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Emma, John Mason School - Abingdon

Salt to the Sea

This novel, written by Ruta Sepetys, is an exceedingly moving story; capturing the true essence of what it must have been like to experience the Second World War as a refugee. Not only is the novel moving in that aspect, but it is moving because the story narrates a tale that could be a symbol of bringing people together – regardless of nationality, background or history.
Unlike most books on this kind of topic, Salt to the Sea not only shares the darkness of the time, but the light too. You may think “How can there have possibly have been any light?” Well, many new friendships were made, tested by the extreme conditions and dangers that threatened from every angle: this was all told in the story.
Ruta Sepetys has really outdone herself in this, balancing unbelievable courage, love and sacrifice with stunning levels of amazing writing techniques.
I highly recommend this novel to readers looking for a story that grips them and does not let go; a story that pulls you to the edge of your seat as you anticipate what will happen next. One that not only do you wish to find the end but for it to never end.
Maybe the reader just needs a boost from reading about other’s bravery and kindness; maybe the story could act as a kind of nurse like Joana to heal their wounds of needing to read something incredible.
The technique of using short sentences at specific times built heart-poundingly dramatic writing, which I enjoyed a lot. The original feature of having the story told by four different characters meant that it revealed hidden messages to readers that they may not have discovered or understood otherwise. It also enhanced how much of a character readers got to know, which can also deepen how much of a character we understand or know.
But, with every good thing there must be a bad; personally, I felt as if the story jumped sometimes so it could become difficult to follow and I felt I had missed something and reread a paragraph – sometimes a whole chapter. This downside was created by Ruta Sepetys being too impatient (maybe?) to begin writing about the next event. I understand this completely.
I absolutely loved reading Salt to the Sea. Overall, I think that the structure of how it was written was thrilling and kept you hooked, topped with original features and dramatic climaxes.
A beautiful story.
Deserves (in my opinion): 7/10

Posted on: 2nd April 2017 at 08:02 pm

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