genre: YA historical fiction focusing on four teenagers
and the William Gustloff tragedy during WWII.I don't typically gravitate towards historical fiction during the WWII era, so I wasn't sure what to expect going into this book, and really enjoyed it being in the young adult genre. Each chapter is told from the perspective of one of the four main characters. Each chapter is only a few pages so you're able to get a quick snapshot of each POV, which keeps the story moving quickly with a lot of mystery in each storyline.
The story focuses on Emila, Joana, Florian, and Alfred and they each carry a different secret as their paths all cross at different points in the story. In addition to their points of view, there are a few minor characters who are so well developed that you feel almost as connected to them. While you know the ending of the ship (based on history), there is a lot of suspense as you get further into the story wondering if the characters you've grown to love are going to survive.
I'd recommend this to everyone-- it's a relatively easy read that's both inspiring and heartbreaking. Read it for a wonderfully crafted story, but also to learn a little bit more about such a tragic historical event that is rarely talked about.
Are you a fan of Ruta Sepetys? This book was definitely completely different from Out of the Easy, but I really enjoyed both and definitely look forward to reading Between Shades of Gray.