Saturday, December 29, 2012

Review: The Sea of Tranquility by Katja Millay

Title: The Sea of Tranquility
Author: Katja Millay
Source: NetGalley


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.



I'm not even sure how to review this book. The Sea of Tranquility is such a complex book with complex characters. I don't feel like I can really describe the book and do it justice. Basically, the two main characters are broken souls who try to keep others at a distance. Not only is Nastya emotionally broken, but she has been physically broken as well. An attack has left her with psychological trauma and she hates herself along with everyone else in the world.

Nastya has refused to speak since the time the memories of the attack come back to her. Wanting to stay away from people who love her, she leaves her family to live with her aunt 2 hours away. She wants to start new – new school, new name, new appearance. Mostly, she doesn't want anyone to find out her secrets. They are even kept from the reader for much of the book, even during the chapters that are written from Nastya's point of view. She has odd reasons for doing the things that she does, though these reasons are logical in her own mind.

As much as she wants everyone to leave her alone, she can't stay away from Josh – a boy at school who seems to have issues of his own. Part of the chapters are written from Josh's point of view, which I loved. I think that especially in this book, it is important for the reader to know what each character is feeling. Josh is a wonderful guy, who knows Nastya has some huge issues that she won't talk about but he accepts her anyway. These two sort of have an odd relationship. Their relationship takes FOREVER to build, but it is understandable given the situation.

Drew is a background character that plays a large part in the story. Him and Nastya form an odd bond that is hard to explain, though it's not romantic. I think he's an interesting character and I would like to see him get a story of his own. I'd also like to read more about Josh and Nastya, though I hear this book is not part of a series.

This is a beautifully written book and is full of all kinds of emotions. The characters and storyline are amazingly written. The romance may be slow building, but it's perfect and believable. I'd recommend this to mature teens and adults, due to the adult situations. This book is a must read and one you won't soon forget. 

This book is currently only available in ebook format. The paperbacks will be available in June 2013.

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