This first thing I have to say about this book is that it is NOT Fifty Shades of Gray. This is a book about the gulags not sex.
Between Shades Of Gray by Ruta Sepetys is about a 15-year-old Lithuanian girl who is taken to a Siberian labor camp under Stalin's rule. We follow Lina from the day she is taken by the NKVD (a secret soviet police) all throughout the time she spends at the camps (called gulags) to when she is set free again.
Because Lina and I are very close in age I find it easy to connect with her. This helps me to empathize because I have never been in a situation even remotely close to what she went through.
Lina is an artist and in the book she vows to draw everything that happens to her and bury it in a jar so that one day someone will know her story.
One of the most captivating aspects in this book is it's imagery. Lina tells the story using what she sees and how she translates that into her own mind. The result is some powerful images and a lot of confusion that Lina and the reader work out together.
If anyone is learning about the gulags in school or are just interested in that part of history I would definitely recommend this book. It is fiction, but the author used survivors stories to shape one of her own.