Sunday, July 28, 2013

Sea of Tranquility

The Sea of Tranquility
Sea of Tranquility by Katja Millay
Click here for the author's Goodreads Page
Goodreads Summary: 
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 received this book on NetGalley from Atria Books. All opinions are my own. The Kindle price is currently set at $7.59 on Amazon (7/27/13).

My thoughts:

Oh man. This will be a tough review for me. My thoughts are in jumble of awesomeness and all I can think is: Yes. I likey.I want to first note that with 17k+ ratings on Goodreads, the average rating stands at 4.57. It isn't just me that fell in love with this unexpected book.

Sea of Tranquility is a freshman novel from Katja Millay. She poured blood, sweat, and tears into this novel. The story is truly fascinating and I encourage you to read it HERE. Millay comes bursting out the gates with her "A" game. The writing is beautiful and precise, creating words that quietly worm into your heart to nest.

Nastya is a 17 year old struggling to live after being murdered. Her brutal attack was random and she isn't supposed to remember it. But she does. The day she remembers she chooses not to talk, so the words won't slip past her tongue. Nastya moves away from her parent's house to live with her aunt in a new town and a new school. There, she meets Josh Bennett, a boy surrounded by an invisible force field that no one is willing to penetrate. Josh struggles with his own world of hurt and loneliness, a world surrounded by death. Slowly, the two meet and come together struggling with their everyday pains side by side. They build a companionship based on mutual understanding and trust, giving each other, and thus the reader, glimpses into their true selves. Soon, they need each other just to heal, but fear and self loathing keeps them both at a distance.
“I know at that moment what he's given me and it isn't a chair. It's an invitation, a welcome, the knowledge that I am accepted here. He hasn't given me a place to sit. He's given me a place to belong.”
I felt that this was not your typical contemporary YA read. Some readers have called it New Adult, but I still struggle justifying that as a genre so I can't agree. To be clear, Sea of Tranquility does contain adult situation, language, drinking, and drug references. These instances didn't bother me as much as usual. I hardly noticed them in fact because Millay makes them apart of the background and not center stage like a lot of novels.

I had no idea where this book was going to take me when I started. At first I was annoyed by the over mysteriousness of it, but then the author gives you a glimpse of the damage in both Josh and Nastya, and it is all I needed to hook me in. The story goes back and forth between Josh and Nastya's POV, with just a little too much Josh towards the end. As I was reading I had no clue where Katja Millay was going to take me. I was pure putty in her hands. What there going to be a romance? If so, with who? Would Nastya ever be okay? Would Josh ever be okay? Would she ever be reconciled with her parents? Will this book ever end happy?? SO MANY QUESTIONS!

My one regret with this novel was not being able to read it as quickly as I wanted to. I had to do crazy things like shower and socialize.

5 stars for Sea of Tranquility. I recommend it to everyone looking for an emotionally charged novel about experiencing friendship through pain. At 448 pages though, I would not recommend reading it on your phone. Whew!

Lastly, I want to say a very public THANK YOU to Atria Books for offering this gem on NetGalley, and for my lucky sense for requesting it! Just on a whim I discovered my favorite book of the year.

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