Review Detail

4.8 3
Young Adult Fiction 2110
Heartbreak and Hope
Overall rating
Writing Style
I keep saying I don’t usually read WWII fiction, but here is the second in a month. I haven’t read Ruta Sepetys’s other work, but this one was incredible. It could be the author’s more personal connection to the events she writes about, but regardless she has a gift.
Four strangers meet trying to escape Germany in 1945, trying to book passage on the Wilhelm Gustloff, and trying to make sense of a world gone mad.
During my read-through, I could feel the cold and hear the crack of ice. The book gives enough historical setting and facts to set the scene, but lets the characters and their stories take the lead. We see the good and the bad in humanity, and of course most are in-between. This story is tragically beautiful, which I’m sure won’t come as a surprise to most.
I’m done with WWII fiction for the next few months at least, but I’m so grateful the ones I tried were worthwhile and impactful.
Good Points
- The setting was so vibrant... I felt like I was walking beside the characters.

- A fresh, if tragic, angle on WWII fiction.
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