The Sea of Tranquility

Five Stars

Title: The Sea of Tranquility
Author: Katja Millay
Publisher: Atria Books
Length: 426 Pages

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.

Overall Review:

This was a beautiful and emotional book. The characters were raw and damaged, which I found refreshing. I feel like a lot of times in YA the characters are very fluffy, but these ones were written so real it hurt. It was so character-driven, which is my favorite kind of writing- so I really enjoyed this book.

This book was a slow build, which worked perfectly for the plot. It wasn’t a boring slow, but more a strategic one that let me in to the story and to the characters in a natural way. Before I knew it, my heart was pounding and I had to catch my breath. The best part is that one of the passages in the book describes EXACTLY how it made me feel.

“When you look at her what do you feel? … Joy, fear, frustration, longing, friendship, anger, need, despair, love, lust.”
“Yes, what?”
“All of it.” 

I particularly liked Nastya, who was pretty fragile and completely tough at the same time. She was smart and perceptive, even though she was sad and broken. Josh was kind of a loner, but he had the capacity to understand and protect. Between the two of them, they find a cautious romance that gets crazy heated as the story progresses.

The author has talent and it’s obvious through her words. I would love to read more of her work. She’s definitely on my must-read list!

FTC Disclaimer: I received a copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review.