Salt to the Sea Book Review *SPOILER ALERT*

51un6zk2tyl-_sx320_bo1204203200_Title: Salt to the Sea
Author: Ruta Sepetys

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.



8 thoughts on “Salt to the Sea Book Review *SPOILER ALERT*

  1. I just finished reading this. But still have a lot of thing unexplained.

    1. So whose voice florian hear when he drowned? Is it emilia?

    2. what about Eva? Is she survived?

    3. and who is sending the letter to florian after 20 years?


    1. 1. That was his subconscious he heard as Joana’s voice to tell him he had something to fight for, which was Joana.
      2. She left
      3. Clara Christensen is a woman who lives with her husband on the coast near the sinking site of the Wilhelm Gustloff. They were the ones who found Emilia’s body, but they never knew who she was.
      At the time of the letter, Clara had a news article about Halinka (Emilia’s daughter), who wanted to be an Olympic swimmer for the US. However, because she was born on a ship, her nationality was questioned.
      After reading the article, Clara realized that Emilia was Halinka’s mother, and wrote to Florian about it, who had adopted Halinka and Klaus with Joana.


  2. THIS BOOK KILLED ME ON THE INSIDE. It was so good, but the ending. I wish it were different. Alfred growing up, the Poet with Klaus, Emilia having fun with YOUNG Florian and Joana, and I wish she described their futures and how they recovered from it all. What about Eva? What about the treasure Florian wanted? What about Augustus and his family?

    Liked by 1 person

  3. The book took place in world war 2 I believe, not world war 1. I loved this book, along with Between shades of gray. I wonder if Lina and Joana ever met up…

    Liked by 1 person

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