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Nina @ Death Books and Tea

Female. 15. Book blogger. Whovian. Sherlocked. Zydrate addict. Goth. Multifandomed. Violinst. Tea drinker. Feminist. LGBT. Ravenclaw. Alive.

Currently reading

The Restaurant at the End of the Universe
Douglas Adams
Armageddon: The Musical
Robert Rankin
Cunt: A Declaration of Independence
Inga Muscio, Betty Dodson
City of Glass
Cassandra Clare
172 Hours on the Moon
Tara F. Chace, Johan Harstad
Under the Dome
Stephen King
The Equality Illusion: The Truth About Women And Men Today
Kat Banyard
Strawberry Panic: The Complete Novel Collection
Namuchi Takumi, Sakurako Kimino
Sarah Rees Brennan
Dark Eden
Chris Beckett
Between Shades Of Gray - Ruta Sepetys Lina is a Lithuanian girl living happily. And then Soviet guards force Lina and her family out, onto a cattle car, and north to a labour camp in Siberia. She’s separated from her father, and the only thing she can do to keep herself from going mad is to draw. Even though it carries a great risk, she draws, hoping her father can come, find her, and piece together a trail from recognising a scribble signature. Until then, all Lina has to do is stay alive.I don’t normally read books like this. Depressing and true to life. But it’s on the Carnegie Longlist and my school librarian and her daughter loved it and so I thought I should read it too.I’m really glad I did pick it up. From the first page I got right inside Lina’s head, feeling her pain, misery and joy at various parts in the novel.The characters are all very well fleshed out, and we’re given backstory and context to all of them. We don’t learn their stories all in one block, but we learn little parts every so often at relevant parts of the story. Almost all of them are likeable, and we get a good sense of all of them, understanding their circumstances and the way they reacted to everything very well. Lina is a strong, yet believably breakable, girl despite everything that is thrown at her, and it’s lovely seeing her develop in the face of everything that’s thrown at her.I was shocked at the way they were treated, in the same way I’d be shocked if I read about this stuff in the news. I think it’s because this is dealing the side of World War II that we don’t normally hear about. Most books you pick up that focus on WWII are on Hitler, and the Holocaust. This is the only one that I’ve noticed that deal with Stalin and the Baltic nations. You learn a lot reading this book.I liked the little bit of romance woven into it. I don’t normally like falling hardly in love with someone you’ve only known for a little while, but I just felt so bad for Lina that it was the only thing that was going somewhat ok in her life. Something’s always happening to Lina and her family. The story moves on fairly quickly, and I just kept turning the pages.Overall: strength 5 tea to a really powerful look at the side of World War Two that we don’t ever see