Thursday, May 10, 2012


Hey guys! Sorry I've been gone for so long, but all my spare time has been dedicated to writing and reading, which leaves very little time for blogging. ☹


I had to come out of my secret cave to rant and rave about a book I've just finished. Okay, so it wasn't the physical form of the book. And no, it wasn't even an electronic version of the book. I experienced this book by audio (my first audio book ever) and I plan on purchasing a hard copy of it as soon as I can because I need to physically hold this book in my hands so I can hug it and caress it and have it on my book shelf forever and ever and EVER INTO ETERNITY.

"Tell me the name of the freaking book already!" you scream.

 Okay, okay.

The book I'm talking about is called Between Shades of Gray (please, PLEASE do not confuse this book with 50 Shades of Gray!!!! I'm still so mad that author chose a title that is so closely related to the master piece that is Between Shades of Gray).

The book is written by Ruta Sepetys and she is an absolute genius. Period. I have never been so touched and so moved by a book ever and when I said before that I experienced this book by audio, I specifically chose the word "experience" because that's what this book is. It is an experience like no other. BSoG made me feel and experience every emotion the human soul encompasses including some emotions I didn't even know existed! I laughed, I cried, I smiled so big my cheeks hurt. I was angry, I was appalled, I was educated and enlightened and there were moments where I literally thought I might throw up from the anguish and pain of what I was reading. The fact that it is based on facts from history (and a mostly hidden one at that) and the lives of real people and events these people went through, makes the story so incredibly important and that much more amazing and beautiful and ugly and heartfelt. Every person and their mother, brother, father, sister, cousin, aunt, uncle, grandparents, Mother from another, sister from a mister, and every friend and friend of a friend and their friends should read and experience this book.

 It. Is. Phenomenal.

 If you are not touched by this story and by the characters, then in the words of Hermione Granger, "You have the emotional range of a teaspoon." As soon as I get to a book store I will not only be buying one copy of this book, but two because I want to give one away. If I could afford it I would buy 50 copies to give away. Maybe one day when I sell one of my books ;-)

Lastly, I have to note that Emily Klein, the woman who did the reading for the audio version of this book, is AMAZING. Truly, truly, truly, AMAZING. She was a huge part of this experience for me and I'd like to thank her and congratulate her on the job she did with this reading. She gave this book true justice and her voice will forever be as important a part of this experience for me as was the story.

When you have time, check out Ruta Sepetys' website for Between Shades of Gray and watch the video. I fell more in love with her and this story after knowing all that she went through to write this amazing book.

Summary for Between Shades of Gray:

Lina is just like any other fifteen-year-old Lithuanian girl in 1941. She paints, she draws, she gets crushes on boys. Until one night when Soviet officers barge into her home, tearing her family from the comfortable life they've known. Separated from her father, forced onto a crowded and dirty train car, Lina, her mother, and her young brother slowly make their way north, crossing the Arctic Circle, to a work camp in the coldest reaches of Siberia. Here they are forced, under Stalin's orders, to dig for beets and fight for their lives under the cruelest of conditions.

Lina finds solace in her art, meticulously-and at great risk-documenting events by drawing, hoping these messages 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, spanning years and covering 6,500 miles, but it is through incredible strength, love, and hope that Lina ultimately survives.Between Shades of Gray is a novel that will steal your breath and capture your heart.

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