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'Between Shades of Gray' – probably not the book you're thinking of

Young adult author Ruta Sepetys says her novel 'Between Shades of Gray,' about a Lithuanian girl sent to one of Stalin's work camps, is frequently being mixed up with E L James' erotic trilogy.

By / May 3, 2012

Author Ruta Sepetys says many of those who mistakenly attend her book signings, thinking they're for erotic author E L James, stay and listen anyway.


Confused book buyers may be ending up with a different novel than they meant to purchase when it comes to the similarly titled “50 Shades of Grey” by E L James and the young adult novel “Between Shades of Gray” by Ruta Sepetys.

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“Between Shades of Gray” was released last year and tells the story of a Lithuanian teenager who is sent to one of Stalin’s work camps in Siberia in 1941, while “Shades" is an erotic novel that follows college student Anastasia Steele and billionaire Christian Grey. "50 Shades of Grey" has been racing up the bestseller charts and has become a publishing phenomenon. (If you search the Barnes and Noble website for "Between," "50 Shades of Grey" actually comes up first.)

Both James and Sepetys are currently on tour, Sepetys for the paperback edition of her book, and Sepetys told Entertainment Weekly that she’s attracted a lot of “Gray” fans, many of them men and many of whom stay to listen even after figuring out she’s not that author.

“The subject has come up at every high school and every bookstore I’ve been to,” Sepetys said.

After its release, “Between Shades of Gray” was chosen by Publishers Weekly as one of the best children’s books of 2011 and was a finalist for the William C. Morris young adult debut award for 2012, among other recognition.

Molly Driscoll is a Monitor contributor.


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