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Blog Post #4

Between Shades of Gray - Ruta Sepetys The Night Gardener - Jonathan Auxier

Part 1:

I have recently finished The Night Gardener Jonathan Auxier.  At first I though I might not like it since I generally read historical or realistic fiction, but I actually really enjoyed it.  I found myself actively visualizing and predicting.  Although I loved the actual story, I was not a huge fan of Jonathan Auxier's writing style.  At times where there was a lot of action, I found it difficult to keep up with what exactly was going on.  This is one of those books where you have to read closely to be able to really comprehend.  Overall, I enjoyed this particular book, but I don't plan on reading more from that author.

Part 2:

As Ruta Sepetys as our author, I think we both feel that her writing style is very unique and powerful.  I have also noticed that you have really analyzed the characters. I must say that Sepetys creates such fascinating characters that you generally either love or hate.  There is actually a really interesting character in Between Shades of Gray that I have mixed feelings about.  He is mostly referred to as "the bald man."  At the beginning, I strongly disliked the bald man because he is extremely grouchy and inconsiderate.  He constantly scared the children by talking of how they are all going to die.  Although he remained grumpy throughout the novel, I realized that he actually did have good intentions.  For instance, he have his ration of bread to Lina's sick mother.  I kinda love it, but also hate it when an author makes a character very complex because I have trouble deciding whether I like the character or not.  Sepety's characters' personalities are not always just black and white, sometimes they are shades of gray.  I wonder if that is part of why she chose the title Between Shades of Gray.  Maybe she wanted to emphasize the idea that although World War II was full of terrible people and awful times, there were also people like Lina's mother who fought for a cause and showed immense love.  I hope you are enjoying reading Ruta Sepetys.

Part 3:

Booklikes is a useful site for finding books you want to read. I think the best way to discover new books using Booklikes is to search a keyword (author, genre, etc.) and explore the results.  With this method, I have discovered the book Let it Snow by John Green which I have not read yet, but I am planning to.