Monday, May 6, 2013

The Sea of Tranquility by Katja Millay

The Sea of TranquilityAuthor: Katja Millay
Publication: June 4, 2013
By: Atria 
4.5 Stars!

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.

All Josh Bennett wants is to be left alone, and everyone allows it because they all know his story: each person he loved was taken from his life until at seventeen years old there was no one left. When your name is synonymous with death, people tend to give you your space.

Everyone except Nastya, a new girl in town who 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 a mystery 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.

Thank you Netgalley and Atria books for this ARC.

What I Loved: It's not often that a book leaves me at a loss for words, but this one did. I read it fairly quickly although I wouldn't classify it as a "fast read" because if you skip over any part then you'll miss vital pieces of this story which is as complex and beautiful as it's characters.  Nastya and Josh are unique and an interesting mix of strength and vulnerability.  Both are broken in ways that most people can't begin to fathom but it's in that shared loss they're able to connect and help each other.

Perceptions and first impressions play a key role in this story but once the characters begin to reveal themselves it becomes obvious how misconstrued those impressions are.

My first impressions:
Natsya - Angrypants
Josh - Untouchable
Drew - Captain Inappropriate

Lasting Impressions:
Natsya - Strong
Josh -  Unconditional love
Drew - Loyal (He could totally be my BFF!)
Drew's Mom - What to strive for.

What Left Me Wanting: The cover snob in me says this one does not do this book justice even though it does show elements that tie into the story. Pacing was a little slow in the beginning for me and it seemed to take forever before there was any kissing. 

Final Verdict: Gritty, heart-wrenching, beautiful story of love, forgiveness and second chances. Read it.

Favorite Quote(s):
"He hasn't given me a place to sit. He's given me a place to belong." ~ Nastya

"I imagine she came out of the birth canal holding a cupcake and a spatula." ~ Josh

Review also posted at YABC


  1. This was my most favorite read of last year. Glad you enjoyed it!

  2. Really glad you enjoyed this one, Jen! I think it's so neat that you gave us a contrast of your first and lasting impressions of the characters. Isn't it so fascinating how sometimes we think one thing about characters, then our opinions of them totally change?

    Molli | Once Upon a Prologue