If you have read Ruta Sepetys previous books you know how much detail and research goes into her writing. This book is no different. We get to know Cristian and his family and friends, but his life is not like most teenagers. The fear, paranoia, and the overwhelming sense of dread and hopelessness is very carefully conveyed. Who do you trust? It’s hard to fathom that during this time there was so much paranoia that everyone was a suspect, including family! They still had to rely on each other, which made it so hard to be a teenager. I had to keep reminding myself that this was in 1989 not 1944. There were pop culture references like Bruce Springsteen that kept reminding me that this happened not too long ago. The characters have stayed with me for far too long! This story is heartbreaking and unbelievable and exactly what I come to expect from Sepetys books.