Why I’m a Ruta Sepetys Fangirl

ruta sepetys fangirl

As of very recently, I’ve finished reading all of Ruta Sepetys’ published books. And upon finishing them all I realize that I desperately want more of them because I LOVE Ruta Sepetys’ writing and the stories she chooses to tell.

Something that I really love about her books is that both Between Shades of Gray and Salt to the Sea are fictional books that deal with real but largely unknown events. Between Shades of Gray deals with the atrocities committed by the Soviets rather than the Germans during WWII and Salt to the Sea deals with the sinking of the Wilhelm Gustloff, a huge ship carrying thousands of refugees. Despite the fact that I’ve been reading WWII historical fiction since I was in middle school, I had never read about these topics before. I always love when I read a book that teaches me something.

Sepetys also has a way of getting readers (or at least me) to connect really well with her characters. Every time I read one of her books, I find myself very quickly connecting with the characters and really hoping that everything will turn out okay for them, despite knowing the odds of that happening are not great given their circumstances.

I think a lot of historical fiction, whether it’s YA or not, can be kind of intimidating, especially for people who don’t read it very often. Maybe you’re worried you won’t understand some of the outdated terms being used. Maybe you’re nervous that without already knowing about the time period or the events, you won’t fully understand the book or the references to real events. Even as someone who reads historical fiction pretty frequently, historical fiction can intimidate me for these (and other) reasons. But this is not an issue at all with Ruta Sepetys’ books. She writes the story authentically and accurately and you can certainly tell that she’s done her research. Despite this, the book reads easily and it’s not at all difficult to immerse yourself in the story. It’s almost as if you’re reading a contemporary (key word almost).

These are just a few of many reasons why I love Ruta Sepetys and her books. Even if you’re not a huge fan of historical fiction, I think you’ll find something in her books that you enjoy and I encourage you to give at least one of her books a chance if you haven’t already. I can’t wait for her to publish more books in the future!

If you’re a fan of Sepetys like me, what are your favorite things about her and her books?


8 thoughts on “Why I’m a Ruta Sepetys Fangirl

  1. I’ve got a feeling I’ll become a fangirl of Ruta Sepetys too 🙂 I’ve read Salt to the Sea and loved it, but I still need to read Between Shades of Grey and Out of the Easy. I own Between Shades of Grey so I plan to read it this summer. I discovered historical fiction this year (mostly – I sort of knew I loved it from reading The Book Thief year ago but never read more) so I’m just trying to devour every history book possible.
    Like you said, even though they’re fiction they’re based on real events not many people know about. And this post couldn’t have come along at a better time, because just last night my dad and I were talking about ship sinkings in the war (he’d seen a documentary before, that’s why the random topic) and I told him about the Wilhelm Gustloff. He didn’t believe me when I said it was dubbed “one of the greatest maritime disasters of the war” because he hadn’t heard of it, but then googled it and just said to me “you’re right”, and started reeling off all these facts I’d said about it from the book. Just because it’s fiction, doesn’t mean you don’t learn anything! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    • I love all her books but I’d have to say Salt to the Sea is actually my least favorite so I can’t wait to see what you think of her other two books.
      One of my favorite things about historical fiction is all the new stuff I learn! It’s honestly amazing to me how many terrible things have happened that I’ve never heard about before, especially when the US was involved in some way.

      Liked by 1 person

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