November 9, 2012
The Sea of Tranquility by Katja Millay
Publisher: Antisocialite Press LLC
Review Source: Bought
Synopsis: (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.
Full of rage and without a purpose, former pianist Nastya Kashnikov wants two things: to get through high school without anyone discovering her past and to make the boy who took everything from her pay.
All 17 year-old Josh Bennett wants is to build furniture and be left alone, and everyone allows it because it’s easier to pretend he doesn’t exist. When your name is synonymous with death, everyone tends to give you your space.
Everyone except Nastya, a hot mess of a girl who starts showing up and won’t go away until she’s insinuated herself into every aspect of his life. The more he gets to know her, the more of a mystery she becomes. As their relationship intensifies and the unanswered questions begin to pile up, he starts to wonder if he may ever learn the secrets she’s been hiding or if he even wants to.
The Sea of Tranquility is a slow-building, character-driven romance about a lonely boy, an emotionally fragile girl, and the miracle of second chances.
When I finished ‘The Sea of Tranquility’ I was completely in awe. I really needed time to process how insanely awesome I found it, but the words that kept repeating in my head were “freaking flawless”. I was amazed at how powerful and wonderful the stories and the characters were, and how quickly I fell in love with them.
‘The Sea of Tranquility’ is pretty much everything I could ask for in a book. It’s a contemporary book with real and deep emotions running through it. It features characters who are so lovely and so flawed, characters who are dealing with incredibly difficult situations in whatever way they can. The book also features one of the best romances I’ve read in a very long while. The relationship that is formed is so absolutely beautiful, I dare you not to fall in love with both the characters and their non-traditional romance.
The pace of the book is definitely a slower one, but I never found myself bored. Instead I was deeply entrenched in their world right from the beginning, wanting to know more about the characters and their secrets. The “mystery” is so perfect here, almost in a Jellicoe Road like manner (and my goodness, you must know I don’t make that comparison lightly). As a reader you slowly unravel what has happened to these characters, and find out what and who has made them who they are today. You get an idea and glimpses of the situation, until it is finally all revealed.
There’s so much more I could say about how wonderful this book is. I loved the dual narration from Nastya and Josh, I loved the secondary characters (particularly Drew, who is so much more than what he comes across as), and I especially loved how real it all seemed. I love books that take over and wrap me up in the world and the emotions of the characters, and Katja Millay completely succeeded at this. This book was definitely heartbreaking at moments, but there was always a sense of quiet strength throughout. If you are looking for a book that is incredibly powerful, one that will keep you thinking about it long after you’ve turned the last page, then look no further than 'The Sea of Tranquility'.
I really like it, especially because it has meaning for the story.
Find The Sea of Tranquility by Katja Millay on Goodreads, Nook, Kindle (only $2.99!).
P.S. I've just learned that this is one of those indie books that has been picked up by S&S Atria Books, so that shows you how great the buzz has been.