Review: The Sea of Tranquility by Katja Millay

The Sea of Tranquility by Katja Millay
Release Date: November 13, 2012
Publisher:  Atria Books
Pages: 448
Source:  NetGalley

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.


Review: Where do you start a review on a book that is so powerfully written? A book that helps heal? Not very often do you come across a story that takes your heart and rips it right out of your chest. One that is so deep that you feel the raw emotions of the characters that hold you in their grasp until the very end. A story that takes the harshness of the world, the horror, the imperfections; showing us that if we are strong enough to survive we can find hope and love. It gives us our dreams along with a second chance.

The relationship between Josh and Nastya builds slowing. Both loners both have had much tragedy in their young lives. Josh proves to be a very special seventeen year old boy showing that he survives in spite of all that life has thrown at him. Even though he is quiet he is very protective, caring and respectful of the boundaries that Nastya has set up. Nastya on the other hand just longs for a friendship no questions asked. One where she can keep the secrets from the past hidden.

As this friendship grows into more it is like two old souls sharing a lifetime of tragedy with each other. Once in a while a book comes along that captures you heart and for me this is that book. Even though it is a young adult book it is one that spans and speaks to those of all ages. Having worked in the school system for a number of years I would have loved to have had this book while talking to the many young people that came to me with their problems. If my boys were readers had this book been around I would have made them read it, I still just might do that. I went through some tough times during my younger years also. While reading this book it touched those dark areas for me giving me the chance to bring them out and heal. Wow! Is all I can say…? This is a book that everyone needs to buy and keep on their shelf after reading. Ms. Millay has an emotional story full of cathartic healing elements. A must have for everyone. A keeper for everyone. I only wish I would have come across this earlier.

Favorite Quote: “Dying isn’t so bad after you’ve done it once. And I have. I’m not afraid of death anymore. I’m afraid of everything else.”