Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Book Review: The Sea of Tranquility by: Katja Millay.

Author: Katja Millay
Release Date: June 4 2013
Publisher: Dutton Children's
Page Count: 448
Source: Netgalley
Rating: ★★★★★ 

 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
- GoodReads

The Sea of Tranquility – how more perfect of a title could you fathom about a girl who doesn’t talk? I know that isn’t where the title comes from and that it is actually talked about in the story but I just thought it was extremely fitting.

The first paragraph of the book is intense. If that doesn’t draw you in I don’t know what else would. To be honest it scared me a little bit. I was afraid this book was going to be all darkness and no light. Man was I wrong.

When the book opens all we know about Nastya is that a tragic event has taken from her everything she loved and left her with a severe enough hand injury that it will never work the same. We learn that since the incident Nastya has stopped talking and moved in with her Aunt Margot.

Enter Josh Bennett – steel-toed boot wearing, Angel of Death to most people. Josh is the last person Nastya thinks will save her from herself but when she wanders into his garage lost after a long run she finds something familiar about it and a feeling that she will most definitely be returning to feel again.

Nastya is a sassy character and I love that about her. Her inner dialogue really drove the story home. She collects names! How cool is that? It was interesting to watch the new people she was encountering start to chip away at the icy exterior she has created around herself.

I would totally date Josh Bennett. Who doesn't love the strong silent type? I found myself looking forward to his short POV interludes. He was such a warm character despite all the things he has had to deal with throughout his life. I just wanted to hug him and tell him that it was going to be ok.
I adore Josh and Nastya’s relationship and think it is completely necessary, but the relationship that surprised me the most was the one that develops between our heronine and Drew – Josh’s cocky-one night stand loving-best friend. Drew and Nastya grow together over the course of the book and bring things out in one another that the other didn’t think was possible.

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