Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys

Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys

4.37  ·  Rating details ·  47,263 Ratings  ·  9,290 Reviews
New York Times" Bestseller!"Masterly crafted" "The Wall Street Journal"
For readers of"Between Shades of Gray"and" All the Light We Cannot See," bestselling author Ruta Sepetysreturns to WWII in this epic novel thatshines a light on one of the war's most devastating yet unknown tragedies. 

Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys download or read online kindle for free
Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys

World War II is drawing to a close in East Prussia and thousands of refugees are on a desperate trek toward freedom, many with something to hide.Among them areJoana, Emilia, and Florian, whose paths converge en route to theship that promises salvation, the "Wilhelm Gustloff." Forced by circumstance to unite, the three find their strength, courage, and trust in each other testedwith each step closer to safety.
Just when it seems freedom is within their grasp, tragedy strikes. Notcountry, nor culture, nor status matter as all ten thousand people adults and children alike aboard must fight for the same thing: survival.
Told in alternating points of view and perfect for fans of Anthony Doerr's Pulitzer Prize-winning"All the Light We Cannot See," Erik Larson's"Dead Wake," and Elizabeth Wein's Printz Honor Book"Code Name Verity," this masterful work of historical fiction is inspired by the real-life tragedy that was the sinking of the"Wilhelm Gustloff "the greatest maritime disaster in history. As she did in"Between Shades of Gray," Ruta Sepetys unearths a shockingly little-known casualty of a gruesome war, and proves that humanity and love can prevail, even in the darkest of hours.
Praise for"Salt to the Sea"
Featured on NPR's Morning Edition Superlative masterfully crafted [a] powerful work of historical fiction. "The Wall Street Journal " [Sepetys is] a master of YA fiction she once again anchors a panoramic view of epic tragedy in perspectives that feel deeply textured and immediate. "Entertainment Weekly ""Riveting...powerful...haunting." "The Washington Post " Compelling for both adult and teenage readers. "New York Times Book Review " Intimate, extraordinary, artfully crafted brilliant. "Shelf Awareness" "Historical fiction at its very, very best." "The Globe and Mail" "" [H]aunting, heartbreaking, hopeful and altogether gorgeous one of the best young-adult novels to appear in a very long time. "Salt Lake Tribune *""This haunting gem of a novel begs to be remembered." "Booklist" *"Artfully told and sensitively crafted...will leave readers weeping." "School Library Journal"
Praise for "Between Shades of Gray"
A" New York Times"Notable Book A"Wall Street Journal"Best Children s Book A"Publishers Weekly," "School Library Journal," "" Booklist"," and"" Kirkus""Best Book iTunes 2011 Rewind Best Teen Novel A Carnegie Medal andWilliam C. Morris Finalist A"New York Times"and InternationalBestseller Few books are beautifully written, fewer still are important; this novel is both. "The Washington Post "*"[A]n important book that deserves the widest possible readership. "Booklist"


  • Such a thrilling read!
The main characters were all so interesting and I loved how much mystery and tension there was in each of their stories. I also loved the rich world building! I'm not usually big on history, but I loved the way the history was presented here. Between the setting and the writing, everything was SO vivid, which just amped up the intensity.

Overall, this was a fantastic historical standalone. I definitely recommend it, especially if you like emotionally gripping reads with lots of tension and fascinating characters!

This swift-footed, kind-hearted historical is intensely satisfying in just about all the ways a novel can be satisfying. Without further ado, here are five things you should know about it before picking it up:
  • 1. A lot of times, historical fiction shows its work. As a history major, I don't mind a research-filled brick of a book, but I'd think carefully about who I recommended it to. Historical can be dense. Salt to the Sea is not that book: Sepetys chooses her word battles carefully for an incredibly fast read. Short chapters elbow you and say "read just one more, right?" until the book is all gone.

2. I wanted to call this a thriller when I first started typing up this recommendation, but the term's not quite right. It's quite fast-paced, but THRILLER feels wrong: it's not quite got that frantic electricity. ADVENTURE is closer, but still wrong. Shouldn't there be jeeps and a comic relief side kick in an adventure? There's mostly just soldiers and frostbite and abandoned soup in this one, which is not the same. Nevertheless, you should know: it's not a depressing book, although sad things happen in it.

3. The characters are lovely. There are many of them, all deftly and lightly-drawn, and because they come from all ages and backgrounds, the dynamics between them are ever-changing. It's told from four points of view to allow the reader to spin around the story from all angles, and because each of the POV characters brings something very different to the table, this swapping of eyes is satisfying rather than frustrating.

