Wednesday, January 2, 2013

"The Sea of Tranquility" by Katja Millay

Release Date: November 13, 2012
Publisher: Atria
Pages: 380

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.

Please Note: This book contains mature content including profanity, drug/alcohol use, and sexual situations/language."

Admittedly I had an entire review written about how I was "iffy" about this book and so on, but I deleted it. Why? Because every day since finishing this book (and writing the original review- near two months ago) I have thought about this book (and recommended it to almost everyone I know) and realized that I am in no way, shape, or form "iffy" on this book- I am entirely committed to it and then some. This book is the epitome of one of those books that sneaks up on you, ensnares you in its teeth and refuses to let go (not that you really put up much of a struggle once it does) .

In all honesty it took me a fair while to become wholly invested in this novel- I found that the first forty percent of the book dragged its feet, the plot kicking and screaming the entire way, with the characters sloooooowly introducing themselves to us, their histories, their world, and so forth. However, once I hit the 40% mark, and the characters really revealed themselves to us and there was a change in Josh and Nastya's relationship- going from the strange (sometimes bordering on creepy) girl who randomly shows up one day and the boy with a force field of death surrounding him- to friends (and eventually beyond), I was HOOKED. However, after finishing this book and thinking about it I realize that the original 40%, however slow it may have been, was necessary- the build-up is quite unlike any other I have ever experienced before.

When I think about this novel the two elements which jump to mind first are the characters and the romance- both which are flawed beyond belief, but both which work. Nastya, who has as many layers of emotion and depth as she does of make-up on her face, Josh, who is the break in the storm  clouds, revealing the sunshine, and Drew, who despite his playerish ways brings a child-like innocence to the book. The romance being one of the best I have ever encountered before- the progression from strangers, to friends, to confidants, to boyfriend/ girlfriend (the closest romance that I have every encountered before is that of Jay and Vi in Kimberly Derting's "The Body Finder" series).

All in all, I don't think that I can ever do this book justice in a review. All I can say is that this is a book that I will visit time and time again (and never tire of). I recommend this book to everyone, even those who are not fans of contemporary as this book can (and WILL) convert them.

Rating: 5/5 


  1. Loveeeeee. I really need to re-read this one, because I really can't remember the last time I was so touched by a book -- the prose, the characters individually, the romance, and holy crap that last line!

  2. Great review! I really want to check this one out now - especially because I love books that you slowly fall in love with, without realizing you've done so while reading. It sounds like a really complex romance, which I appreciate!

  3. I have this one coming up for review. I'm glad that you ended up liking it despite the slow start. Yep, need to get to it soon!

  4. I am so glad I read your review of this. I have an ARC, but have been totally dragging my feet getting to it, because I wasn't sure how I was going to feel about it. I figured it would be iffy for me. Now I'm really excited to read and because of your warning about getting to the 40% mark I won't DNF it. Great review!

    Jesse @ Pretty In Fiction

  5. I have such amazing reviews for this. I'm going to have add this one and see if I can find it. Wonderful review.

    Jenea @ Books Live Forever


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