Lina’s story broke my heart. She went through so much and Between Shades of Gray kept piling it on. One thing after another. And she was so brave and tried so hard to stick to her convictions, no matter what. It’s hard for me to even imagine, but I’m not sure that I could have done the same thing in her place. And her poor brother! To be forced to grow up like that. And don’t even get me started on her parents. It just hurt so much. But it was so powerful.
At first, the writing style of Between Shades of Gray grated on me. It was very brief, wasn’t overly descriptive. The sentences were very short and to the point. But as the book moved on, I started to think less about how the sentences were constructed and more about what they were saying. And the words were very powerful.
Whenever we learned about this time period in history class, we’d always sort of gloss over Stalin and focus on Hitler, which really goes to prove the overall point of the book. It wasn’t a book meant to make you cry and then be set aside. Lina herself may have not been real, but her story is the true story of thousands of people.
I highly recommend Between Shades of Gray. It’s such a powerful and emotional book, and even if you hate books that make you cry, Between Shades of Gray is a very, very worthwhile read.
Review originally posted on my blog http://hobbitsies.net/2011/03/between-shades-of-gray-by-ruta-sepetys/