Review: Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys

Salt to the SeaTitle: Salt to the Sea

Author: Ruta Sepetys

Pages: 393 Pages

Publisher: Penguin Random House UK Children’s/Puffin

The Blurb

It’s early 1945 and a group of people trek across Germany, bound together by their desperation to reach the ship that can take them away from the war-ravaged land. Four young people, each haunted by their own dark secret, narrate their unforgettable stories. Fans of The Book Thief or Helen Dunmore’s The Siege will be totally absorbed. This inspirational novel is based on a true story from the Second World War. When the German ship the Wilhelm Gustloff was sunk in port in early 1945 it had over 9000 civilian refugees, including children, on board. Nearly all were drowned. Ruta Sepetys, acclaimed author of Between Shades of Grey, brilliantly imagines their story.

The Review

Salt tothe Sea by Ruta Sepetys broke my heart.

This is a bold statement to make but there are few books that have made me emote in the same way. It is a fictional account of the real life events that happened during the Second World War. It is a story of how people of different nationalities – most of who were opposed to each other due to their countries government ruling – come together in times of adversity.

Sepetys explores the frailty of life and the spirit of human nature in Salt to the Sea. At times I had to remind myself to breathe because the story had me gripped. It truly is an astounding novel and a very real contender for this year’s Carnegie Greenaway award for which Salt to the Sea has been nominated.

Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys is available now.

For more information regarding Ruta Sepetys (@RutaSepetys) please visit

For more information regarding Penguin Random House UK Children’s (@RHKidsUK) please visit

For more information regarding Puffin Books (@PuffinBooks) please visit

For more information regarding The CILIP Awards (@CILIPCKG) please visit

5 Stars

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