Thursday, May 30, 2013

ARC Review: The Sea of Tranquility by Katja Milllay

The Sea of Tranquility by Katja Millay

Publisher: Atria Books
Pages: 448 Pages (Paperback)Genre: Young Adult
Release Date: June 4, 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.



How do you write a review for a book that rendered you speechless? That made you incapable of reading another book for 4days? How do you describe the depth in you it touched? Because while I stand here and review books and at times am snarky about it, let's be clear I'm not a writer. I'm not even very good with words- at least with finding my own.
So I sat and thought about The Sea of Tranquility. Waited for it's impact to blow over. And while I am going to attempt to give a classic review according to the usual criteria (plot, character-builiding, prose)- I honestly doubt I will be able to express the real reason why I gave Millay's debut novel 5Stars. Then again, isnt that how favorite books are meant to be? Those that blew you away, those that touched you somehow, those that stay with you? JUST BECAUSE you loved them. So yes, this is one of the best new releases I've read this year so far, in fact it has become one of my favorite books JUST BECAUSE.


This is not really your classic romance novel. In fact mostly it's about a group of misfits and how the end up with becoming friends. The set up for the MC are rather extreme, and I have to say, when the big show down happened- I wasn't sure how I'm going to feel about it. It's kinda the Breakfastclub meets Easy, but also so much more. While at times the plot was slow and nearly dreamlike it did suddenly all spiral to a point and the conclusion was really to my satisfaction, not a HAE if you hoping for that. More a beautiful and way more realistic conclusion to a harsh story. Millay has paced this masterfully. I was sucked in from the first word to the last.
The only thing I could find that isn't positive, is that the setting are so so extreme. The violence, the loss, the popular girls, the healthy family all of it is so crass. But then Milay masterfully took a set up that is very extreme and also kinda cliche and made it into something extremely devastating and heartbreaking but also just breathtakingly beautiful.


There are a lot of angst and anger in this book. LOADS. And i loved it. I could relate to it. See I was one of those angry kids. Not because of any terrible reason, I just was kinda lost. And Millay got that SOOOO right. We start of with meeting Nastya - and her extremley angry side.. and slowly page by page Millay shows us more about her and all the other characters. And by the end when someone asked: "what is she to you". I basically jumped with joy, when Drew answers:"Family". Somehow over course of the book the little group of misfits found themselves a space in my heart and settled in. While the entire book is told from Nastya's and Josh's POV, Millay subtly builds and carves the other characters as well. And I found it startling at the end how much I felt like I knew them and how much I cared for all of them.


I know I always yap on about how important the writing style is for me. Well, because it is. It makes or breaks a book for me. It's more important that plot or character building for me on the one hand- especially if i don't like it. But if it's fairly to my taste character-building definitely becomes more important. NOW The Sea of Tranquility would have gotten at least 3Stars from me, even if I would have hated the characters or the storyline or both. Because I seriously love the way Millay writes. Over and over I was surprised by how beautiful she writes, how accurate and how her writing managed to touch something deep within me again and again. Which is the main reason this book has wound its way into my heart!


As I said right in the beginning, writing this review was really hard. Millay had my heart in her palm and I was so sucked into the book, I simply couldn't shake it for days. My heart was broken over and over- and still at the end, with all the horror, it was put back together.
It left me pondering feelings, past and future, self-pity, hope, revenge and anger,friendship and love.
I actually was convinced this couldn't be her debut novel. And well it is! I think Millay has shown huge talent and insight. And I am desperately looking forward to what she will publish next!

ARC was provided by Publishers through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

(click on the name for more reviews of this geek)


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