The Sea of Tranquility
By Katja Millay
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 learning about 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.
Katja gifted her book to me a couple of weeks ago after we met in a book group on Facebook. I was captivated by the synopsis, and although I wanted to read it right away, I couldn't. I knew just based on what I had been told by those who had read it before me that this was a book that I would need to actually sit down for. Now normally, I don't listen to all of that, but something inside of me knew that I should heed their warnings. So, I did. I waited until I was finished with the 2 books I had ahead of it, and I picked up Katja's book last night.
I desperately wanted to pull an all nighter with it, because by the time I hit 50%, I was entranced. But alas, sleep hailed and I gave in. I finished today after many an interruption and I can't even begin to tell you how much I enjoyed this book. I believe I spent a good majority of it updating Katja on my progress via Facebook and asking her things like "Can I slap Nastya?" or "Does the pain ever stop?". I wasn't ready for this book to end, but like all good things, it had to end at some point. I must confess though that once I read the final word, I was filled with a sense of peace, the likes of which I haven't felt at the end of a book in a while.
I think what brings the book into the forefront is the fact that it even though it's YA, it isn't cookie cutter and that is exactly what I love so much about it. It is truly unique, and very much a one of a kind. The fact that it's heart-wrenching while at the same time uplifting sets it apart from any other YA book I've read, and I have read a lot of them.
This is truly a book you won't want to miss, because you see, it's about a broken girl and equally broken boy. Neither wants the other, and they're perfectly unaware that they're even falling in love with one another, while every single person around them isn't so blinded by the pain the two of them live with as they are. If I could have a book boy, I'd ask for Josh Bennett. Which is saying A LOT because I haven't veered from Maddon (Forever Changed by Tiffany King) even once.
I can't tell you too many times to read this book. Read it, you'll love it. And if you don't, then you obviously read the wrong book, because I can't see how you couldn't love this book.