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The Sea of Tranquility by Katja Millay

March 22, 2013


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 discovering 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.

*Please Note: This book contains mature content including profanity, drug/alcohol use, and sexual situations/language.

My Review:

Back in November a lovely friend of mine gifted me a book. At that time I was in a major funk and just couldn’t read at all. Flash forward four months to me slowly getting my reading mojo back and I decided to open the book and dig in. Was I prepared for what I was getting myself into? Hell No. Did I love where I would end up? You bet your sweet ass I did. I am not sure I can do this book justice with a review so I am going to do what I do best. Ramble about why I loved it.

If we had a telescope, I could show you the Sea of Tranquility.

The Sea of Tranquility starts off with an ominous prologue. One that had me opening my eyes wide and eager to turn the page. What I found in that first chapter had me hooked. Did I mention I started this book at midnight? I had to force myself to put it away and go to sleep after the first chapter and holy hell reading the first page from Josh’s POV? Yeah, we get both and I couldn’t be happier.

We know from Chapter 1 that something has happened to Nastya Kashnikov; she is angry, she is hurt and she wants revenge. Why? Who? What the hell happened? These questioned nagged at me from the beginning and I had to find out. Then…then we meet Josh Fucking Bennett. What is up with Josh and his invisible force field that keep people away from him? Why does he want to be left alone? Wait? Does he want to be left alone?

After our introductions the story begins to unfold. There is no rush in this tale. There is no telling you how you should feel. There is no need. The writing of this book is flawless, seamless and brilliant. Pages are filled with beautiful words woven together in ways that had me smiling, placing my hand on my chest, gasping, laughing and having a bad case of insta love with this book. This is a story of two individuals who have been wronged in different ways; two people who have had their world torn apart, shattered and don’t know how to put it together again so they just keep moving forward. It is told with so much emotion that it gripped me by the shirt, dragged me into it without looking back to simply ask “You with me kid?” It didn’t have to; I couldn’t put this book down if I tried. Trust me, I am writing this on 3hrs of sleep. I tried but they say you pick your battles and this was one I was more than willing to lose. Carrying luggage under my eyes seems to be a good look for me.

I think I am the one who’s disappointed. I know that she’s just a little bit less mine than she was a few minutes ago.

Without giving anything away, without taking anything from this I will tell you simply to read it. If you haven’t done so, do it now. If you have already, you must know how I feel. There is so much I want to say. SO much that I want to tell you about. The secrets, the feelings; OH MY the feelings! There were so many times that I just stopped reading, I had to put my Nook down and take a breath. Moments when Josh says, “I wanted her to see you.” or Nastya saying, “You didn’t lie.” Great Googly Moogly. A few short words and my heart is a mess. My heart, yeah it was also ripped out of my chest a few times. Lying in my bed, sobbing at 1am next to my husband who had to be at work in 5 short hours trying desperately not to wake him up but I couldn’t stop crying. I admit to being a crier but this was Charlie Brown open mouth style crying; that my friend is the sign of a good book. A great author has the capability to drag emotions from you. Make you feel what the characters are going through and I did every damn step of the way. I am still doing it as I write this, thinking about the scenes, the words…sigh.

The loud sounds make it impossible to hear the soft ones and the soft ones are the ones you have to be afraid of.

The Sea of Tranquility is a beautiful book; a book about loss, love, forgiveness, redemption, family, anger and healing. I am so happy that I read this when I did; I was in the perfect place to open up and let this story, these characters sink into my soul. They are there and aren’t leaving anytime soon.

It’s a dream about second chances. The narrator doesn’t respect the beauty of life and the world around her, so it crushes her into the ground and once she’s dead, she realizes everything she took for granted and didn’t see right in front of her while she was alive. She’s begging for another chance to live again so she can appreciate it this time.

And does she get that chance?

Star RatingStar RatingStar RatingStar RatingStar Rating

3 Comments leave one →
  1. March 22, 2013 5:38 pm

    Great review! This was one of my favorite books of last year. I definitely had the whole open mouthed crying thing going on too. Josh Fucking Bennett is one of my favorite book boyfriends.

    And is it just me or do you start a lot of books late in the night, even though you know you have to sleep?

  2. The Risqué Redhead Reads permalink
    March 22, 2013 6:03 pm

    Yes, I start them at night too. I know I have to get up early and I should go go bed but when they are this good, I just can’t stop. It’s worth it. One more chapter before bed always ends up with me finishing the book.

  3. Lucia permalink
    March 23, 2013 5:06 am

    Beautiful review Sara! I feel the same about this book.

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