Between Shades Of Gray is a emotive and moving story about Lina and her family's fight for survival as Lithuanians relocated to a work camp by the Soviets during World War II. It is Ruta Sepetys debut novel.
Lina was a dynamic character. While you could see how she retained some of her character under the arduous conditions, the way she changed and developed was also clear. I found it particularly admirable how she and her family were generally kind and generous in spite of the setting.
Lina's personality in her voice was clear, and her tone varied between depressed, angry, and tormented. Her emotions were written so well that I couldn't help but feel for her.
The writing style was extremely emotive, figurative, and poetic. I can only describe its quality in how it made me feel reading it: like I was there, feeling the same things Lina was with her.
The ending was sad, and yet hopeful. A perfect, satisfying, and realistic conclusion to the story. I usually dislike epilogues, but the one in Between Shades Of Gray didn't feel tacked on, but gave the readers reassurance.
I give Between Shades Of Gray a 5 out of 5. It was touching and unique to anything else in the YA genre. I'll end this review with my favourite quote:
"I pictured a rug being lifted and a huge Soviet broom sweeping us under it." - page 23.
Recommend it for fans of: I haven't really read anything like this before, except for Night by Elie Wiesel. But that's not YA, and it's also a real memoir.