Between Shades of Gray and Shrinking Violet | Book Review

April 09, 2013

Today I thought I'd talk about my favourite books this month which are "Between Shades of Gray" by Ruta Sepetys and "Shrinking Violet" by Jean Ure! Leave me a comment please with your opinion, if they're all or mostly positive I'll do another post like this! I hope you like the April Book post!

1. Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys


"It's difficult to understand what freedom is, because there are so many things we take for granted, and until somebody takes them away, we just assume they're part of life,"
George Sepetys, Author Father and Refugee.

In 1941, fifteen-year-old Lina is preparing for art school, first dates, and all that summer has to offer. But one night, the Soviet secret police barge violently into her home, deporting her along with her mother and younger brother. They are being sent to Siberia. Lina’s father has been separated from the family and sentenced to death in a prison camp. All is lost.
Lina fights for her life, fearless, vowing that if she survives she will honour her family, and the thousands like hers, by documenting their experience in her art and writing. She risks everything to use her art as messages, hoping they 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, and it is only their incredible strength, love, and hope that pull Lina and her family through each day. But will love be enough to keep them alive?
Between Shades of Gray is a riveting novel that steals your breath, captures your heart, and reveals the miraculous nature of the human spirit.

This is my definitely my favourite book at the moment, I was actually supposed to return to the library last month, but I have been constantly renewing it! The quote picked is actually from the video, but on the blurb, it says, "That morning, my brother's life was worth a pocket watch". This book makes me cry, each time I read it. It is one of those books which you can never get enough of, it will never, ever be boring, but always heart-wrenching and tear-jerking. 
Everything about this book is unforgettable. It is so vivid, it really puts you in the place of Lina, making you feel her suffering and pain. There are many moods that she goes through, fear, hunger, sadness, anger. This book also shows you the other side to the World War II, the side that was never told, when the The Baltics were annexed into the Russia with the Soviets, how every trace of every person was hidden, how completely vanished their whole lives were, it was like they didn't exist. Sepetys made the book, but History wrote it.

I know that I am gushing, but the main point is that I seriously recommend this book, it is completely A-MAZ-ING! I haven't read anything like it, yet. Anyone who loves books like the diary of Anne Frank or just diaries, or things about the Second World War in general, please, try out this book, you'll enjoy reading it as much as I do.

2. Shrinking Violet By Jean Ure

"I am a twin. Unfortunately! It's not always easy being a twin, especially when one of you is lily loudmouth and the other a shrinking violet."

"Sometimes i feel like telling lily that she is ruining my life. if she wasn't so shrieky, I might not be so shrinky."
Lily and Violet are twins- physically identical but quite opposite in character. Lily is brash, up-front and in your face. Lily Loudmouth, her dad calls her. Violet is timid and shy. She lives very much in Lily's shadow, a shrinking violet. Finding it difficult to make friends, Violet finds the perfect solution in Katie, her new pen pal. Soon the two are writing at a fast and furious pace and become very attached to each other. That is, until Katie suggests that they meet.

This book is a middle grade/young adult fiction novel about polar opposite twin sisters Lily and Violet (and I didn't pick up the book because my older sister is also called Lily haha) I have read other Jean Ure books in the past and I really enjoy them, I would say she is a more mature Jacqueline Wilson if anyone read her books. I read this book a long while ago but I still remember the plot now because I enjoyed it so much and plan on rereading it soon, it is a thrilling, high energy book about a bright but shy, quiet girl. The plot is excellent, I enjoyed the book a lot but it is not written for my age group, it is more for preteens. I read this when I was about 10 or so. If I felt like it I would read through it again (because I have a mind of a 9 year old) but apart from that, I loved the book! If I said anything about the plot it would kind of ruin great parts of the book but, yeah. Jean Ure is a great writer, I've read loads of her books and this is probably in my top 3 of her books. It is awesome! The book really made me smile, and still makes me smile when I think about it now!

I recommend this book to all the preteens reading this blog post and to anyone who likes diaries. It's an awesome novel, and it's very enjoyable!

This was originally posted on the 9th of April 2013 but was edited on the 6th of June 2017

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