Title: Salt to the Sea
Author: Ruta Sepetys
Publisher: Philomel Books
Release Date: February 2, 2016
Format Read: ARC (After Release)
Rating: Five Stars
Description from Goodreads: Winter, 1945. Four teenagers. Four secrets.
Each one born of a different homeland; each one hunted, and haunted, by tragedy, lies... and war.
As thousands of desperate refugees flock to the coast in the midst of a Soviet advance, four paths converge, vying for passage aboard the Wilhelm Gustloft, a ship that promises safety and freedom.
Yet not all promises can be kept.
Inspired by the single greatest tragedy in maritime history, bestselling and award-winning author Ruta Sepetys (BETWEEN SHADES OF GRAY) lifts the veil on a shockingly little-known casualty of World War II. An illuminating and life-affirming tale of heart and hope.
When I received a copy of SALT TO THE SEA in the mail, I was curious. I hadn't heard much about it in terms of plot, though I had definitely heard the title when ARCs had dropped in the blogger world. It had been a big deal to a good chunk of bloggers, and my interest was at a peak when I won an ARC via a twitter giveaway. Let me tell you, the book did not disappoint.
Based during the Holocaust, SALT TO THE SEA follows four kids' experiences as they live under Hitler's reign: Joana, who'd been training to be a doctor; Florian, a Soldier in Hitler's army; Emilia, a Polish girl; and Alfred, a German sailor. These teens' journeys are seamlessly woven together-- their stories haunting-- and I don't think I'll be forgetting them anytime soon.
Not only was the writing style beautiful, but the dialect was another thing that drew me into the story, along with the way that the characters bumped into each other throughout the story. Add that to how loveable the characters were, and how easy it was to become attached to them, and you can't find a much better story than that.
Being someone who always enjoys novels about the Holocaust and finds those tales to be the most gut-wrenching and emotional, I can tell you that Sepetys' book rates right up there around THE BOOK THIEF. If you find WWII interesting, SALT TO THE SEA is a must-read for you.
I give a five star rating to this book, and I can't wait until I finish my TBR and can pick up Sepetys' BETWEEN SHADES OF GRAY. I recommend this book to everyone, simply because of how much it captures the raw truth of the Holocaust, and urge you to pick it up. This is one of the greats.