WWII Historical Fiction? Yes, Please. | Salt to the Sea Review

Title: Salt to the Sea
Author: Ruta Sepetys
Published: February 2, 2016
Pages: 391

Winter, 1945. Four teenagers. Four secrets.

Each one born of a different homeland; each one hunted, and haunted, by tragedy, lies…and war.

As thousands of desperate refugees flock to the coast in the midst of a Soviet advance, four paths converge, vying for passage aboard the Wilhelm Gustloff, a ship that promises safety and freedom.

Yet not all promises can be kept.

Inspired by the single greatest tragedy in maritime history, bestselling and award-winning author Ruta Sepetys (Between Shades of Gray) lifts the veil on a shockingly little-known casualty of World War II. An illuminating and life-affirming tale of heart and hope. 

Finally a book that I bought the physical copy of. 
I had put this on my TBR a few months back and I never got to it because of the craziness that is my life. Though, now that I got to it, I’m really happy I did. I don’t think I’ve ever read a book that was as calming as well as terrifying at the same time. I love WWII and I seem to have a pretty decent track record of WWII novels. Since I’m starting to get more into historical fiction, I’m really happy that my third try at it was successful. 
Salt to the Sea is mostly a novel about intrigue and build up. The craziness that gives the novel its title doesn’t really happen until the last ten to twenty pages of the novel. Now it’s amazing how such a short part of the novel can bring such anxiety. The entire time I’m reading the novel about these…four characters and I fell in love with (most of) them without even knowing. I just…happened to suddenly care about the well being of them in the last ten to twenty pages. 
Sepetys had this great way of writing. In the novel, she flits through these four characters quite frequently. Each chapter is only about a few pages, some of them are just sentences. Usually I would think I would find this annoying and irritating, but I think Sepetys did really well with her decision. She changed chapters just as I wanted to read more, and so I wanted more. I wanted to know who these characters are. I wanted to know what they were doing, why they were doing it. I just wanted to know them.  
My biggest gripe of the novel? I thought that the ended quite abruptly. It was almost like Sepetys met her checkpoint at where the novel is based off of and it was like, “Show’s over. Time to go home.” I thought it was really strange and I was a bit disappointed because I wanted more. I didn’t know what more of I wanted, but I wanted more. 
Other than that, I was really happy with this novel. It did keep me up until 4 AM, after all that must mean something right? I was going to go in depth with characters like I always do, but I don’t know how to start without giving away spoilers and I completely lost my train of thought. If you’re a fan of WWII novels and historical fiction, I’m sure you’ll enjoy this story.
WTF Alfred (if you read the book you know)?

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