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Salt to the Sea

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February 09, 2016  
 
4.2 (8)
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Salt to the Sea

Info

Publish Date:
ISBN:
9780399160301
Pages:
400pp
Reading Age:
Award Year:
Available As Kindle Book
Yes
Available On Overdrive
Yes
Featured Date
April 04, 2016
Book Group:
Yes
Bookgroup Date
October 25, 2017
Check Availability

Overview

For readers of Between Shades of Gray and All the Light We Cannot See, international bestselling author Ruta Sepetys returns to WWII in this epic novel that shines a light on one of the war's most devastating—yet unknown—tragedies.

World War II is drawing to a close in East Prussia, and thousands of refugees are on a desperate trek toward freedom, almost all of them with something to hide. Among them are Joana, Emilia, and Florian, whose paths converge en route to the ship that promises salvation, the Wilhelm Gustloff. Forced by circumstance to unite, the three find their strength, courage, and trust in one another tested with each step closer toward safety.

Just when it seems freedom is within their grasp, tragedy strikes. Not country, nor culture, nor status matter as all ten thousand people aboard must fight for the same thing: survival.

Told in alternating points of view, and perfect for fans of Anthony Doerr's Pulitzer Prize-winning All the Light We Cannot See, Erik Larson's #1 NYT bestseller Dead Wake, and Elizabeth Wein's Printz Honor Book Code Name Verity, this masterful work of historical fiction is inspired by the real-life tragedy that was the sinking of the Wilhelm Gustloff—the greatest maritime disaster in history. As she did in Between Shades of Gray, Ruta Sepetys unearths a shockingly little-known casualty of a gruesome war, and proves that humanity can prevail, even in the darkest of hours.

User reviews

8 reviews

 
(2)
 
(5)
 
(1)
2 stars
 
(0)
1 star
 
(0)
Overall rating 
 
4.2
 
4.1  (8)
 
4.2  (8)
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Ratings (the higher the better)
Story held my interest
Writing style
Characters
User Review
Discuss the setting and the role it played. Describe when and where the story takes place.
Who are the main characters? What problems or conflicts does each character face in the book? Briefly describe each character.
What are the good points of this book? What did the author do well? Tell why you liked the book.
What, if any, were the bad points in the book? What did you feel the author did poorly? Tell why you didn't like the book.
This is where you give a brief summary of the book. Tell about at least two events that took place in the story. Don't give away the ending but give a 20 second synopsis that describes the story.
Without giving away the ending tell whether or not the ending was satisfying. Did the end fit the story?
Overall rating 
 
4.0
Story held my interest 
 
4.0
Writing style 
 
4.5
Characters 
 
3.5

User Review

Setting
This book is called salt to the sea it is written by Ruta Sepetys. A boy is down in a cellar, but he is not alone he sees a girl and a Russian man trying to force himself on the girl, so he kills the Russian and then the boy and the girl start to make their way of escaping. They are slowly make it further and further out of this place, but they must be careful the girl is part Jewish and they are prisoner’s kind of, so they can’t let any Nazis see them or catch them. Some sick things happen on their journey. A lot of stuff happens on their journey of escaping someone dies and the rest is for you to find out. The setting of this story is kind of dark for the most part it is a bad time and a lot of bad things happen in this book. The start of the book is bad they are trapped in a cellar and they kill a Russian man because he is trying to force himself on the girl. This is all happening during world war 2 and the girl is Jewish, so they are running away from the Nazis and Russians. This creates a lot of tense parts in the book when they are hiding and creates a conflict between the 2 people, the Nazis, and the Russians.
Characters
Florian Beck is the man that is in the cellar that saves the girl. They are both teenagers but they don’t seem like teenagers but that is because of everything that is happening they must be grown up or seem grown up. In the book he is kind of like a big brother to Emelia, He helps her whenever he can, and he protects her. Emelia is the girl in the cellar that Florian saves. She is like a sister to Florian she is a little bit younger than him and it kind of shows. He takes more responsibility than her in the book, but she also must be more careful she isn’t as strong as Florian they are Jewish, so they have to be care and hide whenever they almost get caught. The 2 of them don’t really have a lot of conflicts other than the Russians and the Nazis. The two of them get along well I think and they work together well.
Good Points
In this book Ruta does very well at writing this book she is very good at making moments in the book very intense. She does a very good job at developing the characters you get to see how they change over time and how they grow up during this time
Bad Points
this isn’t a bad thing. She uses easy words she doesn’t really think out of the box and use confusing words or harder words. Words wise this is like a 7th grade book but mature wise I think it’s like 9th or 10th grade
Do you recommend this book?
Yes
Language
PG-13
Sexual Content
PG-13
Violence
PG-13
Drug and Alcohol Use
PG
Overall rating 
 
