Covers I Love

I was wondering what else besides reviews I could put up here and then I thought why not show you some book covers that I love!

The first one is from Victoria Schwab. The Archived. Doesn’t that look amazing you guys!!!! Its beautiful and mysterious all at the same time! The book isn’t released until 2013 but I am so excited to read it when it comes out! Victoria is such a talented writer and I know this book will be amazing!
Victoria Schwab Website


There is something about this cover that I insanely adore! There is such a simplicity behind it but it also has a larger meaning. Remember when we were all kids and you blew dandelions to send their seeds into the wind. How many wishes did you make to the flying seeds? Send Me a Sign by Tiffany Schmidt comes out October 2, 2012 and I cannot wait to read this book!
TIffany Schmidt Website

This cover is so cool! I haven’t read Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi yet but I have heard great things about it from other bloggers so this is on my to be read list! I love how the first tagline is scratched out and then rewritten next to it. I love it! I love how it includes the clouds, the birds, and the trees. There’s even a waterfall! The fading at the bottom of the cover is awesome and I love how the title is in two different colors. Lets be honest, I am just in love with this cover!
Tahereh Mafi Website


I haven’t gotten a chance to read Shift or Exiled by M.R. Merrick yet either but look at those covers! I would seriously have this framed and hung on my walls because they are amazing! If I ever have a book published I would want it’s cover to look as amazing as these two!
I love how Exiled shows two completely different sides, fire and water, with the baron tree in the middle! There is something so ominous about that tree and I love it!

Shift is beautiful because it has so many things going on but it all fits together perfectly. And look at that doorway! The doorway sits in a foggy forest and yet beyond its doors is a baron land. Makes you wonder what else lays beyond that door.

M.R. Merrick Website


And of course, you guys all know me so I can’t have a list without Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys. I love both of the covers but the paperback is definitely my favorite. I remember sitting in the library in Nashville in December and Ruta showed us the cover and my breath caught in my throat. It’s beautiful! It’s beautiful if you haven’t read the book and you stumble across it in the store and its even more beautiful once you’ve read it. You all know that I think this book is amazing and the beauty of the story is how people band together in times of horror to survive. People can be pushed to their limit and do things they never would have done before but they do it together. Lina suffers in this story and I think the snow and ice on her face really shows that. I love how her eye is closed too! I think it speaks to the things that she went through, she was strong but the best thing that she could do was survive. To me if her eye was open it would be a challenge and Between Shades of Gray is not about the challenge, its about bringing awareness to an event in history that people have largely shut their eyes too. Maybe Lina is sad about that and that’s why she isn’t looking at us.

Ruta Sepetys Website

Obviously I am not analyzing any of these just saying what I thought about them. Let me know what you think about them and feel free to include any others you guys love.


Review “Between Shades of Gray” Ruta Sepetys

Title: Between Shades of Gray
Author: Ruta Sepetys
Publisher: Penguin Group
Publication Date: March, 22, 2011
Source: Purchased


It’s 1941 and fifteen-year-old artist Lina Vilkas is on Stalin’s extermination list. Deported to a prison camp in Siberia, Lina fights for her life, fearless, risking everything to save her family. It’s a long and harrowing journey and it is only their incredible strength, love, and hope that pull Lina and her family through each day. But will love be enough to keep them alive?

Over the summer I was introduced to the novel Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys. Detailing the life of a fifteen-year-old Lithuanian girl on Stalin’s extermination list this novel reaches into the hearts and souls of all who read it.

During WWII the Baltic nations of Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia disappeared from maps and did not reappear until the late 20th Century. What happened to citizens of these nations has been largely kept secret, both overshadowed by the horrors in Europe and the fear these citizens lived in. Even after returning to their homes and lives in the Baltics they were shunned by those not on the extermination list. These victims were held prisoners of war; some for well over a decade, in the coldest regions of Siberia. Stalin labeled the victims Thieves and Prostitutes knowing that they were not. They were the educated, they were the portion of the population Stalin believed most likely to resist and oppose him. These victims were military officials, doctors, teachers, and even librarians. Between Shades of Gray is an amazing and harrowing tale of what happened behind the Iron Curtain.

The story will keep running through your mind long after you are finished reading. There are moments in the story and memorable qoutes that will never leave your mind. “They took me in my nightgown” and “Have you ever wondered what a human life is worth? That morning, my brother’s was worth a pocket watch.

Between Shades of Gray does a wonderful job of describing the horrors and daily struggles that happened while in the work camps, Ruta Sepetys did a lot of research while writing the book including traveling to Lithuania to speak with survivors, but there is also one other element that the novel touches on. Hope.

When inscribing books Ruta writes “Love leads us to freedom” and “Hope. Love. Freedom.” and THAT is what this book is about, yes these books are about the horrors that the victims faced but it is also about the extraordinary measures it took to survive.

Ruta and I both hope that this book will raise awareness about what happened in the Baltic’s. What happened in the Baltic’s and Siberia with Stalin is just as horrific as what happened in Europe with Hitler, only somehow one of these stories is ignored. Read this book, it will open your mind, it will show you to appreciate your life, and remember those who have lost their lives.

Honor their memory.

