Book Review : Salt To The Sea by Ruta Sepetys

Genre : Historical Fiction, Young Adult

Page : 393 pages

Published : 2nd February 2016


World War II is drawing to a close in East Prussia and thousands of refugees are on a desperate trek toward freedom, many with something to hide. Among them are Joana, Emilia, and Florian, whose paths converge en route to the ship that promises salvation, the Wilhelm Gustloff. Forced by circumstance to unite, the three find their strength, courage, and trust in each other tested with each step closer to safety.

Just when it seems freedom is within their grasp, tragedy strikes. Not country, nor culture, nor status matter as all ten thousand people—adults and children alike—aboard must fight for the same thing: survival.


I have never think that this book would turn out so good. There are rarely historical fiction books that can both teach and entertain the readers. Well, Salt To The Sea nailed it. This book brings out issues or historical events that I have never heard before, the gigantic ship called Wilhelm Gustloff.

This book perfectly show the story of four teenagers who are trying to survive before and during the World War II. This book shows the terror and horror of losing one’s life and the people whom we love dearly. Every life is at stake. No one is safe. Love and fear strives one’s to keep surviving. Never once I feel bored reading this book. It may not be a major page turner but it sure does tick your curiosity to find out more.

I love everything about this book except for the sudden ending. The ending is not rush but after all of the climax appearing nearly at the end of the read, I wish the book would provide the reader some chapters showing how the characters manage to survive after the nerve wrecking climax. Still, the ending is worth the time.

Overall, I highly recommend this book. This book re-tell the tragedy of Wilhelm Gustloff perfectly and the writer describe it so well with details. Not only the history, the plot of the story itself is truly enjoyable and addicting. There are no way to forget this story once you salvage it.

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8 thoughts on “Book Review : Salt To The Sea by Ruta Sepetys

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