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I Must Betray You - by Ruta Sepetys

I Must Betray You - by Ruta Sepetys - image 1 of 1
I Must Betray You - by Ruta Sepetys - image 1 of 1
$11.69 sale price when purchased online
$12.99 list price

About this item

Highlights

  • A gut-wrenching, startling historical thriller about communist Romania and the citizen spy network that devastated a nation, from the #1 New York Times bestselling, award-winning author of Salt to the Sea and Between Shades of Gray.
  • 336 Pages
  • Young Adult Fiction, Historical

Description



About the Book



"Romania, 1989. Communist regimes are crumbling across Europe. Seventeen-year-old Cristian Florescu dreams of becoming a writer, but Romanians aren't free to dream; they are bound by rules and force. Amidst the tyrannical dictatorship of Nicolae Ceau÷sescu in a country governed by isolation and fear, Cristian is blackmailed by the secret police to become an informer. He's left with only two choices: betray everyone and everything he loves--or use his position to creatively undermine the most notoriously evil dictator in Eastern Europe. Cristian risks everything to unmask the truth behind the regime, give voice to fellow Romanians, and expose to the world what is happening in his country. He eagerly joins the revolution to fight for change when the time arrives. But what is the cost of freedom? Master storyteller Ruta Sepetys is back with a historical thriller that examines the little-known history of a nation defined by silence, pain, and the unwavering conviction of the human spirit." --



Book Synopsis



A gut-wrenching, startling historical thriller about communist Romania and the citizen spy network that devastated a nation, from the #1 New York Times bestselling, award-winning author of Salt to the Sea and Between Shades of Gray.

Romania, 1989. Communist regimes are crumbling across Europe. Seventeen-year-old Cristian Florescu dreams of becoming a writer, but Romanians aren't free to dream; they are bound by rules and force.

Amidst the tyrannical dictatorship of Nicolae Ceaușescu in a country governed by isolation and fear, Cristian is blackmailed by the secret police to become an informer. He's left with only two choices: betray everyone and everything he loves--or use his position to creatively undermine the most notoriously evil dictator in Eastern Europe.

Cristian risks everything to unmask the truth behind the regime, give voice to fellow Romanians, and expose to the world what is happening in his country. He eagerly joins the revolution to fight for change when the time arrives. But what is the cost of freedom?

Master storyteller Ruta Sepetys is back with a historical thriller that examines the little-known history of a nation defined by silence, pain, and the unwavering conviction of the human spirit.



Review Quotes




Praise for I Must Betray You

Winner of the Josette Frank Award for Fiction ♦ An NPR Best Book of the Year ♦ An Amazon Best Book of the Year ♦ A Publishers Weekly Best Book of the Year ♦ A Kirkus Reviews Best Book of the Year ♦ A School Library Journal Best Book of the Year ♦ A Christian Science Monitor Best Book of the Year ♦ A New York Public Library Best Book of the Year ♦ A Bank Street College of Education Best Book of the Year ♦ A YALSA Top Ten Best Fiction for Young Adults Pick ♦ A Goodreads Choice Award Nominee

"As educational as it is thrilling...[T]he power of I Must Betray You [is] it doesn't just describe the destabilizing effects of being spied on; it will make you experience them too." -New York Times Book Review

★ "Sepetys brilliantly blends a staggering amount of research with heart, craft, and insight in a way very few writers can. Compulsively readable and brilliant." -Kirkus Reviews, starred review

"Sepetys once again masterfully portrays a dark, forgotten corner of history." -Booklist, starred review

★ "Sepetys's latest book maintains the caliber readers have come to expect from an author whose focus on hidden histories has made her a YA powerhouse of historical ­fiction...Sepetys is a formidable writer, and her stories declare the need to write about global issues of social injustice. For that reason and her attention to detail, this is a must-read." -School Library Journal, starred review

★ "Cristian's tense first-person narrative foregrounds stark historical realities, unflinchingly confronting deprivations and cruelty while balancing them with perseverance and hope as Romania hurtles toward political change." -Publishers Weekly, starred review

"A master class in pacing and atmosphere." -BookPage



About the Author



Ruta Sepetys (www.rutasepetys.com) is an internationally acclaimed, #1 New York Times bestselling author of historical fiction published in over sixty countries and forty languages. Sepetys is considered a "crossover" novelist, as her books are read by both teens and adults worldwide. Her novels Between Shades of Gray, Out of the Easy, and Salt to the Sea have won or been shortlisted for more than forty book prizes, and are included on more than sixty state award lists. Between Shades of Gray was adapted into the film Ashes in the Snow, and her other novels are currently in development for TV and film. Winner of the Carnegie Medal, Ruta is passionate about the power of history and literature to foster global awareness and connectivity. She has presented to NATO, to the European Parliament, in the United States Capitol, and at embassies worldwide. Ruta was born and raised in Michigan and now lives with her family in Nashville, Tennessee. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram @RutaSepetys.
Dimensions (Overall): 8.1 Inches (H) x 5.4 Inches (W) x 1.0 Inches (D)
Weight: .65 Pounds
Suggested Age: 13-17 Years
Number of Pages: 336
Genre: Young Adult Fiction
Sub-Genre: Historical
Publisher: Philomel Books
Theme: Europe
Format: Paperback
Author: Ruta Sepetys
Language: English
Street Date: May 2, 2023
TCIN: 86942928
UPC: 9781984836045
Item Number (DPCI): 247-12-1016
Origin: Made in the USA or Imported
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Shipping details

Estimated ship dimensions: 1 inches length x 5.4 inches width x 8.1 inches height
Estimated ship weight: 0.65 pounds
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5.0 out of 5 stars with 9 reviews
100% would recommend
4 recommendations

