Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys

This is a must read for all who enjoy historical fiction!  Don’t miss this one!

salt to the sea

January 1945: as Russians advance through East Prussia, four teens’ lives converge in hopes of escape. Returning to the successful formula of her highly lauded debut, Between Shades of Gray (2011), Sepetys combines research (described in extensive backmatter) with well-crafted fiction to bring to life another little-known story: the sinking (from Soviet torpedoes) of the German ship Wilhelm Gustloff. Told in four alternating voices—Lithuanian nurse Joana, Polish Emilia, Prussian forger Florian, and German soldier Alfred—with often contemporary cadences, this stints on neither history nor fiction. The three sympathetic refugees and their motley companions (especially an orphaned boy and an elderly shoemaker) make it clear that while the Gustloff was a German ship full of German civilians and soldiers during World War II, its sinking was still a tragedy. Only Alfred, stationed on the Gustloff, lacks sympathy; almost a caricature, he is self-delusional, unlikable, a Hitler worshiper. As a vehicle for exposition, however, and a reminder of Germany’s role in the war, he serves an invaluable purpose that almost makes up for the mustache-twirling quality of his petty villainy. The inevitability of the ending (including the loss of several characters) doesn’t change its poignancy, and the short chapters and slowly revealed back stories for each character guarantee the pages keep turning. Heartbreaking, historical, and a little bit hopeful. – Kirkus Review

This Is Where It Ends…..Review

Empty

Everyone has a reason to fear the boy with the gun.

10:00 a.m.
The principal of Opportunity, Alabama’s high school finishes her speech, welcoming the entire student body to a new semester and encouraging them to excel and achieve.

10:02 a.m.
The students get up to leave the auditorium for their next class.

10:03
The auditorium doors won’t open.

10:05
Someone starts shooting.

Told from four perspectives over the span of 54 harrowing minutes, terror reigns as one student’s calculated revenge turns into the ultimate game of survival.

 

I grabbed this one from the new box of books as soon as it came in.  Ever since I placed the order I had been waiting on this one….it didn’t disappoint!  I literally could not put it down and finished it in record time.  It tells the story of a school shooting, which is unfortunately a popular topic these days.    The story bounces between four students who are connected to the shooter in one way or another.  This was a heartbreaking story with a sad end that you knew had to be coming.  It puts the reader right in the middle of an unspeakable terror that we hear about in the news too often.  I would recommend this book to EVERYONE…it is not to be missed.