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Ruta Sepetys Books In Order

Publication Order of Standalone Novels

Between Shades of Gray (2011) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Out of The Easy (2013) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Salt to the Sea (2016) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

A Lithuanian-American author of much loved and bestselling historical novels, the writer Ruta Sepetys is world renowned now thanks to her unique style of writing a storytelling, as she manages to write in a manner that is both direct and to the point, dealing with heavier subject matter in a clearly accessible and engaging style that really draws her readers in.

Writing for a young audience too, she also writes for Young Adults, creating novels that have been translated globally in more than fifty countries, as she has also made her way to speak at numerous events too. Along with this she has also recently started to make her way towards the big-screen too, as two of her novels are set to be adapted for the cinema, allowing her to extend her brand even further as a novelist. This is largely due to not only her witty and compelling style, but her highly engaging characters written as well, as they resonate regardless of the era that they are set within, or of the readers background too. Due to this many critics and reviewers have begun singing her many praises too, as she has also received numerous awards over the course of her writing career to, including being made a Rockefeller Foundation Bellagio Fellow, as well as being the first writer of Young Adult fiction to speak at the European Parliament, giving her a level of prestige quite unlike any other. Not only that, but she is able to craft a story that is entirely unique to her, with nobody else coming close to what she is currently offering. Finding her own unique niche and voice, she has built her own market, creating an idiosyncratic voice for herself in the process. With many of her books being timeless in their nature, she has built a legacy that will stand the test of time for many years to come.

Early and Personal Life

Born and raised in Detroit, the future author to be Ruta Sepetys would grow up in Michigan with a strong passion for the written word and all it had to offer her. With something to say she would go on to attend Hillsdale College, whereby she would receive a B.S. in International Finance, followed by going overseas to study in France. This would provide her with the background necessary to continue her career as an author, building from the foundations up, taking her career forwards in the process. Currently living in Tennessee with her family, she continues to write to this very day, always looking to the future for new and exciting ideas to fill her next novel with.

Writing Career

Starting out in 2011, Sepetys would make her name with the novel ‘Between Shades of Grey’, along with a collection of short-stories titled ‘No Men, No Cry’ released just a few months later. This would then lead towards her becoming the big name and literary draw that she is today, as she would go on to become a #1 New York Times bestselling author, along with winning the Carnegie Medal for her efforts, whilst becoming an international bestseller too. Following up her first novel with her second in 2013, she would later bring out the title ‘Out of the Easy’, as well as ‘Salt to the Sea’ in 2016 just three years later. All of this would continue, as she currently writes full-time, whilst also attending numerous events worldwide, along with maintaining a strong presence both online and off, always keen to interact with her loyal audience of readers globally.

Between Shades of Grey

Brought out through the Philomel Books publishing label, this would mark the arrival of Ruta Sepetys as an author for the first time. It would also manage to shed some light onto an otherwise forgotten period within the second world war, as it examines the plight of the Lithuanians in the face of the invading Soviet forces. Released in 2011 on the 22nd of March, it would establish the presence of a new and exciting author on the scene, one with something to definitely say.

Taking real historical events and splicing them with fictional ones, Sepetys really makes the most of her medium, allowing this period of history to not be forgotten. Creating characters that will resonate with her younger readers, she manages to draw parallels between the past and the present quite unlike any other. It would also use vivid descriptions of Lithuania and how it really was back then in the face of such horrific hardships.

Set in 1941 it follows the character of Lina, a Lithuanian fifteen-year-old-girl who appears to be just like any other growing up in the country at the time. That’s when her adolescence is abruptly interrupted by the Soviet armies, as they tear her away from her father, being forced onto a crowded train with her brother and mother, as they’re sent to the Arctic Circle whereby they’re forced to work within a Siberian work camp. Finding comfort and solace within her art, Lina seeks to document her experiences through her painting, something she does at great risk to herself lest she be discovered. Will she escape? Can she survive? What lies between the shades of grey?

Salt to the Sea

Released through the ‘Philomel Books’ publishing outlet once more, this would show Sepetys clearly developing as an author and storyteller. Telling the story of the Lithuanian refugees once again, she manages to bring both fact and fiction to the table, allowing them to play off of each other to great effect. She would also provide a great self-contained story that would resonate with readers around the world for years to follow.

Looking into the plight of the Lithuanian refugees and the hardships that they faced towards the end of the second world war once again, this deals with a group attempting to flee the Russian forces, as fact and fiction is interwoven. It would seem that everyone has a story to tell, with each of the characters holding their own motivations and ambitions whilst facing this terrible ordeal. The story also takes the historical event of the sinking of the Wilhelm Gustloff, centering much of the narrative around this singular event. Will they manage to get away from the Russian troops? Can they survive the harsh conditions? What will become of the salt to the sea?

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