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The great 'Shades Of Grey' confusion

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One is a breakout best-seller about a young woman’s kinky sexual adventure with a hot, domineering billionaire. The other is a critically loved young-adult novel about ethnic cleansing in the Baltic countries during World War II. Fifty Shades of Grey by E L James and Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys couldn’t be more different, but the similar titles are causing more than a little confusion among some readers. (It doesn’t help matters that the first sentence of Sepetys’ novel reads, ”They took me in my nightgown.”) Sepetys is currently on tour promoting the new paperback edition of her novel, and the title mixup has followed her to every bookstore and school she’s visited. ”At some schools there’s a little bit of concern,” she says. ”Parents will hear that the Shades of Gray author is coming and call the school saying, ‘You cannot let this woman in the building!”’ But for the most part, Sepetys views the misunderstanding as a positive. ”Lithuania has never been so sexy!” she jokes. Many of the Fifty Shades fans who mistakenly show up at her readings end up sticking around — and learning something. ”One man came up to me and said, ‘I got my dates mixed up and was here for another Shades of Grey — but did Joseph Stalin really kill 20 million people?”’ Sepetys recalls. ”For me, that was a gift.”

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