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Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys

Salt to the Sea

by Ruta Sepetys
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Format: Kindle/ ARC

Published: Feb. 2nd 2016 by Penguin Teen

Genre: YA lit, Historical Fiction

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"The author of Between Shades of Gray returns to WWII in this epic novel that shines a light on one of the war's most devastating—yet unknown—tragedies.

In 1945, World War II is drawing to a close in East Prussia, and thousands of refugees are on a desperate trek toward freedom, almost all of them with something to hide. Among them are  Joana, Emilia, and Florian, whose paths converge en route to the ship that promises salvation, the Wilhelm Gustloff. Forced by circumstance to unite, the three find their strength, courage, and trust in each other tested with each step closer toward safety.

Just when it seems freedom is within their grasp, tragedy strikes. Not country, nor culture, nor status matter as all ten thousand people aboard must fight for the same thing: survival." -goodreads


“How foolish to believe we are more powerful than the sea or the sky.” (pg. 341)

      In a time of war, Fate is a main concern; the fate of a country, the fate of loved ones, and the fate of one’s own. As the fates of several people collide, will they trust each other enough to transform their fear of fate into faith?

      Salt to the Sea is a beautifully written historical fiction that takes place during the second World War and follows the lives of several people from different backgrounds, as they look for peace and respite during a time of life or death. On a journey to a ship that will hopefully lead them towards safety and a better life, we travel with them and discover their shames, grieve in tragedies and relish in triumph.

“There is so much ugliness and imperfection in the world. We know it exists but we create further trauma by being forced to look at it. Some things are better ignored.” (pg. 159)

      In a mix of Titanic meets The Book Thief, Sepetys weaves us through a dark and unmentionable time in history in the convergence of four point of views. I found Joanna, Florian, Emilia and Alfred’s stories completely moving (whether in love or hate) and I’ve learned some new things about the war. I’ve always felt that a good historical fiction piece should teach you along the way. I absolutely love Ruta Sepetys’ writing and was overjoyed to see that with Salt to the Sea, she did not disappoint.


Galley provided by Penguin Teen

*Quotes are from uncorrected advanced galleys and may change before going to press. Please refer to the final printed book for official quotes.

1 comment:

  1. I've had an ARC of this sitting around!! I'm glad you enjoyed it - I will definitely check it out!


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