Blurb (GR): Winter, 1945. Four teenagers. Four secrets.
Each one born of a different homeland; each one hunted, and haunted, by tragedy, lies…and war.
As thousands of desperate refugees flock to the coast in the midst of a Soviet advance, four paths converge, vying for passage aboard the Wilhelm Gustloff, a ship that promises safety and freedom.
Yet not all promises can be kept.
Inspired by the single greatest tragedy in maritime history, bestselling and award-winning author Ruta Sepetys (Between Shades of Gray) lifts the veil on a shockingly little-known casualty of World War II. An illuminating and life-affirming tale of heart and hope.
I loved this book. The writing style, and the plot, the characters were just AMAZING! This was obviously expected because, lets face it: Ruta Sepetys is an awesome author. Her debut Between Shades of Gray was mind-blowing!
Now let’s talk about the characters.
In this HF novel, 4 teenagers are haunted by their own secrets. “Guilt is a hunter, Shame is a hunter, Fate is a hunter, Fear is a hunter”. Each character face’s a different “hunter”.
All the characters in this novel, were brilliant. I love Emilia’s innconetness, Joana’s tendency of helping people, Florian’s secret and mysterious side, and Alfred’s optimist. They all fit together like a jigsaw puzzle. Without, each other they would be incomplete. I’ve broken the characters down for you.
Guilt is a hunter. I would describe Joana as the natrual born leader. She led the whole group to the ship, and did it with confidence (even if it was a pretense). She also, like I said before, has a tendencey to help people. Joana played a big role in the story, with this knack. She’s also a nurse, and really smart.
Shame is a hunter. Emilia has a sweet innocence, that’s very lovely. She is willing to risk everything for Florian ( I was a bit dissapointed, that Emilia and Florian didn’t end up together). She is also very loyal to her group.
Fate is a hunter. Florian is like Akiva, from Daughter of Smoke and Bone ( review soon to be posted). Mysterious and hard shelled. Everyone has a secret, but Florian seems to have the most dangerous one of all…
Fear is a hunter. Alfred, in my opinion is optimistic, yet very dumb. Why did he not get the hint that Hannelore didn’t like him. I answered my own question. He is trying to become a man, but he is still a child. His child mind just couldn’t wrap around that.
If I were to decide, I would choose Florian.
Joana is a leader of a refugee group. Emilia is pregnant. Florian is haunted. Alfred is lonely. The author writes the story from 4 P.O.V. With different voices for each character.
The story takes place during World War One. Hitler is trying to take over Europe. Many are fleeing to the West to survive. Among, those are Joana, Florain, Emilia, and Alfred.
In some chapters, I feel like it’s getting a little too dramatic. She always ends the chapter on a mysterious note.
In some chapters, I get really frustrated, when she did that, and it wasn’t even worth it.
I found the ending interesting. It’s a letter that tells you Emilia’s fate (sadly, she dies without her baby). Her baby, grows up to be a famous super star. Klaus (wandering boy) becomes her older brother.
In this book, there were a lot of deaths. I was crying when Poet died. He didn’t deserve to die. Alfred died, but that was because he was going a little mad. That did not make me cry.
The first line will suck you in. The last line will leave you crying. This is a very well-written book. When you read from, Emilia’s point of view, you hear a soft-spoken girl in your head. When you read from Florian’s point of view you hear a hard, yet scared voice.
It was well written. It will give you heart-wrenching emotions. It will make you re-think everything.
That’s all I have to say.