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Angie Effio Mantilla, La Sainte Union School

Salt to the Sea

Ruta Sepetys has taught me more about history than an actual history teacher would (sorry teachers).
Ruta introduces us to a world in which the atrocities of World War 2 impacted a diverse amount of people.
Sounds like a cliche story written from probably a Nazi soldier's point of view or a Jewish little girl trying to escape the country ending up with her along with her family being killed in gas chambers.

It isn't,trust me.

Ruta introduces us to a whole new point of view of World War 2 that makes us realize that not only the Jewish were discriminated, but the Polish, the Lithuanian and the Prussian also had their problems too with both sides of the war.
The story is put in chronological form, just like a diary.The difference is there is not one or two people narrating, but four narrators. What I like that Ruta made clear is that the characters are different from any perspective; from their family background to their very unique journey they took in seek safety, Ruta presents us a diary of how World War 2 changed the lives of many.
What I was surprised about was that this talked about the biggest maritime catastrophe ever recorded in history;the Wilhelm Gustloff.
At first I didn't know what to say, I was left confused due to having little knowledge on maritime disasters,
then it hit me.

Dear Ruta Sepetys,
Thank you for telling me the ending of the story,
you saved me from getting a heart attack

(I will explain what happened to me in the end of the story)

Emilia please.
Someone save her.
She got discriminated, raped, and killed with her baby at the hands of a thief (Im sorry Florian). What has Emilia done to anyone.
I would have expected Joana killed, but her death would have sound more dramatic like "I deserve this, for killing my dear cousin"
And Florian, Florian is just there with the baby wanting his bag back because it contains the main reason of this journey for him.
Everyone got eventually killed (by that I mean the secondary characters):
I mostly feel bad about Ingrid, she was brave to go in the ice even with her disability.
But Poet's death destroyed me. I had to stop and take a deep breath. Poet was a great character because he made me realize of how passion flooded over him, but at the same time he was aware of the world.
Alfred felt like a filler in for some reason. It made me feel like skipping his parts at first until he met the other three narrators.
Personally I found that Joana needed more character development.
First because I noticed through the story that, while Emilia developed her character, it felt as if Joana was there for just the sake of contemplating and acted like being her guardian (because she is in a way)
I mean I know she's a nurse ,but it felt as if anytime she would suddenly ask "do you want a cup of tea miss?" to Emilia. But it shows that she takes more time on thinking of others than herself which is quite a nice trait for a character.

Posted on: 26th April 2017 at 09:16 pm

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