4.2
Story held my interest 
 
4.0
Writing style 
 
4.5
Characters 
 
4.0

Salt to the Sea

User Review

Setting
Salt to the Sea was based during the time period of World War II, during 1945. Throughout the novel, the children are moving throughout eastern Europe, trying to escape Russia, until the reach the ocean. Throughout the majority of this novel, the three kids, as well as thousands of others are aboard the Wilhelm Gustloff, a ship that is transporting refugees to safer land. The conditions upon the ship were not ideal, and caused a lot of the action between the characters.
Characters
Florian, an artist, and one of the main characters in Sepetys’s Salt to the Sea, was the typical vision of what it means to be an angsty teen. Rightfully so however, throughout the novel Sepetys does a fantastic job of developing his personality, and troubles during his childhood. As the novel comes to a close, Florian is shown as a tough, brave, man; yet Sepetys lets his character grow in his sense of gentleness towards Emilia. Another interesting character who was personally my favorite, was Alfred. Alfred was a German soldier, and had very strong opinions against the communists. He was outspoken, and most often conveyed as rude, and I loved it. His dreams for a future were almost as big as his personality, and Sepetys did an amazing job adding in this complementary character.
Good Points
Ruta Sepetys uses such strong background knowledge on the topic of World War II, specifically involving the Wilhelm Gustloff. The way that Sepetys set up the chapters of Salt to the Sea, was very interesting. As the chapters change throughout the novel, so does the point of view in which Sepetys is writing from. She uses great contrast between alternating characters, and yet still uses similar tone, tying the novel together beautifully while still having the same grit within her writing that she used at the beginning.
Plot Summary
Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys was a powerful, emotional, historical-fiction novel. Three children, Joana, Emilia, and Florian are refugees, on their journey to escape the oncoming World War II battles of Prussia. Each one of these teenagers has came from a completely different situation, each withholding secrets of their own. Their paths cross while trying to find their ship to safety, the Wilhelm Gustloff, and promise of a new, brighter future. When explosions strike upon their journey, thousands of people unite on their jouneys to freedom, and escape of the harsh weather, unbearable nights, and constant fear of a sinking ship.
Ending
The ending of this novel was predictable, but all of my questions were answered. She uses the ending scene to really hit home, and demonstrate the art, pain, and horror of war. The inevitablility of the final chapter was what was the saddest. Ruta Sepetys’s Salt to the Sea, contextualizes our world oday, and intorduces a sense of gratitude into one’s daily life.
Do you recommend this book?
Yes
Language
PG-13
Sexual Content
PG
Violence
PG-13
Drug and Alcohol Use
PG-13
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Story held my interest 
 
5.0
Writing style 
 
5.0
Characters 
 
5.0

Salt to the Sea

User Review

Setting

Salt to the Sea takes place for the most part in the back wood of Germany. They spend most of the time running at night try to avoid the Nazis who haven’t put in an evacuation order, and the Russians that are prepared to kill. Eastern Germany in the winter is riddled with many surprises there is no food there is no shelter and the severity of the elements is unrelenting. They had little and what they had they had to give up. The rest of the book takes place on the Wilhelm Gustloff, on the ship they are completely surrounded by the unknown when they feel the safest they are at their most vulnerable they are completely unaware of the dangers they face.
Characters
Joana is a nurse from Lithuania she was able to flee to Germany because her Mother was German. She is the leader of the group they all go her for help. She is accepting and willing to do what needs to be done to save everyone. Ruta Sepetys made Joana very believable. Joana feels guilt and pain she feels attraction, and worry. She is almost a real person. The Shoe Poet is a cobbler that is escaping in Joana’s group he adopts the wandering boy and save the Boy and Florian. Ruta needed to develop the Shoe poet more, we do not know why he is fleeing what happened to his family or why he feels compassion to stay with this group.
Good Points
The book is told be different point of view each person is telling the same story but with different points of view it tells you how each person’s thoughts and feelings and it always cuts at the points of action so you see it how each person is seeing it. It also showed the point of view of the Nazi solider that was weak and scrawny but blindly followed the Reich.
Bad Points
I didn’t like how she made it into a love story, it needed something to brighten it but I didn't know if it needed to go to a love story.
Plot Summary
Ruta Sepetys Salt to the Sea is about a group of refugees trying to escape World War II Eastern Germany. It is powerful, exciting and full of now twists around each corner. As they travel to the Wilhelm Gustloff they come upon an old Prussian manner that was deserted after spending the night they come to find the home is filled with their worst fear, a family dead in the upstairs bedrooms. They soon arrive at the Wilhelm Gustloff and are immensely happy to be able to have made it on and find comfort in their safety. Soon after the Ship leaves the dock it is bombed by the Russians.
Ending

