Salt to the Sea - Ruta Sepetys | Book Review

10:28 AM

Pages: 391 pages, Hardback
Publication date: February 2, 2016
Publisher: Philomel Books
How I got the copy: Received from publisher (Penguin Random House Canada)
Rating:  3.5/5 stars

Summary:

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.

Inspired by the single greatest tragedy in maritime history, bestselling and award-winning author Ruta Sepetys (Between Shades of Gray) lifts the veil on a shockingly little-known casualty of World War II. An illuminating and life-affirming tale of heart and hope.





Review:

I was really excited about this book and upon completing it, I felt a little bit disappointed.

Salt to the Sea is told in four different perspectives and I felt each perspective was too short. It switched from each perspective every couple of pages, sometimes not even a page long and sometimes up to four pages long. And to be honest, I think it’s what caused the struggle with connecting to the characters.

There were definitely main characters in this multi-perspective novel (Joana and Florian), which I didn’t think was necessary because I felt I was missing information and details from the other perspectives. I felt that I was missing out on what was happening or what had happened to the “minor” main characters lives and thoughts.

I would have loved to read from the perspective of Ingrid. I think her perspective would have been the most interesting to read about. She was different from the characters we were already reading from and I think it would have brought a different POV to the story. Or the child, Klaus, or even the shoemaker’s perspective but it’s a YA novel and he’s not a teenager.

I could care less about Alfred. He’s such a horrible character but I understand it was a way to enlighten a different side to the story. I’m not sure if I missed it but I don’t really understand his whole terrible personality. was he completely delusional? The entire time?

It took me a while to get through the entire book but the last, possibly, 100 pages picked up and I rushed through it. I think the last 100 pages were the most thrilling and if the book were more like the last 100 pages, I would have enjoyed this better.


This story is definitely an important one. Especially in the YA genre but I just didn’t love the execution of this. Like I mentioned earlier, each perspective was way too short and I couldn’t connect to the characters because of it.

Rating:




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