Check out Scott Reads It! for giveaways, reviews & more! “Have you ever wondered what a human life is worth? That morning, my brother's was worth a pocket watch.” Between Shades Of Gray is a book that had been on my "To-Read" list for ages, yet I never felt an urge to pick it up. I know this book has a similar title to E.L. James's book, but I assure you they are nothing alike! I heard this book has even been banned in certain parts of the country because people thought it was Fifty Shades. Don't let the titles throw you off, you must read Between Shades Of Gray because it sheds light on a story that needs to be more wide-spread. I'm still a student (as of 7/4/13) and yet I've never ever heard of the atrocities committed by the NKVD and Stalin in Lithuania, Estonia, and Latvia. Never once did I hear of the Baltic genocides carried out by the USSR, it wasn't even casually mentioned. I learned about the Holocaust, Rwandan genocide, Cambodia genocide, but never did I hear of the Baltic Genocide. You would think a mass-murder of 20 million people would have made it into my school's curriculum? It was almost as if the world was trying to cover up what happened to the Baltic people during the reign of Stalin. Thank you Ruta Sepetys for bringing the Baltic genocide to light, for making sure the death of 20 million people will not be forgotten. Between Shades Of Gray is a heartbreaking tale unlike any other. This is a book that I will never ever forget and even now, a couple of days after finishing it, I'm still thinking of the horrors committed by the NKVD. This book is one that has definitely made a huge impact on me and has really warped my understanding of modern history. Why is the stories of Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia more renowned? Considering that this story is virtually foreign to most of the world, what other events in history are unfamiliar to the general public? Whose stories have been forgotten by history? Between Shades Of Gray is a life-changing and thought-provoking book that is simply unforgettable. This is a book (along side The Book Thief by Markus Zusak, and Night by Elie Wiesel) that everyone must read at least once in their life. I think that's imperative that we remember the Holocaust and the Baltic genocides so we can prevent horrific events like this from ever occurring again. (I know there are still genocides going on today, but educating people about them is the first step to avert future disasters like this.) Between Shades Of Gray is a book that should be read by people of all ages in schools, in homes, in libraries so that the world doesn't forget what happened to 20 million people. I truly believe that this book should become apart of curriculums internationally because this is one extremely important book. Between Shades Of Gray features a multitude of characters, but they all share one thing in common. Sepetys perfectly shows not everyone is wholly good or evil, that we all have shades of goodness in us. Ruta Sepetys knows hows to create complex, developed characters that feel so real. The characters are extremely easy to empathize with their plight and I felt my heart breaking while reading it. My heart shattered from all of the plights that characters had to deal with and I even cried a bit at the end. This book is truly something else and I can't praise it enough! Lina grows so much from the beginning of the novel to the heartbreaking conclusion. Lina is extremely naive and so innocent when the reader first meets her. It was terrifying to me to see Lina and Yonus so quickly lose their innocence and be faced with such a cruel, terrifying world. Their childhoods were essentially stripped from them along with everything they've ever known. Lina was forced to become a strong willed individual and to be tough, instead of being a normal teenager. Her character development throughout the novel is momentous and just so unfair. Why would the NKVD and Stalin commit such horrors to child and the elderly? I know I could be asking "Why" questions all day, but it's unthinkable how cruelly children were treated. Between Shades Of Gray is an absolute must-read for readers of all ages. This novel is truly special and I never, ever will forget this poignant, moving story. No review can express how emotional this book really is and I commend Sepetys for resuscitating the story of the Baltic Genocide. Out of The Easy is definitely a book that I must read soon and I have no doubt that it will be phenomenal. Between Shades Of Gray is a simply mind-blowing book that will shatter your heart into a million pieces.