Review - Sea of Tranquility by Katja Millay


Sea of Tranquility by Katja Millay
Publication Date: November 13, 2012
Publisher: Atria Books
Page Count: 380 pages

Summary: 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.

I picked up this book with excitement because I saw so many good things being said about it, and that is always a reason to try a book out. I started it with certain expectations and it turned out to be a complete 180 in regards to these expectations. Sea of Tranquility is a story about two lonely teenagers who've each had their own tragedies to survive through before they've even had time to grow up. Nastya is still closed off and angry after a brutal incident took away something that was more important to her than her life. Josh is floating through life convinced that being alone is his only option after everyone he loves dies. Things change when Nastya is enrolled at his school.

This one started off slow for me. There was so much inner dialogue in the beginning and it was a bit harder to work through, but it was still good and I was too curious about Nastya and Josh to skim or flounce. Both of them are almost emotionless or numb in the beginning, and it was another tough thing to push through. However, their interactions and all the little scenarios that gradually morphed into more important feelings and moments were exciting and had me on the edge.

Drew, on the other hand, kept interrupting the excitement. I'm glad he ended up caring about Nastya but all the playing around he did was annoying and had me frustrated on more than one occasion. One of my favorite moments, though, was between him and his sister when she exploded on him with some kind of wake up call. I like that it showed he cared, and we did get to see his growth on the sideline along with Nastya's and Josh's.

Nastya's tragedy was more complicated and random than I expected—even if she said it herself in the story. My mind couldn't conjure up something as brutal as the truth. And the emotions and problems that Josh had to work through himself, seemed to correlate so smoothly with everything going on in Nastya's world. While her family struggled when it came to coping with what happened to her and her feelings since that horrible day, I wasn't fond of the birthday scene. Such an unnecessary ambush.

The very last page though....insane. I don't even think I can put into words how that last scene made me feel but it was delightfully amazing.