Title: Salt to the Sea
Published: February 2nd 2016
Author: Ruta Sepetys
First published by: Philomel Books
My rating: ★★★★★
Buy it here
I finished reading Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys a few days ago and it was so emotional for me! This book shook me! It is a blast and a snowstorm and it swept me away completely. Salt to the Sea have been on my TBR for ages but I actually only read it now because it was the January book of the month in the book club @teatimereaders that I am a part of.
It is winter in 1945. Emilia, Florian, Joana and Alfred. Four teenagers, all from different countries. All headed for the Wilhelm Gustloff in Gotenhafen in Poland. Trying to get to Germany away from the war zone, trying to get to safety. Three of the characters Emilia Stożek, Florian Beck and Joana Vilkas are refugees from Poland, East Prussia and Lithuania. They meet on the run on their way through the biting cold East Prussian forest that is filled with unfriendly German and Russian soldiers who will rob them and rape the girls if they find them. They decide to join groups and walk the long way together. Alfred is a young German fighting for hitler, not at the front but as a matrose on the Wilhelm Gustloff. He serves his Fürer proudly and feels very important by doing so, even though he has the lowest ranking on the ship. The fate of the four teenagers twist and turn and joins paths in this breathtaking novel.
I had no idea what this book was about before i read it other than it was historical fiction and maybe was set during the 2nd World War.. I expected it to be your average historical fiction drama but this book was SO MUCH MORE!
I loved three of the characters but I did not like Alfred (whom you are not supposed to like). You will get why I hate him once you read the book 😉 Emilia, Florian and Joana were fantastic though. All of the characters were brilliantly written and had so many layers to them. Like a birthday cake they had the perfect mixture of sweetness, sourness and texture for the ultimate bite of deliciousness. The kind of cake you cannot get enough of!
I am getting hungry by writing about birthday cakes so I will move on now haha..
I liked how the characters all had different nationalities and were so unique compared to the standard figures in stories. It gave you a different view upon the whole situation and made me feel very close to this war zone. Sometimes I would look up while reading and be confused by why I was in my room and not in Poland fighting for my life. It consumed me completely, and once you get really into it, all you want to do is just read, read and read.
This book broke me though. I have not sobbed this much during an ending of a book since I read The Fault in Our Stars and this book was MUCH BETTER. I had hoped for a happy ending but of course that was too much to ask for.. It was a good ending though and I also loved that Sepetys talks about her research and the non-fiction parts of this story in the end of the story.
All things considered this book was the best I have read in a LONG TIME. I will remember it book for the rest of my life and probably reread it sometime. I highly recommend reading Salt to the Sea. I promise you will NOT regret it ❤
I have decided to give Salt to the Sea ★★★★★ stars. This is based on the quality of the writing, the characters, plot, and how gripping it is. I have not been able to top thinking about this book since I read it and I already want to read it again!
I hope you will all go read Salt to the Sea now as it is FANTASTIC and SPELL-BINDING and I LOVE IT SO SO SO MUCH!
Lots of love – Anne Sofie ❤