Title: The Sea of Tranquility (goodreads/Amazon)
Author: Katja Millay
Published on Kindle: November 13th 2012 by Atria Books
Expected paperback publication: June 4th 2013 by Atria Books
Source: Copy sent by the publisher for an honest review
"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."
First line: "I hate my left hand."
Thoughts: I cannot even begin to tell you how much THE SEA OF TRANQUILITY tore me apart, ripped me open only to mend me and tear me up again. How can I even begin to describe a book with so much intensity and soul? Honestly, I still don't know if I can. Heck, I've been working on this review for over a month and still don't know where to start. To start, I just want to warn you that this book will make you cry and make your heart ache, but you are going to love every single minute of it!
The story is told from both Nastya and Josh's point of view. As a fan of alternating view points, I was excited to read about both characters and how they interact with one another. What I wasn't expecting was their agonizing backgrounds. You immediately find out why Josh is the way he is and instantly want to jump into the book and hold him (even though he'd most likely punch you in the face). Nastya's story, on the other hand, is more like an onion. As the story progresses, you slowly peel back one layer at a time till you finally realize what happened to her. Even then, you don't get the full story until close to the very end. None of it is pretty. It's excruciating yet lovely. Even after everything, these two teenagers are creating something beautiful in the midst of it all. The emotions can becoming overwhelming, but they are so worth it.
Honestly, I cannot sum up Nastya and Josh's relationship other than to say that it's one of the best romances I have ever read. I love how neither of them want to breakdown this wall they've built and yet, with each other, they do. Their obvious attraction and bond is the reason I stayed up till all sorts of wee hours to read this book. It's not always easy. In fact, it's hardly ever easy but it's exquisite nonetheless.
One of my favorite characters in this book is Drew. Everyone in the world needs a Drew in their life. There's so much to be felt and somehow, Drew seems to lighten things up. He brings the humor, loyalty, and friendship. To be frank, I thought I was going to hate him. I thought he was your stereotypical cocky boywhore and was just bad news bears. As he appeared more and more throughout the story, I realized that much like the two main characters, he's just misunderstood. There's a good guy packed in there somewhere, and I'm glad I got to see the real Drew.
Overall, I highly (HIGHLY) recommend to everyone that you pick up a copy of THE SEA OF TRANQUILITY as soon as you can. To show you how much I truly cherish this book, I recommended it to one of my best friends. I never recommend books to this girl because as far as picky readers go, she takes the cake. This skeptical girl (whom I adore) loved every single minute of it. We both actually teared up while discussing THE SEA OF TRANQUILITY with one another and promptly wanted to reread it. If that doesn't prove to you how awe-inspiring and breathtaking THE SEA OF TRANQUILITY is, I don't know what will.
“He's kissing me. And when he does, part of me is lost. But it's the part that's twisted and mangled and wrong, and for just that moment, with his hands in my hair and his lips on my mouth, I can pretend that it never existed.”
“Just so you know,” I inform him, “one day, I’m going to get tired of sharing your affection with that coffee table and I’m going to make you choose.” “Just so you know,” he mimics me, “I would chop that table up and use it for firewood before I would ever choose anything over you.”
“What? Sunshine fits you. It's bright and warm and happy. Just. Like. You.”