Monday, September 2, 2013

The Sea of Tranquility by Katja Millay

Title:  The Sea of Tranquility
Author: Katja Millay
My Rating: A

Genre: YA Contemporary Romance 
Series: -
Release Date: November 2012
Main Characters: Nastya and Josh
Publisher: Atria
Links to Purchase:
Sexual Intensity: spicy

Story Overview:
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.

My Review:
I should probably preface this review with the fact that I don't read a whole lot of YA, so I am not sure how this book truly rates among other YA books, but as simply a reader, I loved it.

This book features two teens who are really tragic figures. They are both seventeen and Seniors in high school. For Josh, every single person in his family has died. He's basically on his own with only the light support of his best friend's family as emotional support. He's financially stable after a settlement from the wrongful death of his sister and mother in a car accident when he was 8. He's a pretty stable guy who's pretty much a loner. The exception to this is his friend, Drew, and his family. As the new girl in school, Nastya observes that it's like he has his own personal force field (which she would love to steal) and every one stays far away from him. Josh has learned to not get close to anyone.

Nastya is a much more mysterious character in the book. As a reader, you know something horribly tragic happened to her two years ago. She no longer talks and has built up HUGE walls around her to keep people away. For me, so much of my obsession with this book is trying to figure out and wanting to know exactly what happened to her. It's never fully revealed until the very end of the book and made the book one full of anticipation and suspense.

This book was amazing. If you like books filled with angst, heartache, and emotion, this is a book that you will love. There are also really humorous moments .... usually provided by friend Drew, whom I loved just purely for his mischievous ability to lighten a moment. He truly loves both Josh and Nastya and when they have problems, it seems to hurt him just as much. I loved what he added to the story, although the story is incredibly rich without those light moments with Drew.

You can't help but hurt for both these characters. They've both experienced so much heartache during their very young lives. As a result, they've truly shut themselves off from others...not willing to put themselves out there to be hurt again. That's why this book is so amazing when they begin to develop feelings for one another. Watching their friendship and relationship develop is filled with hope, but you realize how young they are when things get rocky. 

I started out listening to this book as an audiobook (and honestly, ADORED the book on audio as the dual narrators of the audiobook were AMAZING), but couldn't stand not to finish the book as soon as possible. By the 20-25% mark, I was pulling out the book so I could scramble to read it as fast as possible. It was that good. The book is told in 1st person POV, but that POV switched between Josh and Nastya. I LOVED THAT!! I never would have considered doing a book 1st person POV with switching POV's, but it really, really worked for this book! And it should be noted that in the audiobook, there are actually 2 narrators...a  male and female for the switching in the story-telling between Josh and Nastya. It was pure perfection. 

I truly loved this book. It's one that I think will stay with me a long time. The last line in the book....beautiful! I just loved everything about it. Definitely an AMAZING book! I HIGHLY recommend it!

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