Thursday, 22 June 2017

Spotlight: Ruta Sepetys

Between Shades of Gray and Salt to the Sea

Today I thought that I might do something I little bit differently. Recently I read two of Ruta's books; Between Shades of Gray and Salt to the Sea and instead of reviewing them individually I decided to do a little feature on them. 

Ruta Sepetys

Ruta Sepetys (Rūta Šepetys) is an internationally acclaimed author of historical fiction published in over forty-five countries and thirty-three languages. Sepetys is considered a “crossover” novelist as her books are read by both students and adults worldwide. Her novels, Between Shades of Gray and Out of the Easy are both New York Times bestsellers, international bestsellers, and Carnegie Medal nominees. Her books have won or been shortlisted for over forty book prizes, are included on twenty state reading lists, and have been selected for several all-city read programs. (more can be found at Ruta's website here)

Her Books

Ruta has three books, all in the historical fiction genre. They are Out of the Easy, Between Shades of Gray and Salt to the Sea.

I've only read two of these books- but I will definitely be reading Out of the Easy soon! Out of the Easy tells the story of a young woman torn between worlds in New Orleans, Between Shades of Gray is the story of a young Lithuanian girl who is sent to a camp in Siberia and Salt to the Sea tells the story of the world's greatest naval disaster, the Wilhem Gustloff

My absolute favourite thing about her books is that they tell stories that, for whatever reason, the world has ignored and forgotten. Before I read Salt to the Sea I had never heard of the Wilhelm Gustloff and I would have assumed that the world's greatest naval disaster was either the Titanic or the Lusitania. My family (who are pretty smart people) hadn't heard of it either. I think that as authors really are storytellers and that it is their job to share and spread the stories that have been forgotten. Reading both Between Shades of Gray and Salt to the Sea has made me super interested in finding out more about parts of history that have been ignored.

Not only are the stories engaging, the characters that Ruta has written are so intensely real. Even when I wasn't reading I found myself wondering how the characters were doing. I was thinking about them like they were actually people I knew, because I cared for them, I was rooting for them.

Overall, I just loved Ruta's writing style and characterization so she has definitely been added to my auto-buy list.

Have you guys read any of Ruta's books? What did you think of them? Let me know in the comments!

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