Between Shades of Gray – Ruta Septys

Hello people! Soo … I’m writing this when I’m sick (boo!) and it’s late. I’m actually copying and pasting from a word doc., but I just need to write the fun stuff at the beginning and end. Yay.

Anyways, this is the historical fiction Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Septys.

7824322Lina 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.

What I thought:

So … this is one of those “hyped up” books. The only hyped books that I’ve liked have been The Maze Runner trilogy. That’s it. (No, I didn’t really like the Lunar Chronicles or anything. Sorry.) But I thought that I’d give this a shot since, well, I actually don’t know. But it was in at the library, so, yeah. (Also, recently I’ve been liking historical fictions, well, as long as their during some kind of war. Whatever.)

Also, seeing some of the status updates of people on Goodreads … needless to say, I was prepared with tissues and had to psych up my nerves.

I ended up reading it at the end of a reading slump (this year has been the first time that I’d ever had a book slump. Ever. And I’ve had, like, three of them this year.), so I was kinda nervous.


I’m not even sure why, but I did! And I read it in a day. One. Day. At the end of a book slump. Yeah.

Unfortunately, I did not cry. But I really don’t cry during books. The last time that my eyes TEARED UP was when reading book #9 of the kid’s Left Behind series when I was ten. Hahaha, yeah.


Lina is our MC. She’s fifteen and an artist (quite an amazing one at that, which usually bothers me, but didn’t really in this book … so yay!). I wasn’t sure if I’d like her, but I really did! She was pretty mature, which I LOVED, but yet, kept a youthful fear in this book. You can really feel her feelings and she just felt SO REAL.

Jonas is her little brother. He’s so sweet, and it’s just really heartbreaking with what he has to deal with. You can really see his personality shine through with how he deals with this trauma that he’s going through. And it’s amazing to see him – even at such a young age – become a man within these pages.

THEIR MOM. I really didn’t care for her at the beginning. She’s one of those REALLY independent women. Which, I don’t know. Those kinds of women are really hit-or-miss with if I like them or not. But by the end, I actually kinda liked her.

THE LOVE INTREST. From his first moment … I didn’t know how I’d feel about him. He’s all cool and stuff. He smokes (and tears apart a book!!!!!!!) and has a very “whatever” kind of attitude. Needless to say, I totally shipped him and Lina to the moon. Which I felt was a little inappropriate, considering the situation. But whatever.


Miss Septys’ writing was lovely. Very lyrical and beautiful. Usually that writing … I don’t know. I’m just not a very flowy person. But this was just SO GOOD. Really, though.

There were times that the book skipped large amounts of monotonous times … so that got a bit confusing. But usually it was pretty easy to tell when it was happening.


Honestly, I don’t really have a problem with this book. Yes, I felt that the romance moved a bit fast (though it really was the situation, and tons of time was skipped … so I’ll allow it), but seriously.


Now. Time for the “other” stuff.

There were some minor curse words: b***h, h**l, d**n, maybe some others like that. Smoking (but, honestly, that was the time). People got shot and died and stuff (diseases and otherwise).

There was some kissing (!!!). One of the women who was taken was forced to “serve” all the bad soldiers and was forced to sleep with them on occasion. When the people were all to take showers, everyone had to undress, and some of the men … well, I think that you know where I’m going with this.

Basically, I’d DEFINITELY recommend this to you upper teens out there! Though, if you’re younger and can deal with some … WWII things, then MAAAYBE you can try this.

Five Stars ∗∗∗∗∗

So, guys, any genre that you’re getting into??? Yeah, that’s all I got. So long. (Please comment!😀 )

Gilt Hollow – Lorie Langdon

Hey everyone! Sorry I went AWOL last week! I was EXHAUSTED (when am I not???) and didn’t feel like getting a post up.

Anyways, today I’m reviewing a book titled Gilt Hollow by Lorie Langdon.

25041551Willow Lamott’s best friend is a murderer, and no one in the small town of Gilt Hollow will let her forget it. For four long years, she’s tried to fade into the background—but none of that matters when Ashton Keller comes striding into school, fresh out of juvie and fueled by revenge. The moment their eyes meet, Willow no longer feels invisible. Drawn to the vulnerability behind Ashton’s mask of rage, she sinks deeper into his sinister world and begins to question whether he’s a villain, a savior, or both.
Ashton thought he wanted vengeance, until Willow reminded him what he’d been missing. Now he longs to clear his name and become the person she sees in him. But the closer they get to uncovering the truth, the darker the secrets become, and Ashton fears his return to Gilt Hollow will destroy everyone he loves, especially the girl he left behind.

