Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys
Published by: Philomel Books on February 2nd, 2016
Genre: YA, Historical Fiction, WWII
Source: Borrowed from the library
Summary (from Goodreads): 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.
Inspired by the single greatest tragedy in maritime history, bestselling and award-winning author Ruta Sepetys (Between Shades of Gray) lifts the veil on a shockingly little-known casualty of World War II. An illuminating and life-affirming tale of heart and hope.
Review: Once again Sepetys does it again. Writes an amazing WWII historical fiction that teaches me something that I was unaware of that took part in that point in time. The way she creates these characters and has them connect with one another and with the reader. The way that she made a character connect with another character in her other book Between Shades of Gray was a neat find. At almost 400 pages you would think that this book takes awhile to get through but with each of the chapters being told in one of the four perspectives of the main characters and being a maximum of 10 pages (according to my ereader and larger than usual font size) the book flys by. You want to keep reading to see an interaction in one of the other characters point of view or you want to see if Florian will divulge a secret about why he’s being so secretive. You root for all the characters. You want them to make it. You want each of their goals that they are set out to accomplish come to fruition in front of you.
Sepetys has a way of making a lot of character perspectives that seem overwhelming be easy to read and comprehend. It all flowed together nicely. I got to say though the one character I wasn’t too fond of for a bit was Alfred but I think that was kind of the point of him as we find out later on the reality of him. Her writing as always is amazing. I love that she finds casualties that happen in WWII that were not well-known and brings them to light. Without this book I honestly would never have known about the refugees that boarded the Willem Gustloff or in her other book Between Shades of Gray the 6,500 trek Lithuanians made towards the Arctic Circle to work in a camp.
Highly recommend her books if you like historical fiction or learning new things. Can’t wait to read what else she puts out.