Review: Salt to the Sea

Salt to the SeaSalt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Wow.

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Yep, that’s pretty much all I can say after finishing it a day ago.

This book was not my usual genre of YA. However, if you’re into something to challenge you or surprise you– choose this book!

I must say, I may be a little bias for my interest. I’m in uni right now, studying to be a Modern History teacher………… I mean…. I love this time period. It’s inherently interesting for me.

The four main characters were brilliant. But if I had to rank who I liked most to least:
1. Florian (deserted Nazi)
2. Emelia (the pregnant Polish girl (view spoiler))
3. Johanna (amazing. Kick-ass nurse, love interest of Florian)
4. Albert (delusional Nazi)

If these brief break downs don’t interest you; you’re crazy. When in YA have we ever read such a wide range of characters??? Not a single one was American or British. Bless. THESE PERSPECTIVES ARE SO VALUABLE. It’s a shame so much media and entertainment is Americanised, including history.

Best dynamic is of Florian and Emelia. They shared such a beautiful, trust-based friendship. She was a pregnant Polish teen, who solely relied on this stranger– who turned out to be a Nazi!!!!!!!!!!! my GoD. I cAn’T.

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Interesting themes:
– Axis POV of WW2, from teenagers
– parental views/conflict
– teen rape/pregnancy
– typical themes from WW2
– “Fear/hope is a hunter.”

THIS BOOK IS BRILLIANTLY WRITTEN. The voice actors from the audiobook were fantastic. Their accents were immaculate. You couldn’t ask for better impersonations.

This book has left a lasting impression on me. In the author’s notes, she discusses the importance of this shipwreck. How absurd it was that it’s not as famous as the Titanic or Lusitania. I have a completely new view of the Axis POV. Lasting fact: over 6000 children were killed from the Russian torpedo attack. Many were orphaned, if they survived. Many couldn’t return back to their homes, to relatives, to their culture.

My heart breaks for this story.

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