Book Review: The Sea of Tranquility by Katja Millay

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The Sea of Tranquility by Katja Millay

RATINGS: ★★★★★

GENRE: Young Adult

PUBLISHER: Atria Books; Reprint edition (June 4, 2013)


PURCHASE: kindle | paperback

Blurb: 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. (Provided by Goodreads)


Apologies for my initial reaction.

I think I just couldn’t forgive myself for reading this and hating it afterwards. And it would be ironic that I gave this 5 stars and starting this review by telling you how this book pissed me off more than it already has.

It’s understandable that this book is slow building, but it is to much for a slow build. I could’ve stopped reading this if not for the high ratings, my friends incredible reviews and if not for the story. Well hell, why do we read books anyway, it’s because of the story. So now I wanna say my apologies if my review won’t give enough justice this book deserves.

Let’s all talk about the things that pissed me off- First, The characters aren’t perfect especially Nastya (nas-tee-ya) Kashnikov. I don’t get the point why every female character seems fine with their issues and ugly past haunting them and okay settling to it. We are all familiar with chick-lit novels, female struggling from womanhood, fleeing away from their town to find answers to their questions and to just find missing pieces of their lives. They do that by hiding their identity, covering up the mess they made by changing into the person they never thought they will be, by bumping in to a handsome guy that will change their outlook in life forever but then take it for granted later on. That is the thing I’ve been struggling to write down after reading the longest part of Nastya’s mysterious past. I don’t get why girls used to settling themselves believing that it’s okay to screw up more because they screw things already anyway, why not make it even worse? And I don’t get the fact that most of female characters in books find solace in putting themselves in trouble because they think that will be easier to find real answers than in the right way, ugh, well talk about Nastya. Having a terrifying and scary-to-death past is not an excuse for not letting people in in your life. What I noticed in her character–while scrutinizing i–was she wasn’t seeking for help at all and she also didn’t believe that there will be a way for people to fix her, but she should’ve considered those people around her trying to get down through her deepest thoughts just to know her, if not help her. But then she just got impulsive and screwed things up and people around her were the ones who suffered; and again our female character is just feeling sorry because she’s dysfunctional and she has disappointed people around her for the second time. I AM SO TIRED OF THAT CYCLE!- another thing that I don’t understand is that why the male characters Drew and Josh are the ones who faced the consequences for Nastya’s actions,I don’t get that turn. I mean you can’t be feminist and hate male domination and blame everything to them just to put what you called ‘twist’ in every turn of pages(talking to myself). I hate seeing characters feeling sorry for the actions they are not responsible for. And the last thing I could hate on Nastya’s character is the never-ending fact that a her character is capable of rational thinking but still chooses to be impulsive and do the irritating stuff and feels sorry for it later. And what comes after that, she isolated herself, people got worried about her, people started feeling bad for themselves and then she’ll come back because she thought that she found who she is and she finally realized that it was her fault all along and she shouldn’t have done such things. OKAY

Moving on……

BUT I LOVE THIS BOOK, despite of the flaws, I know that you’re kinda sorta surprised that I gave this 5 stars and started my review with telling how the book pissed me off to death. But true story, that’s just what Nastya’s character did all along to me, even though I tried to make myself believe that I will love her character after reading this, but I was halfway finishing this and I still didn’t get the chance to.But I just love how this book told about two miserable and damaged worlds collide.

Admittedly, I fell asleep last night reading this because of the slow pace, but again if it wasn’t for the story, the story really kept me on the edge of my seat. I think I was sixty percent done but my mind was still filled with unanswered questions; as I get near the ending the more intriguing the book gets, It only made me itch to finish the hell out of this and find out what really happened. I’m kind of thankful that this was told by both Nastya’s and Josh’s POV, at least that one helped. I couldn’t imagine how bland this book will turn out if it’s only Nastya’s POV. I didn’t say I hoped for that. But I don’t want to sound one-sided, I do get that Nastya’s POV should be told that way, that is how the author wants her perspective to be like, it’s just me who kinda disliked it 🙂

I love Josh’s character, I found balance with the characters between Nastya’s and his. They are both miserable, antisocial and love to do things their own. Josh is level headed, he is not the type of guy who will just feel sorry for themselves right away because they failed the duty of protecting the girl they think they’re falling in love with. He’s the guy who would prioritize first the very thing a guy will be thinking of after having a hard day (sex) and then face the repercussions afterwards- REALISTIC- c’mon it’s a male thing. At least Josh didn’t meet half of my expectations that if the female character has issue it is automatic that the male will be the one helping all along, but not Josh (even though in the end he was proved to be Nastya’s Salvation) he gave her space and time and he didn’t push too deep, and I guess that is the right blending.

Drew- well I thought he will be the third wheel but I was wrong. I don’t know why I always think of that? anyway, he had that huge impact to me. He was vital for two planets bending to each other, Nastya and Josh. His playful character is never a headache for me, it isn’t too much for a guy like him with a reputation, he’s playing it cool all along with Nastya and also honest to Josh.

All in all I love this book; the kind of feeling that this book gave to me is indescribable and unexplainable. There is no way I can put enough into words what this book has made me feel. The kind of feeling when you hear your favorite songs just come out of nowhere and then you go ballistic already. I just can’t accept that this was more of Nastya’s story (inner fangirl screaming more of Josh) and now I am yearning for more of them, because one second they are perfect and plain and then they’ll get all messed up; but for me they are perfect, they are even beyond that. As I read the book, I get why it was Sea of Tranquility and why it was an Ice cream on the cover; and I am smiling right now like an idiot.

I recommend this read to you guys, this is not that steamy but the story will really hook you up. I can say that this is one of the best around and the slowest building I have read yet. Just a piece of advice, be patient and keep in mind that when you’re on the apex of being pissed to death that’s when you will realize that the real story is just about to happen.


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