What I thought:


Okay, so, I really liked the whole mystery part! I kept having to guess at one of the three main suspects, and every time evidence was brought to light, I’d have a new suspicion (but, having read a decent helping of YA books, it wasn’t hard for me to narrow down the three ’cause they’re all predictable, to some extent).

Buuuut I really didn’t enjoy the whole romance part of this. I felt that Ashton and Willow were HORRIBLE for each other. Okay, not horrible, but, still…

THIS TOOK PLACE IN OHIO. Sorry, I just love that state. It’s one of my favorites (along with Alaska, Oregon, and Tennessee.)


I’m gonna be totally honest here, I liked all the characters (or, at least, didn’t HATE them), except for Willow (1/2 of the MC) and her friend Lisa. Really, I just didn’t like them. At all.

Ashton, on the other hand (part 2 of the MC), I really liked. I didn’t like him when he was with Willow, but when they were apart, I found him quite enjoyable.

I also really liked Brayden (who looks like Ron Weasley) and Isaiah. Both were “witnesses” to the murder and use-to-be friends of Willow and Ashton’s. Overall, I just really liked them.

Rainn. Oh my goodness, Rainn!!! He’s Willow’s little brother and is obsessed with TMNTs and is ADORABLE.❤


The writing to me wasn’t something all to special, but wasn’t awful. You know what I mean? Yeah, you know what I mean.

And the plot (when there was an abscense of romance) was quite enjoyable. Solving a murder (or RE-solving) with some … injuries and threats and a bunch of that good ol’ stuff.


I don’t really have too many problems with this book, mostly just one big one.

‘Kay, so, you all know how I feel about romance: I only like if it’s done really well. Well, I didn’t like the romance in this book. Let me give you a quick recap on how I was feeling:

Willow blocks herself out from other people ’cause she feels that they all hate her for knowing Ashton. A guy that she use to know ages ago tells her that he likes her and asks her out. She says yes. He says that Ashton’s back in town. She freaks.

On their first date, she sees Ashton and basically dumps the guy saying that he an’t be nice to Ashton, then she wasn’t intresested in him, even though Ashton is a ticking bomb and is very (very) protective of Willow and was an ex-murderer.

The guy makes a VERY conscious effort to be nice to Ashton, yet Willow goes behind the guy’s back and kisses Ashton. Twice.

Um, yeah, no. And the guy was SO SWEET.

And if, like Ashton and Willow, have been friends since you were five or so, you DON’T JUST LOVE EACH OTHER LIKE THAT. Really. At that point, you guys are more siblings that love interests. Ugh. I HATE when books are like that.

Also, the murder was’t very believable for me. I felt that the ending needed more explanation (on the murder and otherwise). I didn’t see THAT big of a motivation and it kinda was out of the blue. So, um, yeah.


There are a few uses of God’s name in vain, h**l,  d**n, and a few times where Ashton would cut off just in the nick of time.

There’s kissing and ALL WILLOW THINKS ABOUT IS ASHTON. Mentions to a previous murder. Injuries (none too described).

This book COULD be considered a Christian book. Willow and her family are Christians and Willow prays and stuff.

Anyways, I enjoyed ALLLLLL of this book ‘cept Willow, and when she was with Ashton. BUT. I’ve seen that quite a few people liked them together, so…

If this book appeals to you, I’d say go for it! It has a pretty interesting murder … but be warned, this IS a romance book.

3.5 Stars ∗∗∗


Thanks, BookLook Bloggers, for this book! Opinions are all my own, etc. Just … thanks!

Who are all of you mystery fans out there??? Yeah, I see ya! And tell me of some times (er, books) that the two people you DESPERATELY wanted to get together didn’t? (Or, you just didn’t like the alternative guy, AKA: Tall, dangerous, and handsome.)

The Dressmaker’s Secret – Kellyn Roth

Hey everyone!

So … WordPress was being awful, and I had this post all written and scheduled and stuff, then come Wed., THERE’S NO POST. Like, WHAT?! As if that isn’t bad enough, it deleted my post – “draft” – to just the cover and synopsis. *dies*

Enough complaining from me, though!

Today Yesterday I wrote a review on a book by fellow blogger Kellyn Roth. It is the first in her series The Chronicles of Alice and Ivy, and the actual book is The Dressmaker’s Secret (duh!). Continue reading