I didn’t like the ending it is an ending and it ties everything together, but I didn’t like how it brought in another person to tie it together. It fit the story it gave closure for those who were lost but she made it unrealistic.
I got out of this Novel knowledge of the worst maritime disaster that previous to I had no knowledge of but also the devastation something horrifying like this was.
Do you recommend this book?
Yes
Language
PG
Sexual Content
PG
Violence
PG
Drug and Alcohol Use
G
Overall rating 
 
3.2
Story held my interest 
 
4.0
Writing style 
 
2.0
Characters 
 
3.5

Salt to the Sea

User Review

Setting
Salt to the Sea took place during WWII, 1945. As we would imagine, there is horrible events that took place during that time. Constant attacks, hiding, and never feeling safe was the normal back then. It also is like that in this book. The characters in this book are trying to get to a place where they think they will be safe. They have to go through multiple problems and fight to live in a world that is so corrupted.
Characters
The two characters that I thought had the most personality were Joana and Florain. Both of these characters had problems of their own, like different backgrounds, not being able to trust, and even extreme cases like killing. At the beginning of the book, they were not friendly toward one another, in fact they wanted nothing to do with each other, but throughout the book, they start to have feelings toward each other. It was predictable, but still a better love story than any other book I have read. These are also the characters that have a big impact at the end of the book. They are the hero’s, along with a few others.
Bad Points
One thing I did not like was that there was a lot of unnecessary characters in the book. Since the characters went back and forth anyway, this made it difficult to want to connect to all the characters.
Plot Summary
Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys is about the attack of the Wihelm Gustloff, a military transport ship. The book starts off with a boy named Florain helping a girl named Emilia. She was about to be raped by this man who was staying in the same barn as her. Florain helped Emilia out of that situation. Since they did not know each other very well, they were awkward and barely spoke. Since everyone in the barn comes from different backgrounds, it makes everyone very untrustworthy. For example, Florain has a shrapnel injury, and a girl named Joana has medical experience, but he still is hesitant to let her help him. Eventually, Joana, Emilia, Florain, and other refugees are making a move toward the Wihelm Gustloff. During a time of their migration, they encounter attacks. Bombs being blown up all around them, and even some death in the group occurs. They meet someone by the name of Alfred Frick, he is assigned to prepare for the Wihelm Gustloff evacuation. Most of the refugees made it onto the ship. There was a lot of conflict on the ship and you get to see the characters true colors. The ship ends up getting attacked and the story ends very tragically.
Ending
The one thing I really liked about the book was the plot. I really liked how it ended. It was not predictable; it was very ironic, in my opinion. There was action, love, and hate throughout the entire book. The ending was very tragic, but it definitely fit, and I think it was the right choice on the author's part.
Do you recommend this book?
Yes
Language
PG
Sexual Content
PG-13
Violence
PG-13
Drug and Alcohol Use
PG-13
Overall rating 
 
4.0
Story held my interest 
 
4.0
Writing style 
 
4.0
Characters 
 
4.0

User Review

Setting
The story takes place on East Prussia in winter 1945 where four refugees meet after running away from not only the problems they face with soviet union but the secrets they hold within them. Joana is fleeing from her country Lithuania to escape from the capture of the Soviet Union. Emilia is a fifteen year old who was impregnated by a soviet soldier is trying to find August, the boy her family believes impregnated her to tell him the truth about who impregnated her. Florian who is Prussian is running away after he stole a valuable amber swan. Last, Alfred is a German who follows Hitler and thinks very highly of himself. These teenagers first run into a farm to find refuge until they can get to a safer place but as they roam the barn they find bodies of people whom have been killed and decide to flee where they meet Alfred getting ready to leave on the Wilhelm Gustloff.
Characters
Throughout the book the author, Ruta Sepetys, did a good job making these characters believable starting of with Florian. When Florian first meets these characters he acts in a way to show he is tough and brave, he doesn’t trust these other teenagers a lot and is timid to go a long but does it to finally get freedom. As the book goes he changes that in a way and a chunk of that is the fact that he starts to like Joana and at the end of the book they are in love. On the other hand Alfred portrays himself as the high class gentleman. He talks up highly about himself and is open to expressing how he follows up and looks up to hitler. At the end of the book he turns on the teenagers when he is faced upon a live or die situation he starts to use the teenagers as protection in order to save himself although that did not go as he planned.
Good Points
I enjoyed how Sepetys wrote this book. She did not write it traditionally with writing numbers for the chapter instead she would name the chapters after the teenagers whether it was Joana, Emilia, Florian, and Alfred. By doing this it gives the perspective on how things occurred and how the characters felt instead of the author explaining it to us in third person the character whom the chapter was named after told us what they really felt. This form of writing captured my attention because I knew what the character was feeling.
Ending
What I got out of this novel is that many people learn from their mistakes while others never learn and continue to do the same mistakes over and over throughout their whole lives.
Do you recommend this book?
Yes
Language
PG
Sexual Content
G
Violence
G
Drug and Alcohol Use
G
View all user reviews
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