Book Review: Between the Shades of Gray

Can you believe it? 

I have another Book review! Be shocked! I am!

Lets just get into this book because i will ramble enough in the actual review so lets just.... 

Between Shades of Gray

Author: Ruta Sepetys
Language: English
Type of book: Paperback 
Pages:  352
Overall rating: 4 out of 5
Book series: no
Book received through: bought it myself
Summary on the book:
"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?"

Favorite thing/moment in the book: There was not one specific moment, but more the overall realistic and very real-world description and view that this book had that i liked. 

Worth reading? 
This is a book that i think everyone should read, mostly because it is a very real and realistic book about war and the side of it that is not talked about often enough. 
This book showcases that the war doesn't end for most people simply because the war is declared over. People still suffer. 
And that there are sides of the war that history forgets to talk about. That it is not as clean cut as everyone always hopes. Stalin was horrible. But America was not always the white and shining hero. Not every person that could have been saved was saved, simply because not everything is seen or wanted to be seen. This book showcases all that and doesn't pull a shadow over the cruel and horrible details that other books don't show as clearly. 

Read this book guys. 

Everyone needs a clear view into the horrible never talked about moments of war. And while this is a very realistic book, it is still a good book for younger readers. Because it is realistic, yes, but not horrendous or overly graphic. 

Get the book here: Book Depository 

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Full review: 

First thought after finishing the book:Wonderful, realistic portray of horrible events. A book that doesn't sugarcoat but also shows that even through the most horrendous times, people can find hope. And love and friendships. And ways to survive throughout the most horrible moments that nobody thought could survive. 
I confess that i was skeptical about this book when i bought it. And when i started it. 

But this book surprised me very positively!

It is not the best written book that exist. It is not the most realistic book that exist or the most accurate book of historical events. 

But what it is, is a very realistic viewpoint of what happens in the areas where war is happening, but no actual frontline fighting is taking place. 

This book is all about those poor people that are mostly forgotten in the historical talks about the horrors of war. 

Yes, work camps and concentration camps are talked about. But never -at least not when i read or heard about it- are the horrors and inhuman ways that the deported people were treated. 

This book doesn't sugarcoat how horrible the people were treated. It shows that some people for no real reason where suddenly seen as something that is worth less then animals. That were treated and horrible and nobody that they came across seemed to care or try to help them. Not really at least. 

That people that saw what happened looked the other way. And that even those people that were living through those events together could either try their best and try to make it better, or be the one person that is always negative no matter what, that always try to take everyone else down with them. And for some reason is also to scared to actually die. 

Now... to the actual book, the character and the story, the writing and all that... 

I have to say that I did not love the characters. I did not connect with any of them. I could not understand how little Lina sometimes tried to just live through this and do what is right for her and her family. Just working and trying to survive and see what everyone around the is trying their best. 
I understand that she is 15, and that excuses the beginning when she as no idea what is going on. But after a few events... i don't understand why she keeps trying to be difficult. Or why she is horrible to some people when they are clearly just trying to help. 
So Lina was not the best character for me, but still she was realistic. People handle such horrible situations differently. And her reaction to it all was real. If not logical to me. 

The rest of her family -her mother and brother- where also not my favorite. but once again they were real. The mother tried her best to just make the best of every situation. She was nice and helpful to those around them because she hoped that it would help her and her children in the long run. She tried to make horrible better. 
The brother is just a kid, still he grows into the situation in a very real way. At the beginning he is scared and has no idea what is happening and why he is all of a sudden treated no better then a street dog. 
But he grows into the situation, he learns to grow with the situation and just tries the best he can to survive and help his family and others. 

The rest of the people that play a bigger role in the book -the rest of the prisoners- are also all very realistic. But not likable or connectable to me. 
There are those that try to be helpful. 
There are those that are hurtful. 
Those that are logical. 
Those that are negative. 
Those that try their best to just survive themselves, not caring about the rest. 
And those that offer themselves to help others. 

All those characters might not be connectable to me in themselves, but they are very realistic portrays of how people handle such horrible situations. And as a whole group, i think that the author did a fantastic job in writing in all the different kinds of characters that come together in such horrible situation and how they fight to survive. With each other or against each other. Depending who they are. 

The story itself was done really well as well. 
The author did not focus on details outside of what she wanted to tell. She did not make little notes about what was happening in the war that the prisons could not have known. 
She did not go away from her topic -war prisoners that were on their way to their work camps and how horrible their way, their stay and their survival there is. 

Her writing is simple and easy to get through, but at the same time focuses around all the important details and points them out. 

Overall i have to say that i really enjoyed the way she wrote, because it was a heavy and horrible topic, but her writing style made it enjoyable -even thought that sounds wrong to say with what the book is about!- to read and very easy and fast to get through. 

All in all this book is really great. 
The story is told fantastic. 
The writing is wonderful. 
The characters fitting to what the story is about. 

This is one of the most realistic and honest Historical Fiction books i have read up until now. 

If you want a great book, and a realistic view of what happens "behind the scenes" of big wars, try this book. It will be worth it. If you love it or hate it. This book will still give you something. 

Read this book. It deserves to be read. 

Have you read this book? What did you think?
If not, do you want to read it? 
Do you read Historical Fiction? if you do you have a recommendation of a good one?

Let me know :)

Write more later.... 


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