The Sea of Tranquility by Katja Millay

Book description via Amazon:

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.

Content Warning: This book contains mature themes and subject matter including profanity, drug/alcohol use, and sexual situations/language.

I am completely blown away by this book. This has definitely made it to my favorites list and I think it has the top spot. It was so beautifully and emotionally written, I could feel the pain, the anger, the sadness–just everything. It conjured up emotions I didn’t know I could feel.

Nastya (NAH-stee-ya) has a heavily damaged soul due to a tragic past and she doesn’t want anyone in this new town to know anything about her or her past. She doesn’t speak, she hides who she used to be behind revealing clothes and dark make-up. She comes off as badass; girls don’t like her, guys just want to do her, and the majority of everyone is afraid of her. Josh is pretty damn badass himself. He has an equally damaged soul and everyone stays away from him as if he’s surrounded by a force field. But somehow Nastya breaks through that force field. The more time they spend together, the deeper things get, but how long can any kind of relationship, whether friends or lovers, withstand secrets?

The alternating POV’s between Nastya and Josh contributed a great deal to the rawness of the story. We get more than just a glimpse into the mind of two damaged souls. It’s not a happy read full of sunshine and lollipops. There are no hot, throw-me-around type of sex scenes. There are no proposals or pregnancies, or even pregnancy scares. This book is the farthest from your typical romance novel, yet it’s not all angst and sadness. The only word I can think of that would best describe this story? REAL. It was real. What I mean by that is though the story line is just that–a story–it feels real. Somehow I felt like I was inside of their heads. The author commands real, raw emotions from her readers, and that is definitely what she got from me.

I haven’t done much research on Katja Millay but I am hoping that there is a sequel. I can’t stand not ever reading more about Nastya and Josh. I need to know what the future holds for them because I have to know how the universe will make up for the shittiness that is their pasts.

Categories: Book Reviews, Favorites | Tags: , , , | 4 Comments

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4 thoughts on “The Sea of Tranquility by Katja Millay

  1. One of my all time favorite books!!! It’s brilliant! 🙂

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