Number of pages: 338
Number of times read (including the time before this review): 1
Rating (out of five stars): 3
“Have you ever wondered what a human life is worth? That morning, my brother’s was worth a pocket watch.”
History fascinates me, especially little known events in history. So you can imagine my delight when I found out about Ruta Sepetys when her recent book, Salt to the Sea came out, as both Salt to the Sea and Between Shades of Gray are about obscure historical events. I also had no Knowledge of Lithuania and I had no idea that there was such a thing as the Baltic countries. I like that Between Shades of Gray isn’t your average historical fiction. Reading about the horrors these people went through left bile in my throat.
Unfortunately, the abnormally short chapters made me feel distanced from the characters, which is not helpful in a character driven book. The short chapters also made the story feel really fictional. I wasn’t hooked, it didn’t feel real, and it made the fact that real people went through this torture seem fake.
I wasn’t a fan of Lina. I didn’t hate her, but something about her rubbed me the wrong way. Despite that, I liked that she was flawed and that she was by no means the hero. I also enjoyed the romance between her and Andrius, mostly because I liked Andrius and the romance was more of a background element than a key plot point.
Overall, I think that Between the Shades is an important book to read, but it does have some issues, earning it 3 stars out of 5. Hopefully I will enjoy Salt to the Sea more.