Books, YA Fiction

The Sea Of Tranquility, by Katja Millay


Rating: 4.25 stars

“There are so many things that can break you if there’s nothing to hold you together.”

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’m a bit mixed about this, but I have to say I loved it anyway.

The starting of this book was great; we are introduced to snarky protagonists, a setting, and captivating writing. I wanted to find out Nastya’s motivation for doing the things she did, and also what happened to Josh. I felt like the high school setting was a bit overused, and of course, there were stereotypes. I think I would appreciate the book more if the characters spent more time outside of school, not discussing things like drinking, partying, and sex. So many teenagers in books are constantly doing this, and right now I just want an innocent-esque book, that focuses on humor and character development. Most of the middle section of the book, I got bored with. Josh and Nastya’s meetings were cute, but also tedious, and nothing really happened. Nastya kept whining about what happened to her, but we never got the chance to really find out until more than 3/4ths of the book. I kind of felt bad for Josh because he had keep up with all her cryptic crap.

The characters made and destroyed the book for me. I loved Nastya at first; she was snarky, witty, and wasn’t afraid to speak her mind(er, think her mind :D). Over time, she got really frustrating. I couldn’t figure her motivation for anything, why she dressed provocatively, why she agreed to go to those god-awful parties, why she even hung out with Josh. I also didn’t understand how everyone seemed to love her, even when she glared at everyone, never smiled, never said a word, and was scantily clad. Everyone thought she was freaking perfect, and it was so hard to keep up with her mysterious crap, I even considered abandoning the book. By the end, I still didn’t understand why she did the things she did, but, I ended up liking her and even identifying with her. You might have not experienced what she has, but I think everyone can relate somehow with how Nastya felt sometime in your life, lonely, hopeless, and plain sad.

Josh was a bit easier to like. I admired his attitude, and loved his humor and wit. Josh seemed to be written well, his thoughts were realistic, heartbreaking, and so jumbled and messed up. Major character development, with not only him, but the other characters as well. I especially liked Drew. He was your stereotypical man-whore at first, but by the end, Millay showed his actual character, and you eventually end up wanting to give him a hug. I think he was written the best, you can actually understand his conflict and emotions.

The romance was so standard and cheesy, but very entertaining. Although it was annoying at first (“sunshine” ;)), it eventually turned out to be so interesting and dramatic. I hated it but I couldn’t stop reading.

I think this book would make a really good teen dramedy. It’s buzzing with emotion, and minute is intense and heart-breaking. I would definitely recommend this to fans of issue-ridden MCs, and just tearjerkers in general. You might hate it at times, and you might love it at times, but I guarantee you, you will probably love it at the end.

This review can also be found on my Goodreads. 



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