Lina finds solace in her art, meticulously – and at great risk – documenting events by drawing, hoping these messages will make their way to her father’s prison camp to let him know they are still alive. It is a long and harrowing journey, spanning years and covering 6,500 miles, but it is through incredible strength, love, and hope that Lina ultimately survives. Between Shades of Gray is a novel that will steal your breath and capture your heart.
At the heart of this book, Author Sepetys is telling about imprisonment, about the human condition…about the will to survive. And I believe the reason she chose to tell the story from a teen’s point of view is the same reason many YA authors do: because teen emotions are beautiful and virginal and raw.
Sometimes, YA books are written for teens. To the point where adults may have trouble enjoying them the way a teen might. But other times, in cases like BETWEEN SHADES OF GRAY, books are written using a teen lead because it makes sense for the story. This is why readers should never shy away from YA. Because there are stories on those shelves you can’t find anywhere else. Because the characters experience life in fresh, exhilarating ways.
And because YA is where it’s at, baby.