Jenny Knipfer–Author

Historical fiction author, Jenny Knipfer, shares her books, inspiration, thoughts on life and writing, and book reviews. Purchase Jenny's books, read her blog, or listen to encouraging podcasts, highlighting the life of a writer.

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys

Set during Hitler and Stalin’s ethnic purges of Slavic countries, Salt to the Sea tells the story, in first-person, of a group of people fleeing to board a ship destined for safer harbors. Little do they know what awaits them.

Florian, a young, strong painter, hides something stolen and precious, to none other than Hitler himself. But who exactly is the thief, and why does Florian risk his life to carry what he conceals?

Joana, a nurse with a secret, is inevitably drawn to Florian as she ministers to his wounds. They work together to keep their rag-tag group of young adults, a middle aged woman, an old man, and a young boy alive and together. 

Emilia also bears something precious and strives to hide her Polish nationality from authorities. Will she deliver her burden and survive to the end? 

This YA historical fiction book has earned much praise, as evident by the reviews at the beginning of the book, but I didn’t love it. This disappointed me greatly, because my favorite book of the year was The Fountains of Silence, by Sepetys. 

Although the plot and storyline of Salt to the Sea were compelling and an interesting, I could not get over the choppy feel of the book in general. Instead of chapters, the book was formatted in very short—in general 1 1/2 page length—first-person points of view. Just when I meshed with one character, the POV would switch. I didn’t like this and would have preferred longer sections. Also, many of the sentences seemed short, blunt. These two issues may be due to the fact that the book is categorized as young adult. I don’t normally read YA books and am unaware if this is typical of young adult books or not. 

Do you read young adult historical fiction books? If so, what is a favorite book of yours?

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