Powerful story of the oppression of Romanian citizens

5 out of 5 stars
Thumbs up graphic, would recommend
BTaylor - 2 years ago
Powerful story of the oppression of Romanian citizens under the rule of Nicolae Ceaușescu. Set in 1989, the story follows the day-to-day life of 17-year-old Cristian Florescu. I never realized the extent to which paranoia and fear ruled their lives. You never knew who was an informant. Your best friend? Your sister? Your girlfriend? Ceaușescu first isolated Romania from the rest of the world. Then, by recruiting (often blackmailing) informants, he isolated citizens from each other. They knew their homes were bugged so were not even free in their own homes. I just could not imagine how confining it was to live as they did. And while Ceaușescu and his family lived with wealth surrounding them, the Romanian citizens lacked food, electricity, all the things we take for granted. Cristian plots to undermine the most notoriously evil dictator in Eastern Europe. Can he do it? Cristian and his friends were true heroes. They risked their lives to let the world know what was going on in Romania. Cristian dreams of being a writer someday, but Romanians had little chance of fulfilling their dreams. I could easily feel the mental anguish the characters endured day after day. When the Revolution began, I was on edge, afraid to turn the page. Afraid to know what happened next. I also got a better understanding of Radio Free Europe and the Voice of America. It was only through their broadcasts that the citizens of Romania learned that the Communist nations around them were crumbling. The book is well written, and it is obvious that the author did a lot of research.
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Please give it a read

5 out of 5 stars
Thumbs up graphic, would recommend
oswinoswald - 2 years ago, Verified purchaser
Fantastically written and poignant. Not a book I normally would have chosen but something drew me to it. Not a novel I'll be forgetting soon.
1 guest found this review helpful. Did you?

So Good!!

5 out of 5 stars
Thumbs up graphic, would recommend
Emily Etier - 2 years ago, Verified purchaser
Wow. I have never read a book set during this time. There was so much I didn't know about this area and what was happening. This book was incredible. It was so well written and has simply confirmed Ruta Sepetys to be my favorite author.
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A Must Read!

5 out of 5 stars
Thumbs up graphic, would recommend
kpat - 2 years ago
Bunu, the grandfather, says to his son, “Mistrust. It’s insidious. It causes multiple personality syndrome and rots relationships. At home, you’re one person, speaking in whispers. Outside, on the street, amd standing in lines at the shops, you’re someone else. Tell me who are you?” I MUST BETRAY YOU is set in 1989 Romania and told through the eyes of seventeen-year-old Cristian Florescu whose code name is OSCAR. Sepetys new book is a must read! I have loved her previous books and her new book is her best! Labeled as Young Adult, it is a book all adults should read too. Book clubs will have lots to discuss. I wish I was still teaching high school students, so I could explore this book with them. Set in 1989 Romania, Sepety’s makes the reader feel like he/she is a fly on the wall to all that is happening. I especially like all of the pictures in the back of the book. I referred to them frequently. So many themes. I love the short chapters. I hope you enjoy reading about Cristian and his relationship to his family, his friend Luca, a love interest Liliana, Dan, an American teenager……… My thanks to Bookish First and Philomel Books for an ARC of this book. The opinions in this review are my own.
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Intense and powerful historical fiction

5 out of 5 stars
lurkykitty - 2 years ago
This is a well-written, meticulously researched novel, which follows Cristian, a 17-year-old high school student living in Bucharest, Romania in 1989. Life in Romania under the brutal communist dictator Nicolae Ceausescu is harsh and terrifying. There are long lines for tiny scraps of food, freezing, bleak apartment blocks, and constant power outages. The Securitate, Romania's secret police with their network of informants, turns neighbors, friends and family members against each other. Everyone lives in a state of constant suspicion and fear. The author conveys vividly the deprivation and terror experienced by Cristian, his family and friends. Like his brave and funny grandfather, Cristian questions the regime and works to undermine its power, even though he is in terrible danger. I Must Betray You is immersive, tense, powerful and gut-wrenching. I knew that the Ceausescu regime was awful, but this novel really brought home the hideous nature of the suffering and despair that Romanians experienced. Cristian's story made it real and relatable. Ruta Sepetys is now a must-read author for me. Highly recommended. #BookishFirst
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Historical Fiction About Romania's Little-Known Revolt Against Communism

5 out of 5 stars
techeditor - 2 years ago
At a neighborhood picnic last summer, one of my neighbors introduced himself in his accented voice and said that he's from Romania. "Have you heard of it?" he asked. I was surprised he asked me that and said, "Of course!" He told me that most people he talked to in the United States didn't know that Romania exists, let alone its history. And that is why Ruta Sepetys wrote I MUST BETRAY YOU. People need to know about Romania and its little-known history, in particular 1989, when, after many years of Communist rule and Stalin-like repression, its citizens finally revolted and overthrew Ceaușescu. But I MUST BETRAY YOU is historical fiction. It is about a 17-year-old boy, Cristian, who lives in Communist Romania and takes part in the revolution. While Cristian is fiction, the history is fact. Cristian lives with his family in a concrete apartment block, where the Communist rulers have decided they and their neighbors should live. Communist rulers make all decisions; there is no freedom. There is also very little heat and electricity. And no one can trust anyone, not even their own family members. Just before Christmas 1989 Cristian hears that others are revolting, and he joins them. Many years later, when archives are accessible, he learns hard facts about his family, facts they felt were necessary for their safety under Communism. Although I MUST BETRAY YOU is classified as a young adult novel, Sepetys is known as a crossover author. That is, adults as well as young adults read and enjoy her books. As an adult, I can honestly say, I found this book both interesting and unputdownable. And that, from me, says a lot. I have not enjoyed young adult books since I was 13. I resisted reading Sepetys's other books for that reason, but now I will.
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