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Daniel (Y7), Colyton Grammar School

Salt to the Sea

Four young people, hunted by guilt, fate, shame and fear, and haunted by war. One ship promising freedom to thousands of foreign refugees. As worlds collide, nothing is certain except that promises cannot be kept...
In Salt to the Sea, the author manages to tie up some loose ends but not all; this technique is for effect rather than sloppy writing. A truly emotional story, I will never think the same things again. Crammed with factual... well facts that really outline everything that happens in this complex book, Salt to the Sea is a real page-turner and I wish it never ended. I also felt very emotionally connected with the characters, especially secretive Florian. Definitely one of the best books I've read.
The four main characters (Joana, Florian, Emilia and Alfred) are very complex and different people. While Joana feels guilty of her actions, Alfred is selfish and only cares about his possible 'medal'. With each chapter a different character's point of view, you really get to see the world from their eyes or rather words. I think the characters are fairly life-like and believable, with Alfred as the least in my opinion. Although, Alfred is needed to balance the refugees' views with a Nazi view. I got particularly attached to Florian, Joana and Emilia but Florian the most I think. This was because I could relate some of my feelings and incidents to his own and I thought in the same way as him. It was also kind of the way that it was written that I was attached to Joana; the way in which Ruta has made Joana seem independent of herself and a very conscientious person. All characters speak the way they should but not necessarily the way I had expected. It is often hard to imagine what life was like for them at this time and place as we have never experienced it but reading Salt to the Sea is the next best thing.
Salt to the Sea is incredibly well-written and is an inspiration to many young writers. The language is occasionally hard to understand but most of the time, with a bit of common sense, you can understand what is going on. In my opinion, there is a bit too much narrative but mostly it's absolutely fine! As I have said before, there is lots of factual information which I think, and Ruta Sepetys effectively guarantees, is definitely accurate and the way in which it is presented makes it very clear. The descriptive language is also very good; it really paints a mental picture of what things look like, how people feel and how characters act.
Overall, Salt to the Sea is now one of my favourite books - up there with the Middle Earth saga and the Wizarding World - and I have, and will, recommended this book to many others. I enjoyed it so much and I'll never look at the world in the same way again. I felt as though I was very involved with both the characters and the story - almost as much as in the Neverending Story - and that I was watching the events from above, just whilst reading. I believe it was aimed at ages 11+ although anyone could read it; they just might be a bit (or a lot) confused. I also believe that many 12-year-olds like me will enjoy this book as much as I have.
Salt to the Sea is just AMAZING! ¦-{0
MARK OUT OF 10: 9.9̊ (that's nine point nine recurring, which basically equals 10)

Posted on: 19th April 2017 at 08:07 pm

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