The Sea of Tranquility
by Katja Millay
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.
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Source: I purchased a paperback from an independent bookstore.
The Sea of Tranquility was such a good book. It was captivating. I loved the characters, the mystery surrounding both Nastya and Josh, and I enjoyed seeing their day to day lives unfold from both of their perspectives. It’s hard to write a review without spoiling anything.
This book surprised the hell out of me multiple times. In the beginning, a major thing was revealed that made my jaw drop and I had to actually go back through the pages to see how on earth I could have missed something so big. But I did. I loved that the author planned her reveals like that to surprise the readers, even once we’ve been inside of the character’s heads for awhile.
It’s amazing how much time I spent in Nastya’s head as she narrated her sides of the story, but I still knew so little about her. The author gave just enough to way to make me feel like I was really getting to know her without making her an open book who was predictable. The same went for Josh’s character as well, though we learned about the things plaguing him from the beginning. While Nastya and Josh had a strange way of looking at the world and could be two of the world’s very worst downers, I still felt hopeful and I wanted to watch their story unfold. Would they find hope in each other? Would something terrible happen? How would it all end?
I think The Sea of Tranquility is one of the most unique contemporary romances I’ve read. It was not predictable at all. I loved the main characters, despite my annoyance at how frustrating Nastya could be. I loved the side characters. Drew and his family were constant sources of humor. Nastya’s family was likeable, but my feelings were often skewed by Nastya’s annoyance and frustration with them. But every character mattered to the story and to the main characters and I think that’s what made the book so great. It wasn’t just about the main characters. It was about everything and everyone.
It’s hard to say more because I do not want to spoil anything. Some of the elements of the plot were completely unpredictable and they hit me like a brick, but others I saw coming at some point. Still, the entire novel was revealed in a very intelligent and captivating way. Each page turned was another layer peeled. Like Josh, I wanted to unravel the mysteries of Nastya and heal her. Like Nastya, I found comfort in Josh and his garage.
The Sea of Tranquility is a must for any contemporary fan, but I’d also recommend it to those who don’t always love contemporary books. It’s not quirky like a lot of popular contemporary romances. It’s deep, complicated, and has enough mystery to keep you guessing and keep you on your toes. It’s a good enough story to outshine a lot of books in the genre and it’s probably a favorite for me now.
On the cover, did you see the ice cream or the faces? Someone asked me that and I see the faces. I had to look hard to see the ice cream, but I think most people are the other way around. I love that cover!
Labels: contemporary, New Adult, romance