Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys: Book review

Salt to the Sea
Publisher/Year: February 4th 2016 Puffin
Genre: YA Historical Fiction
Series: No
Pages: 400
Source/Format: e-arc | NetGalley
(Thanks NetGalley/Puffin!)
Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5

I received this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This in no way affects my opinion.

*This review may contain spoilers!*


In the cruel winter of 1945, four very different young people narrate their stories. Joana, Emilia and Florian are part of desperate group of refugees trekking across Germany, bound together only by their desperation to reach the ship that can take them away from the war-ravaged land. Alfred is a German soldier stationed on that ship. 
This hugely touching, inspirational novel is based on a true story. When the German ship the Wilhelm Gustloff was sunk in port in early 1945 it had over 9000 civilian refugees, including children, on board. It is the biggest maritime disaster in history, killing more people than the Titanic.
My review

I had quite high expectations for this book, as I've heard nothing but good things for Ruta's books, and I was not disappointed at all. I am becoming a big fan of Historical Fiction, and this was great! I can already see myself re-reading it.

I don't have many complaints about this book, but one thing that kept on annoying me was Alfred. I do understand why Sepetys had him as one of the main characters, and why he was a big part of the story, but it didn't stop me from really disliking him. His cowardice and laziness just got on my nerves, but I think that just made him more real.

I really liked the fact that each of the 4 main characters were so wildly different, coming from different countries and backgrounds, and yet united by this terrible thing. I enjoyed each of their POVs and thought that it was the perfect combination.

The short chapters meant I raced through this book, and also I just couldn't put it down. This has made me very excited to read another of Sepetys' books, hopefully soon!



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