Okay, I’m not gonna take a roundabout route here: I absolutely loved this book.
While I enjoyed Between Shades of Grey, I didn’t actually end up loving it as I hoped (perhaps it was overshadowed for me by Solzhenitsyn’s Ivan Densovitch– but more on that another time). But this book… this book blew me away!
Like Between Shades of Grey, the writing was stunning and the build-up in action was perfect. But what really sold me on this book was how much I connected with characters and felt like I was taken on a journey with them, discovering who they were and what made them tick. I have read other books that have tried to make personalities, in similar circumstances, as swoon worthy and incredible as these characters- but so few actually succeed in making something that resembles both the heroic and the human. I salute Sepetys for her success here- it is such a rare feat and deserves applause!! Plus- and I have to mention it- there was a wonderful little Easter egg that linked the characters in Salt to the Sea with the ones in Between Shades of Grey (you won’t be getting any spoilers from me though- see if you can spot it yourself!)
Of course, the subject matter is intense and serious, just as Between Shades of Grey is, and I truly admire Sepetys for educating people on so many important issues. So, yes, librarians out there (and not just us apes with an abundance of bananas on the internet) stock up your libraries- because this is worth investing in.
Rating: 4½/5 bananas
So have you read any of Sepetys work? Do you plan to? Let me know in the comments!