016 with a bang. A book that will teach you history with true heroism from ordinary people who were forced into horrific events in our history. This is a book that deserves to be read and all the praises. Read it, love it, and learn one or two things about history.

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