ARC Review: The Sea of Tranquility by Katja Millay

book reviewing-01

sea of tranquilityTitle: The Sea of Tranquility
Katja Millay
Date(s) read:
July 31 – August 1, 2013
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.

my thoughts-01

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!


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25 thoughts on “ARC Review: The Sea of Tranquility by Katja Millay

  1. SO SO SO glad the hype did not let you down! I absolutely fell in love with this book. I actually didn’t even NOTICE that Nastya wasn’t talking for the first portion of the book… that was how well it was done!
    Great review! Loved your emotions & thoughts on this book and again, SO happy that you loved it too!

  2. Yes! This book was absolutely beautiful, I loved that both characters were damaged and how they were there for one another. The way the story was written was beautiful and I just wanted more from both Josh and Nastya. I loved the slow building romance and how there is this mystery behind Nastya and why she doesn’t speak. So glad that you did love this one!!

  3. I love that this one doesn’t seem to follow all of the NA tropes (bad boy, damaged girl, dirty sex lol) I have yet to read it and I have been holding off for the exact reasons you mentioned here. The hype has me super wary.

    • Happens to me ALL THE TIME. I think that’s why I put this one off for so long … I’m always positive that I’ll hate any book that’s been hyped up. I hope that you do like it if you get around to reading it!

  4. I definitely loved the writing in this one, even if I was sort of meh on the characters themselves. Looks like it was a total hit for you. Though I didn’t have lovey dovey feelings, I totally get why so many people have them. Curious to see what she’ll do next!

  5. See, I haven’t tried any NA novels yet (romance and contemps don’t appeal to me, and NA doesn’t seem to be much more), but I’ve decided that if I’m ever going to venture into the genre I’ll probably pick this one up first. I’ve seen tons of amazing reviews, and while that can potentially be a bad thing (the evil hype beast), it does make me curious!

    • I think if you’re going to venture into NA books, it’s important to pick one that kind of eases you into the genre. I think this is a good one because it’s not like the others. If you get around to reading one (or this one!) let me know — I’d love to know what you think!

  6. I bought this book so long ago, but I’ve let it just sit on my Kindle since then. Seeing as how it lived up to the hype for you – I think it’s definitely time I pick this one up!

  7. Yeah, I’m still so impressed with how the Nastya not talking thing was handled because I normally wouldn’t be into that either. But it was a truly well written book! Definitely not light reading, but it was worth it.

  8. So far I’ve really liked any NA books that I’ve read and this one does sound like I would really like it. I really like emotional books, so maybe I should have a look into this one! I’m really glad you enjoyed this one and it does sound quite good!

  9. So glad you enjoyed this one. It was a much different NA than I had read before and that’s what I loved about it. Really unique!! Definitely a must read for those contemporary lovers. I can’t wait to read more from Katja!

My home is where my books are. - Ellen Thompson

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