This is such an extraordinary book, so much emotion and hurt, yet it's so beautiful and full of love. Ruta Sepetys you did a wonderful job creating these characters! Based on true events (the history, not the actual characters) this novel follows a 15 year old Lina and her family as they are torn out of their home in Lithuania by the Soviets during WWII and taken to labor camps. This is not a happy story, if you are looking for romance and the bright side of the war, this is NOT it. This is dark, sad, depressing and heart wrenching, as well as so beautiful that I wish everyone reads it, because only by sharing these stories can we inspire other to strive to be better. I learned a lot from this book, about the war as well as humankind. How even in the most brutal situations, the is always hope, and sometimes even a little bit of happiness. What those people went though is awful, and to know that everyone in the world knew about it, but decided to do nothing, just pissed me off. I read many books on WWII, but always from the Russian or American point of view. I never even knew that the Soviets did this to Lithuania. It's just so sad.
The story is told from Lina's point of view, so you can really see how a 15 year old girl views the world. Some may say that she is annoying, and stupid, but you have to understand she's still a kid. Some even argue that this isn't as horrifying nor as emotional as Holocaust sotries, it is worse. These people were basically slaves for years, some up to 20 yeas. Tell me how that is not sad, how that doesn't deserve to be out there. These people were taken out of their homes, just like the Jews. They were put on trains and takes out of their cities. They were beaten and mistreated, even killed. But unlikes the Jews, they didn't die right away in gas chambers. They were slowly starved for decades, living on rotten potatoes in Siberia. What is wrong with people.
Well now I'm rambling. I loved this book, it was so much different than any other book about the war, it showed a side I personally never read about, or even heard about. Maybe I'm not that world rounded as others. What ever. This book is great, awesome characters and plot. I felt like I was part of the story, like I was there with her, suffering and starving. I felt so bad and angry. I will never forget this book, it will definitely stay with me forever, and hopefully make me a better person, and treat others better.
That's all i have to say.
READ IT, LOVE IT, LEARN FROM IT...