Friday, August 2, 2013

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.

Two and a half years after an unspeakable tragedy left her a shadow of the girl she once was, Nastya Kashnikov moves to a new town determined to keep her dark past hidden and hold everyone at a distance. But her plans only last so long before she finds herself inexplicably drawn to the one person as isolated as herself: Josh Bennett.

Josh’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. When your name is synonymous with death, everyone tends to give you your space. Everyone except Nastya who won’t go away until she’s insinuated herself into every aspect of his life. But as the undeniable pull between them intensifies, 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 didn't know what to expect when I picked up this book....and after reading it through a second time. I'm still not sure exactly what I think of it. It's not fun or funny. It's not action packed. It's not overly sexy. It's none of the stereotypical things that sell a novel. What it is, is a beautiful story of hope & healing.

We meet two characters who are completely shattered. Nastya has literally been broken....covered in scars & left with a hand that doesn't quite work...and a voice that she chooses not to use. For most of the book, we aren't sure what happened to her other than that she blames a boy...and wants to kill him for killing her....which is more than the other characters know. Josh is emotionally broken. Everyone he has ever loved has died, and he has shut himself off from getting close to anyone else. They've each worked so hard to be invisible, but once they see each other they can't hide anymore.

An additional selling point was that the minor characters were written with depth and realism, specifically Drew, who adds a lighthearted element without it feeling like forced comic relief.

I couldn't put this book down either time that I read it. It seeps into some part of you & holds on. I loved how innocent it was. It wasn't focused on them getting together. It was more about how they find themselves through being seen by the other. It's a beautifully written debut novel, and I can't wait to see what Katja Millay writes next.

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