Lina is just like any other fifteen-year-old Lithuanian girl in 1941. She paints, she draws, she gets crushes on boys. Until one night when Soviet officers barge into her home, tearing her family from the comfortable life they've known. Separated from her father, forced onto a crowded and dirty train car, Lina, her mother, and her young brother slowly make their way north, crossing the Arctic Circle, to a work camp in the coldest reaches of Siberia. Here they are forced, under Stalin's orders, to dig for beets and fight for their lives under the cruelest of conditions.
Lina finds solace in her art, meticulously—and at great risk—documenting events by drawing, hoping these messages will make their way to her father's prison camp to let him know they are still alive. It is a long and harrowing journey, spanning years and covering 6,500 miles, but it is through incredible strength, love, and hope that Lina ultimately survives. Between Shades of Gray is a novel that will steal your breath and capture your heart.
Lina was such an amazing character. She had remarkable heart and even more hope about the future in such a dark and depressing part of human history. I couldn't help caring about her. Jonas was such a sweet brother to Lina. I loved how their mother protected them as much as possible and you could feel the love that she had for her children. Andrius was such an amazing boy and I adored him. This book was really hard to read. Every single moment counted for these people and it showed in Sepetys' masterful writing that made me feel every emotion possible. The plot of Between Shades of Gray was remarkable and I absolutely loved it. I read this book so quickly, because I was invested in all of the characters and I had to know that they were okay. This books is really unique and kept on surprising me along the way. Sepetys is a fantastic writer. She crafted an amazing story about human compassion and hope that I couldn't help loving every moment of. This story is impossible to hate and is a must read for everyone. Seriously, go buy Between Shades of Gray now. I promise that you will not regret this book.