The Sea of Tranquility by Katja Millay
Genres: New Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Publisher: As of 2014 – Simon and Schuster.
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.
Book Review – ‘The Sea of Tranquility’ by Katja Millay ~ 100 Stars!
The Sea of Tranquility has been sitting on my Kindle for far too long. Everyone has been raving about how brilliant it is, so I made myself a deal that I would wait until I’d finished University to read it so that I could really throw myself into the story without any distractions.
I can quite honestly say that ‘The Sea of Tranquility’ is one of the best books I have ever read, if you know my love for Harry Potter and I say that this book was up there on my scale of 1 to amazing, then you’ll know just how much I loved it (a clue: it was a lot). It is very rare that you read a book that speaks to you in such a way that you feel as though your heart and soul is being scrutinised as you turn each page. Reading Nastya and Josh’s story was very much like that. It was a beautiful reminder that no matter what you are going through, there is someone who will be there for you. It was so true to real life and that made the journey all the more wonderful. Everything about this book was pure genius and it was one of those stories that will stay with me forever.
Katja Millay’s writing style was beautiful and so clever. When we first meet Nastya, her narration is short and to the point. Her sentences are rarely longer than a few words, and straight away I knew we were being introduced to a character who was deeply emotionally scarred. I was so deeply engrossed in Nastya’s inner turmoil, that I didn’t even notice the most defining thing about her. It was stunningly clever writing, and I honestly had chills as I read.
“I am so sorry. You must be Nastya.”
This time I nod.
“You don’t talk.”
The transition of the style of Nastya’s monologue’s was incredibly moving to see, as she grows stronger in herself, and finds herself a home and family with Josh and Drew that her descriptions become more colourful, her sentences longer, and the blunt, daggered tone that we first saw from her became softer and gentler.
I loved the relationship Nastya had with both Josh and Drew. At first I was expecting to greatly dislike Drew, having the suspicion that his respect for Josh wouldn’t be enough for him to stay away from Nastya, so I absolutely loved how Drew, whilst still flirting and generally being his typical male self, really wanted the best for Josh and Nastya. The way Drew seemed to see himself as Nastya’s older brother was wonderful to read. In these kind of books we often get swept up by the main romance of the story, but Nastya and Drew’s relationship was a beautiful reminder that true friends will be there for you, no matter if they are your boyfriend, brother or friend. The Leighton’s kindness to Nastya, by inviting her to Sunday dinner was a real golden lining in Nastya’s world. She is so submerged in pain and rage and anger at what another human being did to her, that she found it hard at first to accept the selfless generosity and kindness that the Leighton’s gave her.
Nastya’s relationship with Josh was such a beautiful journey that had me crying, smiling, laughing, sobbing and just generally an emotional wreck. Their connection because of the trials of their past was heartbreaking, and it was wonderful to see how they both opened up to each other in ways that they couldn’t to anyone else.
“There’s no reason to keep hiding in the bathroom. Hide here. There’s a force field, you know.” He lowers his voice when he says it, like he’s telling me a secret and then just barely hints at a smile that no one but me would catch before he puts it away and sobers, adding quietly, “No one will bother you.”
There story was a rollercoaster ride, but one that had true meaning in its ups and downs. The scenes when we saw them together, when in Josh’s garage, eating ice cream, wishing with pennies at the fountain, was perfection. Even the scenes when they are arguing or furious with each other, I never felt that it was uncalled for. Everything was placed perfectly.
Let’s just say that after reading such utter perfection, I put my Kindle down and had a long cathartic sob. It was such an incredible piece of writing that took me on a wonderful journey through the highs and lows of life and reminded me to be lucky for what I have, and to never take advantage of it.
And the ending line, wow! Let’s just say that summed up the whole novel in two words. Go and read it to find out what those words were.
A stunning piece of perfection is the only way I can describe this book. I can’t wait for it to be released in Paperback, because this is definitely one that I will be rereading for the rest of my life.
It seems kind of devastating that I can only rate this 5 Stars! In a perfect world, with a scale of 1 to 100 stars, this would rate at 100.