Monday, March 21, 2011

Between Shades of Gray Release!

 Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys releases March 22nd, 2011. This book is a rare gem. I also had the pleasure of interviewing the author. So to honour the book release, here is a reposting of my review, and the link to my interview with Ruta Sepetys. Enjoy!

Pages: 352

Publisher: Philomel Books

Release Date: March 22, 2011

Source:Review copy from author

Buy the Book: Amazon

My Rating:

Lina is just like any other fifteen-year-old Lithuanian girl in 1941. She paints, she draws, she gets crushes on boys. Until one night when Soviet officers barge into her home, tearing her family from the comfortable life they've known. Separated from her father, forced onto a crowded and dirty train car, Lina, her mother, and her young brother slowly make their way north, crossing the Arctic Circle, to a work camp in the coldest reaches of Siberia. Here they are forced, under Stalin's orders, to dig for beets and fight for their lives under the cruelest of conditions.

Lina finds solace in her art, meticulously—and at great risk—documenting events by drawing, hoping these messages will make their way to her father's prison camp to let him know they are still alive. It is a long and harrowing journey, spanning years and covering 6,500 miles, but it is through incredible strength, love, and hope that Lina ultimately survives. Between Shades of Gray is a novel that will steal your breath and capture your heart. (Goodreads)

Between Shades of Gray is a heartbreaking, hauntingly beautiful story. Written like a memoir the book chronicles the Vilkas family who are removed from their home in Lithuania during Stalin's Reign and are eventually taken to a camp in Siberia. I have read quite a few books that surround the Holocaust but this is the first I have read that spoke of Stalin's reign. Like Lina, the author created a vivid picture, the pages come alive with the horror and the pain, but also with the hope and the love.  Sepetys told the story like it really was, never sugarcoating a moment. The book is heart-wrenching, you almost have to resist peeling your eyes away from the pages because the horror described is difficult to read at times. The book may be based on fictional characters but the terror that is described in this book are real. People lived the same lives that Lina shared with us and endured.

Ruta Sepetys created such a riveting and memorable cast of characters. Each tells their own story and you begin to care for and fall in love with all of them. This book is not just a book about the horror that occurred during Stalin and Hitlers time. It is about a mothers love, the distance she will go to protect her children. It is about a family's love and loyalty. Between Shades of Gray is a story about survival. Pain, heartache,  hope and strength. If I had to sum this book up in one word I would say this book is...Krasivaya.

Ruta Sepetys discusses her upcoming novel, Between Shades of Gray from Penguin Young Readers Group on Vimeo.

Share with the world:


  1. Nice review... there's just something to heartwrenching books that feed the soul. I'll have to keep an eye for this one. --Thanks for the heads up.

  2. This sounds really interesting. Like you, I've read several books about this time period but nothing dealing with Lithuania or Stalin's reign. Great review, thanks for sharing it!

  3. This sounds like a deepy affecting book...will definitely keep an eye out for it.

  4. I'll have to add this to my 'to-read' list :) I'm sure I've seen or heard of it before somewhere. I'll check my local library. Thanks for the review!
    -Deneé @ Novel Reveries


Due to spam comments, I had to limit who can comment. If you want to connect with me, you can find me on Instagram @bookworm_yogi and on Facebook, The Crazy Bookworm .

Thanks for your understanding!

Designed by Beautifully Chaotic