4. Sepetys has two other historicals out that I enjoyed a lot, but this one has headed briskly to the top of the list. it's confident and stylish in a way that is really satisfying to see.

5. This novel is the natural successor to Code Name Verity: a character-driven, accessible, YA historical with all the feels you could desire and enough research to bring down an elephant. If elephants were brought down by research. 

  • This book is a masterpiece. It takes place during WW2 and follows 4 characters as they are seeking freedom on the Wilhelm Gustloff, a ship that promises safety to all. Going into it I was very apprehensive about reading it. Historical fiction is not a genre I typically reach for. But this book blew me away. It's safe to say that this book was the best book I have read this year.

The writing in the book was so phenomenal. The way that Ruta laid out the story through her writing was so just beautiful. I felt like every single word in this novel had a purpose. There were these sentences that she would lace throughout the different points-of-view to connect them that I just thought was so brilliant.

Out of the four main characters I loved 3 of them. I felt so much for them and their struggles. Towards the end of the book I felt like they were people I knew and I desperately wished I could change their fate. I also LOVED the side characters just as much as the main. The one main character I didn't like was a character that you aren't suppose to like so that wasn't necessarily a problem. I just didn't find myself enjoying his chapters as much as the others.

This is a book that I know will stick with me and I am going to be thinking about these characters forever. You definitely won't want to miss this book! 

  • No wonder SALT TO THE SEA won the 2016 Goodreads Choice Award for Young Adult Fiction. It’s pretty darn captivating.

Every time I finish reading an historical novel, especially the WWII ones, I find the need to congratulate myself. It’s no secret that those novels are usually heavy in emotions and historical elements.

Yet Ruta Sepetys made reading this YA historical novel so easy. I didn’t even feel the necessity to take a dozen breaks between chapters. And that’s because it’s so…

Accessible. You don’t have to be a university student to understand fully what happens in this book. You don’t even need to be knowledgeable about World War II. The only thing you need to do is pay close attention to what the characters are saying.

Which isn’t hard at all. Ruta Sepetys’ writing is simple enough that we understand absolutely everything she is saying, but not so simple that it feels as if it were written by a kindergartener. It’s actually very lyrical.

This novel is narrated from four distinct point of views/characters – Alfred, Florian, Joana and Emilia – who are all brought together on the Wilhelm Gustloff by the catastrophic war.

Like many people, I forgot about this terrible part of the Second World War. I first heard about this ship when I watched the movie The Imitation Game, if this is indeed the ship that was mentioned in the movie, yet I only connected the dots when things started getting awry in the novel. Even more so than they are already were.

What a tragic event. So many lives. How did I not learn about this ship in high school? Thank you, books and movies (if that’s the ship!) 

  • Before starting 'Salt to the Sea', I had heard quite a lot of praise for the book. In fact, I was a little nervous to start it because I was afraid that it wouldn't live up to it's reputation. Thankfully, that didn't prove to be the case. This book was beautiful, devastatingly so.

Ms. Sepetys does a wonderful job of shedding light on the sinking of the Wilhelm Gustloff, a maritime disaster that claimed more than 9,000 lives and remains an overlooked part of history. Admittedly, I had never heard of this disaster until reading this book. Perhaps this is the result of a world that was less than sympathetic to German pain and loss following the end of WWII and the unveiling of the Nazi atrocities. Whatever the reason, I am glad that Ms. Sepetys brought this piece of history into the light. This story needed to be told.

Weaving fact and fiction together seamlessly, the author tells the story of a group of WWII refugees trying to flee as the Russian troops gain ground toward the end of WWII. Told in alternating POVs, this book reveals a human side of war. Everybody seems to have something to hide and a different motivation for their actions. Above all else, this story highlights the fight to survive.

Most noticeable in this cast of characters are: Joana, the Lithuanian nurse; Emilia, a young Polish girl; Florian, Emilia's mysterious rescuer; and Alfred, a young German soldier. There is a full cast of supporting characters as well, such as the shoemaker, that contribute to the richness of this story. Each play a significant role in making this a robust reading experience.

I don't want to spoil this story for anyone. Obviously, the ship sinks. However, I won't say much else about the storyline because I think this is a story worth experiencing.

This isn't a rainbows and unicorns type of story. It is real and moving. At times painful, this book highlights the depths of human depravity, as well as the incredible kindness that people are capable of. This is a story of tragedy and survival. It was raw, gritty and inspiring. I enjoyed this story quite a bit and would recommend it without reservations to anyone that is looking for a good, historical fiction that addresses a lesser-known part of WWII history. 


1 comment:

  1. Read this one, cool, m checking the other books, keep it up boys!