This was an amazing book that tells and amazing story and it most definitely deserves five stars!


Extra Links:

You can check out more of Ruta’s message that I heard first hand in December here

You can also check out RutaFans: The Official Ruta Sepetys Fan Website be sure to keep checking back there is going to be a HUGE and very exciting announcement as soon as Marla and I get the okay from Penguin to announce!

You can keep up to date with Ruta on her Facebook

Birthday Bash! Its my birthday and Ruta Sepetys!

Today’s post is going to be a little different because today is my birthday! I am 21 years old today and I feel like I have now crossed some sort of invisible bridge into adulthood and I suddenly have to act mature and grown up.
On my birthday much like the holiday’s I cannot help but think about how extraordinarily lucky I am to have such a blessed and amazing life! When I moved to Tennessee three years ago, halfway through my senior year of high school, I could not wait to graduate and move back to Michigan. Fast-forward to today and there is no way that I could ever move away from Tennessee. So many amazing things have happened to me since I moved down here and I have met so many wonderful people. I miss all of my family and friends every day but I have been so fortunate to have so many new experiences down here.
I have no doubt in my mind that I would never have started blogging or even going to book signings if I had stayed in Michigan. I’ve been able to travel to Georgia and to North Carolina to travel to the sets of Water for Elephants and The Hunger Games.
This year on my birthday I have so many things to be thankful for, my job, the school I get to attend (UTC), the people and friends that I have made, and most of all my wonderful and amazing family who I learn to appreciate more and more every single day.
Without my amazing family I could never have gone from this:

To this (I’m on the right, that’s my sister Tessa on the left):

So with all the sappy stuff out of the way on the site today we have Ruta Sepetys with a short little post about birthday’s in her real life as they relate to Between Shades of Gray! As you all know I am a huge supporter of Ruta and even run RutaFans with Marla (Starting the Next Chapter).

My book Between Shades of Gray has many special birthdays woven into the text. Several of the dates listed in the book are the birth dates of my family members and Andrius’s birthday – November 20th – is actually my husband’s birthday. By coincidence, the original publication date of the book, March 22nd, was my mother’s birthday. We had a fantastic celebration! And now I just need to figure out how to incorporate Hannah’s birthday into a book. Hmm…

Happy Birthday Hannah!

Thanks so much Ruta! Here is a little bit about the book from Goodreads

It’s 1941 and fifteen-year-old artist Lina Vilkas is on Stalin’s extermination list. Deported to a prison camp in Siberia, Lina fights for her life, fearless, risking everything to save her family. It’s a long and harrowing journey and it is only their incredible strength, love, and hope that pull Lina and her family through each day. But will love be enough to keep them alive?

I also have one UNSIGNED paperback copy of Between Shades of Gray to give out to you all!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

After today all raffleopter forms will be placed in the Few and Far Between section of the site for easier access. =D

In honor of the Birthday Bash I joined together with Operation Smile to create a Smile Circle page for this website. If you click on the widget on the right side of the site it will take you to my Smile Circle. I can no longer give away extra points for donating but I would still greatly appreciate it if you would donate anything you could even if it is just $1. Together we can build Smiles!


Between Shades of Gray Blog Tour

This is the last stop on the Between Shades of Gray Blog Tour. I just want to extend a huge thank you to everyone who participated.

Jaime, Katie, Brielle, Sara, and Marla thank you so much for making this blog tour such an amazing experience! There is no way that I could have done it without you!

Thank you so much to all of BSG fans who came out over the last week in support of such an amazing novel!

The biggest thank you of all to Ruta Sepetys who endures countless emails from me, some of them the most random things ever, and who always responds to my craziness with such patience and grace. Thank you for writing such a wonderful novel that has moved me so much that it is my mission to get this book into the hands of as many people as I possibly can. I’ve been able to talk to people in Michigan, Florida, Arizona, and a few other states who have now grown to love this book just as much as I do!

Because of this tour I have formed friendships with people that I will never forget! Marla from Starting the Next Chapter is one of those new friends and I value her friendship and advice. For those of you who are not aware we have teamed up together, with permission from Ruta, to start RutaFans, the Official Ruta Sepetys Fan Website. On this website we will continue to promote Between Shades of Gray and future works by Ruta Sepetys. Marla and I are working with Ruta to bring to you all the best fan experience possible and I hope that you all check it out.

There are several prizes and giveaways scattered across most of the blogs participating in the tour. I will post their links here again so that you may all visit these sites and enter to win prizes. Remember that my entry forms are over on the Few and Far Between page of the website.

Hannah- Intro
The Book Vortex
Interview with Ruta

Mundie Moms
Mundie Moms
Interview with Gavin

Jamie/The Hot Author Report
The Hot Author Report
Interview with Ruta

Brielle/Awesome Bookworm
Awesome Bookworm
Interview with Ruta’s Editor

Sara/Through the Looking Glass and Back Again
Through the Looking Glass and Back Again
Character Interview- Lina

Marla/Starting the Next Chapter
Starting the Next Chapter
Interview with Ruta

Hannah/The Book Vortex
The Book Vortex
Wrap it up. Announce all giveaways on all sites.