The authorRuta Sepetys is the daughter of a Lithuanian refugee. She holds a B.S. in International Finance from Hillsdale College. While in school Sepetys also studied at the Centre d’études Européennes in Toulon, France and at the ICN in Nancy, France.Following graduation Sepetys moved to Los Angeles. In 1994 she launched Sepetys Entertainment Group, Inc., an entertainment management firm representing Grammy®-award winning guitarist Steve Vai, Orange County modern rock band Lit, and Emmy nominated film composer Niels Bye Nielsen. In 2002 Sepetys was featured in Rolling Stone magazine’s 'Women in Rock' special issue as a woman driven to make a difference. Sepetys is on the Board of Advisors for the Mike Curb College of Entertainment and Music Business at Belmont University and is also a director of the Make a Noise Foundation, a national non-profit that raises money for music education. Sepetys currently resides in Nashville, TN. You can visit Ruta Sepetys at www.rutasepetys.com.The synopsisLina is just like any other fifteen-year-old Lithuanian girl in 1941. She paints, she draws, she gets crushes on boys. Until one night when Soviet officers barge into her home, tearing her family from the comfortable life they've known. Separated from her father, forced onto a crowded and dirty train car, Lina, her mother, and her young brother slowly make their way north, crossing the Arctic Circle, to a work camp in the coldest reaches of Siberia. Here they are forced, under Stalin's orders, to dig for beets and fight for their lives under the cruelest of conditions.Lina finds solace in her art, meticulously-and at great risk-documenting events by drawing, hoping these messages will make their way to her father's prison camp to let him know they are still alive. It is a long and harrowing journey, spanning years and covering 6,500 miles, but it is through incredible strength, love, and hope that Lina ultimately survives. The reviewHow pretty can books be? This one is very pretty that is one. It starts in action immediately with the Soviets picking Lina and her family up at her house and the story will not let go till you get to the last page.The character description is done perfect. You easily get a hang of all the different people by the choices they make and the things they say. For the psychologist the group dynamic must be interesting too. The story gives you the creeps at the right moments, makes you cry (which is kind of inconvenient when you are in the train) and smile. It is so well written that when lice are mentioned my hair got itchy and I got cold while reading about Siberia. What is interesting too is that Lina's life before this is good you do not really realize it is happening in 1941. It makes you really think about the decisions made by the people in the story and what I would do if it would happen to me. Would I make the same decision? Is it easier to say I would do that too, like not sign that paper, cause you are not being threatened or could I make the choice too under those circumstances? This book will make you angry and sad and will give you an eerie feeling at points, but it will also show you hope, love and a lot of strength.