At the beginning of September, I had promised myself that I would stop reading fictional books and focus on my studies in order to get good grades, and eventually prepare myself for the finals, seeing as this is my last year of high school. But look, it’s the 11th of October today (it was back then when I wrote this), and throughout the past few weeks I have successfully managed to convince myself that it was okay to squeeze 5 to 10 mins reading segments among all the other activities and classes I have going on. To be true though, those 5 to 10 mins of reading usually expanded into hours and hours of sleeping deprivation that eventually resulted me to not pay enough attention in class. Naughty me!
Between Shades of Gray By Ruta Sepetys was the book that I had sacrificed for long precious hours of sleep and schoolwork. But still I say it: I have no regret. The book was by all means excellent. One of my absolute favorites.
The story initiates in Lithuania, 1941, with a 15 year old girl named Lina Vilkas. In one fine day, Lina, her brother Jonas and mother Elena, get separated from their father and deported to an extermination camp in Siberia, to work as slaves in the cruelest of conditions, accused by the Soviets for crimes they had not committed.
It was just beautiful. The contrast between the cruelty these characters had to endure and the beauty of hope they kept believing in. All along the brutal journey of going from one forced labor camp to another, never did they let the monstrosity of the Soviets to get them. They did not give up.
The beautiful writing of the author had me dribbling ever since I picked up the book. It has everything I look for. History. Art. Adolescence. Words. Love. Hate. Bravery. Family. War. Pain. Promises.
I’m making myself want to read it again. Ahhhhh!
And can I just say, Andrius Arvydas is officially the love of my life. Oh my dear God, that boy!
I give this book: ★★★★★
I recommend this book to everyone. Seriously, READ IT.