Salt to the Sea

Name: Salt to the Sea

Author: Ruta Sepetys

Published: 2016


War torn Germany. Four young people. Four dark secrets. Four teenagers whose lives have been torn apart by war meet, along with thousands of other refugees, in the struggle to outpace the advancing Red Army. All are hoping to board the Wilhelm Gustloff: a ship that promises freedom and safety. But not all promises can be kept. 

This brilliant book is the true story of one of the worst maritime disasters in world war two. But I bet you’ve never even heard of the Wilhelm Gustloff. Salt to the Sea tells the tale of Joana, Alfred, Emelia and Florian who all meet by chance in the dark heart of Nazi occupied Germany, 1945. They each have their own dark past and secrets that will shock you. This book will make you laugh and cry (although probably mostly crying!) with its unique perspective of the horror of world war two.

SWEETENER: Ruta Septys has written this book beautifully. It’s written from the point of view of all the main characters, rotating in short chapters between them. It’s effective because the short chapters really enunciate (yes that IS an actual word!) how quickly everything happens and most of them end on cliffhangers…  I have loaned this book to quite a few of my friends; they have all agreed that it is pretty ace! I would definitely recommend it for fans of Michael Morpurgo and Sarah Crossan. It also won the Cilip Carnagie Award back in 2017, blah, blah, blah, but that’s still pretty cool as it was only realised in 2016.

MATURE CHEESES ONLY! As the characters are a bit older, the book covers a few more grown up topics. If I had to give an age rating, I’d say around 12+. It also adds to the book as well – nothing is sugar coated. It goes to show the true horror that refugees and civilians were forced to live through in world war two.


If you have read this book, have any ideas for my blog or want to share a book that you’ve read please just click on the comments section. I really want to hear your opinion 🙂

Published by Hundreds&Thousands

I’m a teenager from Manchester, and a proud Hufflepuff. I like oversized jumpers, indie music you’ve probably not heard of, and books. Honestly, any books I can get my hands on but my personal favourites are fantasy, mystery or your classic teenage romance (it’s ironic I know – but you can’t really go wrong with ‘A Fault in Our Stars’)! I’m always being told to go and ‘be active’ or something instead of sitting in my room reading and listening to the Smiths, but honestly I don’t see the point. Why would I want to go for a run when I could be reading Rainbow Rowell or Good Omens. And it’s Morrisey for god’s sake. So, I decided to do something with the growing piles of books in my room… and you’re reading the product! It’s a lot more interesting than I thought it would be and I really enjoy it – and I hope you do too. I try to write a review after I’ve read the book each week every Saturday, but no promises! The aim is hundreds and thousands of books (see what I did there?) but I’m not quite there. Yet.

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