A Beginner’s Guide to Ruta Sepetys Books
With more than 1 million copies of her books in print, the critically acclaimed Ruta Sepetys is known for her uncanny ability to uncover some of the darkest corners of history, and tell their stories. But in case you’re new here, it’s time we introduce you to the Queen of Heart-wrenching Historical Fiction. So, think of this as something of a beginner’s guide!
You: the Story
Ruta Sepetys is the bestselling author of many beloved YA historical fiction novels. And now she’s teaching you how to write your own story!
You: The Story is a powerful how-to book for aspiring writers that encourages you to look inward and excavate your own memories in order to discover the authentic voices and compelling details that are waiting to be put on the page. Masterfully weaving in humorous and heartfelt stories from her own life that illustrate an aspect of the craft of writing (such as plot, character development, or dialogue), Sepetys then inspires readers with a series of writing prompts and exercises.
Between Shades of Gray
This was Ruta Sepetys powerful debut. This is a great Ruta read to start with, especially if you’re a fan of The Book Thief.
Fifteen-year-old Lina is a Lithuanian girl living an ordinary life — until Soviet officers invade her home and tear her family apart. Separated from her father and forced onto a crowded train, Lina, her mother, and her young brother make their way to a Siberian work camp, where they are forced to fight for their lives. Lina finds solace in her art, documenting these events by drawing. Risking everything, she imbeds clues in her drawings of their location and secretly passes them along, hoping her drawings will make their way to her father’s prison camp. But will strength, love, and hope be enough for Lina and her family to survive?
You may have seen the title Ashes in the Snow too…because there’s a movie! Last year, Ashes in the Snow, the movie title of Between Shades of Gray, premiered, and so did the gorgeous tie-in edition!
Out of the Easy
Out of the Easy is Ruta’s second, gripping novel, a rich story of secrets, lies, and the haunting reminder that decisions can shape our destiny.
It’s 1950, and as the French Quarter of New Orleans simmers with secrets, seventeen-year-old Josie Moraine is silently stirring a pot of her own. Known among locals as the daughter of a brothel prostitute, Josie wants more out of life than the Big Easy has to offer. She devises a plan get out, but a mysterious death in the Quarter leaves Josie tangled in an investigation that will challenge her allegiance to her mother, her conscience, and Willie Woodley, the brusque madam on Conti Street.
Josie is caught between the dream of an elite college and a clandestine underworld. New Orleans lures her in her quest for truth, dangling temptation at every turn, and escalating to the ultimate test.
Salt to the Sea
Based on “the forgotten tragedy that was six times deadlier than the Titanic.”–Time
We’ll be honest. This one will make you cry. Like, a lot.
Winter 1945. WWII. Four refugees. Four stories.
Each one born of a different homeland; each one hunted, and haunted, by tragedy, lies, war. As thousands desperately 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. But not all promises can be kept…
Rumor has it this one is in movie development too, and we really aren’t sure if we’re ready…
The Fountains of Silence
Ruta’s newest novel The Fountains of Silence hits shelves October 1st, and, to give you an idea of what to expect, it already has SIX starred reviews!
Madrid, 1957. Under the fascist dictatorship of General Francisco Franco, Spain is hiding a dark secret. Meanwhile, tourists and foreign businessmen flood into Spain under the welcoming promise of sunshine and wine. Among them is eighteen-year-old Daniel Matheson, the son of an oil tycoon, who arrives in Madrid with his parents hoping to connect with the country of his mother’s birth through the lens of his camera. Photography–and fate–introduce him to Ana, whose family’s interweaving obstacles reveal the lingering grasp of the Spanish Civil War–as well as chilling definitions of fortune and fear. Daniel’s photographs leave him with uncomfortable questions amidst shadows of danger. He is backed into a corner of difficult decisions to protect those he loves. Lives and hearts collide, revealing an incredibly dark side to the sunny Spanish city.