Thursday, January 3, 2013

Review: The Sea of Tranquility by Katja Millay

Title: The Sea of Tranquility
Author: Katja Millay
Published: September 5th 2012
Add It: Goodreads
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | TBD
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.
That’s it! I’m done with all of these issue books for a while. They’ve torn me into pieces and I just need to read something light, fun – contemporary, paranormal, sci-fi, fantasy, dystopia – whatever, as long as it’s not that emotional. Gosh *shuddering*, I’m still thinking about it. How messed up was that book? It’s a story about two broken people who are trying to cope with their pain, memories, existence, but don’t even think about fixing things, because when you’re that broken, is there anything left to fix at all?

Thankfully it’s a short ride, because loud sounds make me edgy. It’s not the sound itself that bothers me; it’s just the fact that it’s loud. The loud sounds make it impossible to hear the soft ones and the soft sounds are the ones you have to be afraid of. I can handle it now because we’re in a car, and I usually feel safe in cars. Outside is a different story. I never feel safe outside.

Nastya has a thing for names and their meanings. Hers defines not just her, but her life now. (I found the name thing to be one my favorite attributes of her.) As much as I wanted to find irritable things about her, I couldn’t. She’s just so broken and vulnerable underneath that barricade she’s built to keep people out, because she doesn’t want to disappoint people who love her. Maybe that’s the reason she doesn’t believe in love. Love doesn’t equal the word heal, because you may love and love and love, but it still won’t fix anything. Not when the girl everyone loves is dead.

Josh’s name means something beautiful and powerful. Even if he doesn’t agree, I still think it fits him perfectly – the name and the meaning. He has a wall built up against the world, just as Nastya. Somewhere, in the middle of all of this heartache, silence and solitude, they become friends and maybe, just maybe there’s room for something more. It’s beautiful. It’s disastrous. I felt like I was there: living, breathing, aching with them.

The best part of this novel was that we got to follow Nastya and Josh on their journey of healing, but that wasn't the only thing Millay also achieved in. We saw a family fallen to pieces and trying to sew itself back together. Moreover, a boy who has somehow gotten in the middle of all that sorrow and pain, but doesn’t know how to heal the people he loves like family; who are his family. Which brings me to Drew. Drew. Drew. Drew. I love that boy to pieces! I don’t think I have ever enjoyed a side character as much as I enjoyed him – his jokes, his problems, his sorrow, his growth.

Drew pulls into my driveway just after midnight and I know immediately that no good can come of this. I put down the pencil I’ve been using to mark down measurements with and watch him get out of the car and walk towards the garage. 
“Dude, I need a favor.” 
“Of course you do.” 
“I need you to take Nastya.” Take Nastya? At first I wonder where he wants me to take her, until I glance down the driveway and see what he means. 
“What? No way.”

I don’t even know how to explain how freaking amazing this book was, because no matter what I say, it won’t ever do the justice this novel deserves. What I do know is that there’s no way in hell I’m not going to get a paperback copy of this book in addition to my already existing e-copy. I will lend it to all my non-reader friends; make them read it; make them fall in love with literature as a piece of art it is. This is truly a work of art. Ms. Katja Millay is a born artist who paints a picture so real and excruciating in front of you that you cannot help but feel like experiencing it all yourself. 100 times recommend!

PS. I'm in no way religious, but if there is someone powerful out there to make our wishes come true, then please, please let it be true that the story Katja is working on (a related story to TSoT) is a companion novel of Drew. *Does a hysterical cry and if that doesn't work than tries to flash her non-existant dimples* PLEASE!!!

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Meet the author

Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads


  1. AHHHHH I NEED TO READ THIS!!! Everyone has such good things to say about it, and I'm a huge sucker for broken characters. I'm a moth to their damaged flame every single time. Though, like you, I need to read some light and fluffy books following stories like this, otherwise all the emotional weight gets to be too much. Can't wait though!!!!

    1. You do need to read this, Jenny! These broken characters get to me every time as well. I may say I won't read a book that emotional ever again, but I always end up eating my words. They're just so freaking great and this one was so, so good!! Hope you'll enjoy it as much as I did.

  2. Oh wow I love a good issue book and this one sounds so heavy! I like that the characters were quirky but it didn't annoy you and it seemed to make sense. I think I will definitely be grabbing this one. I went on an NA buying spree this week and I think I'll add this one to the list. Fanstastic review!

    1. Theheee, it was sooooooo good! I practically bawled my eyes out while reading it. I hope you'll enjoy it if you end up reading it. This is the reason I love Mature YA/NA. And thank you, Jenni!!

  3. This review is absolutely, ABSOLUTELY perfect! I completely agree Sirtsu, I had to lay off the heavy books for a while. And Yes! I'm dying for a companion. Drew needs his own book!
    Awesome review!

    1. Well, thank you, Andrea! I loved your thoughts on it, too:) Haha, Drew must, must, must have his own book! He is so full of life and character and it'd be amazing to read something from his POV and a little something related to a girl we might know ;)

  4. I've been seeing this one going around lately but it's never truly captured my attention like your review! This sounds like SUCH an intense, emotional read! (which, we're opposites right now, because I've been reading too much of the light stuff, haha!) Just what I need right around now! The characters sound absolutely amazing too and I love how it's about a moving journey to find the answer to healing all the pain. Lovely review!!

    New Follower ^_~
    Vivian @ Vivaciously, Vivian

    1. Hi, Vivian! It was sooo intense! Ha. Well, I'm reading the Soul Screamers series and it's somewhat predictable, but I like it + Nash gives me butterflies, lol. I'm always up for some smexy time with my characters;) Thank you so much for your kind words, doll!

      Thanks for the follow! Always great to meet new people to talk books with. Followed you back, because your reviews are awesome!! :)

  5. At last, I was able to read your review! And I haven't published mine yet *fail* Wow Siiri for writing this wonderful review! I know, I've been reading too many angsty contempo recently too but I love them, even though they make my heart suffer. Haha! Glad you found TSoT as great as I did. Hee.

    1. Yay! I can't wait to read yours. This book was so incredibly good and emotional, I can't even.. Yeah. Thanks for reading mine:) *hugs*