Review: The Sea of Tranquility by Katja Millay

February 4, 2013 Atria Books, Book Review, Contemporary Fiction, Katja Millay, Netgalley, Realistic Fiction, The Sea of Tranquility 29

From Goodreads:

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.

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I have always loved an array of different genres in the Young Adult spectrum – paranormal, dystopian, mystery, and of course contemporary fiction. Every once in awhile I find myself craving just a good character driven love story, something that focuses on building a relationship. The Sea of Tranquility came at the perfect time and I fell totally in love!

Now, this book was not completely without a deeper plot beyond the romance. We follow the journey of Nastya, who is dealing with a tragic event that took a part of her away. She chooses to deal with this incident with silence and doing whatever she can to scare off people from getting close to her. Words cannot say how much I loved her. She was emotionally vulnerable, but at the same time she was also such a fighter with determination and a lot of snark and sarcasm. She had built all these walls around her that no one could break down, including her family. That is until she meets Josh.

Josh isn’t without his own demons. He is also dealing with tragedy and heartache. People around him tend to let his circumstances define him, but he does not let them define himself. He has such a maturity about him. And I am pretty sure woodworking was never as sexy until he came along! He was so sweet and amazing, just so perfect. I couldn’t have loved him more.

“I wished my mother was here tonight, which is stupid, because it’s an impossible wish.” He shrugs and turns to me, drowning the smile that cracks me every time.
“It’s not stupid to want to see her again.”
“It wasn’t so much that I wanted to see her again,” he says, looking at me with the depth of more than seventeen years in his eyes. “I wanted her to see you.”

*dreamy sigh* I could go on and on. These two together was such a brilliant dynamic. They were exactly what they needed for each other. Everything started off small, with an almost dislike they had for each other, that there was some sort of draw happening between them that they didn’t want. Everything built slowly, but at exactly the right pace. They find a way to mend each other without knowing it, but not just that, they find a way to mend themselves. Don’t even get me started on the ending. *sigh* Such perfection.

This is one of those novels for me that I just have a hard time finding the words to express how much I loved it. It was heartbreaking and beautiful and I couldn’t have asked for a better novel. Oh, and the secondary characters are outstanding and well done too, especially Drew! I highly recommend this novel to EVERYONE!

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Sara @ Forever 17 Books

29 Responses to “Review: The Sea of Tranquility by Katja Millay”

  1. Atmika@I Talk Books!

    I’ve only heard good things about this book. I really need to pick it up now. I’m glad that you liked it so much. It sounds completely like my type of book.
    The quote is so sweet. 🙂

    I find it really hard to review books that I loved too. But you’ve done a great job. 😀

  2. Jennifer Messerschmidt

    I started this one and then had to put it down but I’ve heard nothing but phenomenal things about it. I love a good character driven romance with a lot of deeper things happening as well. I love when two characters are just what they both need at the right time. Always great to hear the secondary characters were amazing as well. I so rarely even see the point of them that it is nice when they actually add to the story.

  3. Wendy Darling

    I just read this last week and still may review it, so I’m not going to read yours just yet–but yay for 5 stars! I can’t believe how good this book was, and I’m glad you liked it, too. I hope the author writes something else VERY soon.

    Wendy @ The Midnight Garden

  4. starryeyedjen

    I skimmed your review because I plan on reading this one soon…really, really soon, hopefully. I’m so glad you loved it, and the fact that pretty much everyone loves it makes me want to drop everything and read it NOW. I can’t wait to read this and gush like everyone else. 🙂

  5. Lindy Gomez

    This is one of my favorite books written-ever! Great review Sara. I felt the same way when writing my review, that words could not express how great this book was, or how much I loved it!

    Lindy@ A Bookish Escape

    • Sara @ Forever 17 Books

      I think I might have been the same way. I saw it mentioned a few places but never really took the time to see what it was about or anything. So glad I did end up checking it out. So worth it!

  6. Sarah (Escaping Through Books)

    I’ve heard only wonderful things about this book, so I bought it for my Kindle. That quote makes me fall in love with Josh, and I haven’t even “met” him yet (because I haven’t had the chance to read the book yet)!

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