Saturday, July 2, 2016

The Sea of Tranquility by Katja Millay

Rating: 5 stars
Date published: November 13, 2012
Genre: Contemporary Romance

Synopsis 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.
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 am honestly sad that I have not read The Sea of Tranquility before now. I've seen it so many times in the past few years and it's been on my to-read list this entire time, but I didn't take the plunge and pick it up until I saw a sale for it on Amazon Kindle. I actually ended up getting my copy from the library, but I might just have to get the ebook too, because I really loved The Sea of Tranquility. In a sea of contemporary romance novels (no pun intended), this one really stands out. It's not your typical story, which is why I never wanted to put it down while I was reading it.

Nastya moves in with her aunt Margot and starts attending the school there, for reasons we don't find out until later in the book. She doesn't talk, which makes this quite the interesting read. People talk to her, but sometimes it was a little annoying that she wouldn't talk to anyone for a good portion of the book. She goes to school, she bakes, and she runs. It isn't long before she finds herself pulled into the orbit of best friends Josh Bennett and Drew Leighton. There's no love triangle there; just friendship with Drew and a budding romance with Josh in his garage.

The way The Sea of Tranquility was told reminded me a lot of a Sarah Dessen novel. It was quite obvious this was a romance novel - the attraction and chemistry were there - but it was a lot more than just your average romance novel. The build up of Nastya and Josh's relationship was a slow one. They were friends first, lovers later. Millay took a significant portion of the novel just getting to know bits and pieces of each other and falling into habits. It felt a lot like they were dating without the sexual stuff or the label.

Another reason The Sea of Tranquility was more than just your average romance novel is because it's not just a romance novel. At its heart, it's about a girl moving past something terrible happening to her. Nastya tells you at the very beginning that someone killed her. It's easy to assume even from the first section that something incredibly bad has happened to her, something that has led her to not want to talk to anyone ever. Just don't expect answers so soon, because Millay was a little to good at withholding the truth from us readers.

Nastya was my favorite character in The Sea of Tranquility. She felt so incredibly real. She's very messed up, running hard, sometimes until she vomits, and not being able to come to terms with what happened to her. She refuses to talk to anyone about it. Even when she starts talking, she can't bring herself to tell anyone what happened.

My favorite part of The Sea of Tranquility was the ending. It ended so perfectly and in a way that gave me so many feels. I don't want to spoil the ending or any other sections of the book so I'll just end this review with this: The Sea of Tranquility was a great read, one I would happily read again in the future. It has so many good ratings and for good reason; it deserves them.


  1. Oo definitely need to move this up on my to read list!

  2. Oo definitely need to move this up on my to read list!