“Salt to the Sea” was the perfect book for me

Haeleigh Bayle, Reporter

I read “Salt to the Sea” a few days ago and let me just say, I was blown away! In the novel by Ruta Sepetys, the reader grows to understand and become fond of four characters, who each have their own chapters in the story, although, I did not care for one of the characters at all. Avid readers experience sorrow, triumph, shock, and learn about the characters’ past experiences little by little. This book takes place in the winter of 1945 during WWII. The four characters who the story focuses  on are Joana, a Lithuanian nurse; Florian, the restoration artist who was from East Prussia; Emilia, a young orphaned Polish girl; and Alfred, a Nazi. Although they didn’t plan to come together, they all found each other and in desperation began to band together that they may each accomplish their own desires. Through sacrifices, joy, and heartache they all meet their own fate by the end of the story.

When reading this captivating piece of literature, there is never a dull moment. Sepetys keeps the readers on the edge of their seat waiting to see what will happen next, who will be strong enough to endure the hardships, and which person will be willing to sacrifice themselves to save another. The words speak truth and power throughout the novel, and causes the reader to realize just how awful the effects of WWII were on the world. Although it is historical fiction, hundreds of thousands of people endured similar events as seen the book, which causes the audience to have a stronger emotional tie to the story. One theme  readers can easily pick out of this book is to press on no matter what comes their way. This theme is developed because time after time the characters are faced with grief and challenges that push them beyond their limits, but instead of giving up they keep going.

Overall, this book is absolutely amazing, but a teenage audience is recommended, as some vivid graphic descriptions are portrayed. In the end, this book deserves a 5 out of 5 star rating. The technique, style, word choice, emotional connection, and so much more had me captivated and unable to put the book down.