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Phoebe, King Alfreds Academy

Salt to the Sea

Salt to the Sea is set in winter 1945, during the Second World War. It follows four teenagers; each haunted, and hunted, by their own secrets. “Guilt is a hunter, shame is a hunter, fate is a hunter, and fear is a hunter.” Each character faces a different ‘hunter’ yet they are all torn apart from their families for the same reason: tragedy, lies… and war. Thousands of refugees are eager to board the Wilhelm Gustloff, the ship that holds a promise of safety and freedom. Yet not all promises can be kept.

This book is an incredible page-turner. I was hanging onto every word and I didn’t ever want to put the book down. Some of my favourite parts of the book were when all of the character’s secrets unravelled, their backgrounds were revealed and the reasons why they are all being hunted were told. All through the story the author had been giving small details about their lives but all of them made sense when we were finally told what they had done and why they were afraid. My favourite character was Emilia because of her innocence and how she always tried to help others where she could. I also liked how the author, Ruta Sepetys, broke the book up into accounts from each of the different characters, each under five pages long so that the story stays interesting.

One thing I disliked about this book was the end part. I, personally, felt that it was a bit confusing. However, others may disagree with this. I would say that this is a Young Adult, Historical Fiction type of book because it is fiction yet it is based on history because the Wilhelm Gustloff was a real German transportation ship which sank on the 30th January 1945 in the Baltic Sea. 9,400 people died, which makes it the largest loss of life in a single ship sinking in History.

Posted on: 4th May 2017 at 08:42 am

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