Title: The Sea of Tranquility
Author: Katja Millay
Date(s) read: July 31 – August 1, 2013
Source: Publisher (ARC)
I live in a world without magic or miracles. A place where there are no clairvoyants or shapeshifters, no angels or superhuman boys to save you. A place where people die and music disintegrates and things suck. I am pressed so hard against the earth by the weight of reality that some days I wonder how I am still able to lift my feet to walk.
Former piano prodigy Nastya Kashnikov wants two things: to get through high school without anyone learning about her past and to make the boy who took everything from her—her identity, her spirit, her will to live—pay.
Josh Bennett’s story is no secret: every person he loves has been taken from his life until, at seventeen years old, there is no one left. Now all he wants is be left alone and people allow it because when your name is synonymous with death, everyone tends to give you your space.
Everyone except Nastya, the mysterious new girl at school who starts showing up and won’t go away until she’s insinuated herself into every aspect of his life. But the more he gets to know her, the more of an enigma she becomes. As their relationship intensifies and the unanswered questions begin to pile up, he starts to wonder if he will ever learn the secrets she’s been hiding—or if he even wants to.
The Sea of Tranquility is a rich, intense, and brilliantly imagined story about a lonely boy, an emotionally fragile girl, and the miracle of second chances.
Thank you to Simon and Schuster Canada for providing me a copy of this book for review!
The Sea of Tranquility is one of those books where everyone is raving about it and I’m that person who’s all, “Come on — it can’t be THAT good.” I am always, always, always concerned that when people love a book or say that it’s one of the better ones in its genre that I will ultimately hate it. Must be my thing.
At any rate, this was one of those books that I completely took my time reading. From the first pages, I was completely in love with it. There was no insta-love, there was no typical bad boy-damaged girl pairing — instead, it was just a really well written and engaging book. Right from the start, I loved the characters and the dual narrative. It was interesting to really get into the heads of Nastya and Josh and see what they both thought of each other. And really, we spend a LOT of time in Nastya’s head because of one thing — she doesn’t speak.
Normally, this is a HUGE deterrent for me in a book. I’m all about the dialogue, so when there’s a character whose chapters revolve around their thoughts, rather than their interactions with others, I get antsy. But this was really well done. There was still so much mystery around what really happened to Nastya’s character that I was willing to put in the time to really get to know her character before she let me know the whole story. Some people might think that the book was too long, but I like to think that we were just waiting until Nastya could trust us.
I know I said before that this wasn’t a bad boy-damaged girl kind of book, but really both character had their damages. It’s not a light read. In fact, there are some passages that were horrible to read. Balanced out with that, there’s friendship, love, loyalty — so many things that make this such a wonderful read. In the end, I’m glad that I took my time reading it because it really made me appreciate the characters and what they were going through.
I would definitely recommend this book if you’re a fan of the new adult genre, or if you just like books that make you laugh, make you cry, and make you swoon all in one breath. It was a joy to read and I only hope that future offerings from Katja Millay will be just as good. Highly recommended!