Samstag, 2. April 2016

Review: Salt to the sea by Ruta Sepetys

“War is catastrophe. It breaks families in irretrievable pieces. But those who are gone are not necessarily lost.”

“I wanted to stay locked away from the pain and destruction. I didn't want to be strong. I didn't want to be the 'smart girl'. I was so very tired. I just wanted it all to be over.”

“I became good at pretending. I became so good that after a while the lines blurred between my truth and fiction. And sometimes, when I did a really good job of pretending, I even fooled myself.”


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.

My opinion

This book was so beautiful and heart-wrenching, and I loved! EVERYONE needs to read it!

This book has four main points of view, and I loved this aspect in this book. Everyone had their own voice, so that it didn't get confusing as to who was talking. These four characters give us different perspectives on the story, which is very important in historical fiction novels, in my opinion. If such books only had one point of view it might get a little one-sided. But this book did everything so perfectly. Because the characters are all from different countries, we can really see how war effected all of these countries, all of these people. It was amazing. But let's talk about each character individually:

Florian: He was by far my favorite character. I loved his voice so much, and his story too. I feel like he stayed true to himself, no matter what happened throughout the story. He was that one character that seems very rude and cold on the outside, but is still so kind and would sacrifice his live for the ones he loves. I ADORE such characters.
Joana: Her character was the most vital to the story in my opinion, and I loved how she just kept the whole crew stuck together. Without her, these people would have gotten lost long ago. She cares so deeply about other people, no matter where they come from, no matter what intentions they have. She doesn't care about anything but helping people, and that's what I found most astonishing about her. I really admire such people.
Emilia: She was definitely the character I felt most compassion towards. How COULD THEY? How could anyone do that? I was so touched and saddened by her story, and I rooted for her all the way. I felt her fears, her sadness, her struggle; it was heart-breaking, and nobody should experience what she experienced. Still, it is important that also such topics get addressed in YA books nowadays in my opinion, because more light needs to be shed on them!
Alfred: Well, what to say about him? I always wondered why he never sent any letters to the one he loved, and the reveal made me so sad and it made me feel bad for him. Even though throughout most part of the story I didn't like him too much, he is still an important part in the story, and it was important that also his POV got chosen, and the story got told through his eyes.

The Group: The Shoe-Poet, the Child, they were not part of the main four characters, but they hold a special place in my heart. Even though they were side-characters, so much depth was given to them, and I felt so close to these characters even though we only got to see a bit of their story. I would LOVE a book about these characters. Their past, their future, everything. I just need to know MORE.

The author does an amazing job with revealing a character's past bit by bit, not all at once, so that you are still on the edge of your seat the whole time. The secrets that were revealed over the course of this story were just so interesting, so heart-breaking, it was amazing.
I (as many of you know) am a History student at university, and the fact that this book was based on a true story just made it more heart-breaking for me. I didn’t know about this before, but now I will definitely look more into the things that happened on the Wilhelm Guslof.


The writing was amazing and the characters really grew so close to me in these few pages, I loved all of them. This book touched me in every possible way, and I think it’s important that everyone reads this novel (and other historical fiction novels too), to spread the word, and to remember what happened in the past. I will definitely check out more books by this author.

My Rating


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