I expected to like this book from the description, but I've read so many World War II books that I think it takes a lot for one to really stand out. Somehow I have already found two amazing novels this year about the time period, The Invisible Bridge by Julie Orringer and now Between Shades of Gray.
This story is about Lina, a fifteen-year old artist who is deported with her family by the Soviet secret police from her home in Lithuania to Siberia. Lina secretly documents everything through her art, some of which she hides and some which she tries to get to her father in a prison camp. Lina, her mother, and her brother are grouped with many others who work together to survive being moved from one labor camp to another. I don't want to give away specifics about the characters or the events because you really need to read them for yourself. The characters are beautifully developed and feel very real. There is also a fresh viewpoint on the history that grips the reader. I was amazed by this novel, and I know that it is one that will stick with me. I give it a strong 5/5, and I am pleased that I bought this in hardcover because I intend to add it to my favorites.