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June 01, 2013

Review: The Sea of Tranquility by Katja Millay

The Sea of Tranquility.
Title: The Sea of Tranquility
Author: Katja Millay
Publisher: Atria Books
Publication date: June 4, 2013
Genre(s): New Adult (Contemporary)
Source: Publisher 
Format: ARC
Pages: 448
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.
I tried starting this review in a way that would show you how in love I am with The Sea of Tranquility, how gripping, captivating, and addicted this book is, but my writing can't do this book justice. In actuality, The Sea of Tranquility is already a diamond among a sea of pressed coal. I am so in love with this book, the writing, the emotions, the characters, the relationships, and even down to the full stops. Katja Millay's The Sea of Tranquility officially owns my heart. 
I can't say I wasn't expecting an amazing book when I started this because... have you looked at the ratings of it?, however I am usually in the minority when it comes to popular books so I had my reservations. Instantly, I was enthralled by Nastya's world, her reason for not speaking at all, and whether it is a physical disability, an emotional one, or a choice. It is glaringly obvious that something horrifying has happened to her, especially when we see a glimpse of who she used to be, a piano prodigy who dedicated all her life to the instrument. Now, Nastya could be described, in a nice way, as a goth girl with uh.. a style that requires as minimal clothing articles as possible. However what I loved about Millay's characterization is that she didn't turn Nastya into a typical rebellious lost girl.. yes on the outside you might think she is, but she is the most innocent person you'll ever meet. People automatically judge her wrongly and that is what happens when she enrolls at a new school, one close to where her aunt's house, and now hers, is. 
That is where we meet Josh and his "invisible force field". To say that he has his own issues is an understatement because death seems to follow him everywhere until he has no one else to taint. Josh was so mature and I loved him to bits. The way the relationship progressed between Josh and Nastya was slow but also full of mystery and frantic page flipping on my end. The scenes between both had me holding my breath each time. Each time they were together, I kept praying to find out more about each one through the other because Millay had a way of wanting the reader to find out the mystery but at the same time enjoy not knowing it too. Does that even make sense? 
Also, a good book is never without amazing secondary characters. At first look, we judge Drew as the douche that went after Nastya as soon as he saw her. At the beginning I really disliked him and sensed that his character was going to create unnecessary drama that would push this book into the typical NA territory. However, brace yourselves, Drew is one of my favorite characters in this book! I also loved Drew's parents, they were the sweetest parents ever and truly love Josh and extended their love to Nastya later on. To top it all, the banter and dialogue between the characters was freaking brilliant. My favorite scenes always had Nastya, Josh, and Drew together.. *sigh* those three together were a recipe for hilarity. 
I can't seem to stop giving this book high praises or saying how much I love it but Katja Millay's debut has everything I would ever want in a novel: addicting plot, unforgettable characters, witty dialogue, and a unique and lyrical writing style. This book does contain swear words, however I personally think it is tamer than most NA books I have read. This book left an imprint on my heart, and the emotional connection I have with its characters won't ever be severed. If you are looking for a book that you will never forget, well this is the one. 
yup, I brought out the infinity rating!

24 comments:

  1. I LOVED this book!! it´s just amazing,I loved Josh, Drew and Nastya and it has very satisfing ending.
    Great review.

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  2. I LOVED TSoT too,Juhina! It's one of those rare books that lives up to its hype. In fact I think it exceeded my expectations! Katja Millay is on my auto buy list so yep TSoT is definitely a book that's worth the infinity rating.

    Nicely reviewed. :)

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  3. Sound like I need to get with the program and read this book! I really enjoyed reading your review. Thanks!

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  4. Woot, I'm so glad you enjoyed this! It was beautifully written and so poignant. It really settled into my bones and the story captured me so deeply. Lovely review! :)

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  5. This book sounds amazing! Thanks for bringing it to my attention! I'm really looking forward to getting my hands on it!

    I do think you did the book justice, because now i want to read it even more than I already did!

    Great review!

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  6. I still need to read this. I have heard nothing but fantastic things. All the characters seem really deep and well developed.

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  7. Ooh, infinity mustaches. I can't even wrap my head around the concept ;) I haven't read this yet but the sheer amount of positive reviews has to influence me at some point! I love when the minor characters are just as amazing as the main :) Great review!

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  8. I loved loved this book. I can't even bring myself to review it because I won't do it justice. <3

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  9. I wanted to read this one, but after your raving review I think I need to bump it up my tbr pile. I love banter and good characters. Can't wait to read this one!

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  10. I just finished reading two piano related books, The Lucy Variations and Need. I'm feeling really reluctant to read this one, but I'll check it out and put it in my TBR pile.:)

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  11. I completely agree about Drew! I absolutely loved what Millay did with his character here. Although I did have a tough time with this book on occasion, I still thought parts of this were really beautifully written and I definitely couldn't stop reading. I hope we get more from this author soon. Lovely review, Juhina! :)

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  12. I have wanting to read this, and I do even more now. The characters sounds amazing and I keep seeing such great things about it. Wonderful review.

    Jenea @ Books Live Forever

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  13. Never heard of this book before, but sigh. You make it sound amazing :) Think the cover is pretty cool too. Thank you for sharing your honest review :D I think I might have to check the book out ;p
    Thank you for commenting on my blog. <3
    Love, Carina @ Carina's Books

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  14. Yes to every single thing you said! Loved this book to infinity too! That ending? Perfect! :)

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  15. I'm glad you didn't find yourself in the minority for this one Juhina, and loved it as much as everyone else. I really loved it too and every time I read a review for it, I want to read the book again. Lovely review :)

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  16. I loved this book so much I think I've read it three times since last year. I'm so so glad to hear that you loved it as well! I always get giddy when I see another blogger who loved it as much as I do. <3

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  17. I'm a little scared to try this one because it has such a huge hype around it. Like you said in your review you tend to not like books that have a lot of hype and I feel the same way. I guess I shall just have to get over that and read this book though because it is getting many rave reviews by reviewers I trust.

    Thanks for the great review, so glad you loved it.

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  18. I am really going to have to get my hands on this one. I was denied a copy by NetGallery but I still really wanna read it.Your review makes me excited for it.

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  19. Wow! I just might have to check this one out. I'm like you, in that most popular or highly raved about books, are usually bad for me too. So I tend to shy away from them. BUT I'm definitely going to keep an open mind about this one. Awesome review!

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  20. I love this story too. I'f I'm not wrong I read it when it got first published by the autor herself and I wonder if they changed anything through the editing phase. But I loved it and I am happy to see other people enjoying it :)

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  21. Oh, Juhina, you needn't have worried - you did a stellar job at describing how amazing this book was with your review! And I completely agree with everything you said. Loved the writing, the characters, the execution, everything. And I LOVED Drew's family just like you!

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  22. Oh, I don't think I have seen the infinity rating before... But if a book deserves it's Sea of Tranquility. :) I LOVED Josh&Sunshine and Drew is one of my favorite characters as well!

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  23. Eeeek! I've heard this book was deserving of an infinity rating, but to see it at the bottom of your review...squee! I'm going to start the book this weekend, so I'll come back and nod at your review some more when I'm done. :)

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  24. I know a lot of people who postively adored this book. I did like it, but it isn't my favorite book ever. I did like Nastya, though. I didn't find her difficult to like, but certainly sometimes she frustrated. I am kind of madly in love with Josh, though :)

    Rowena Hailey (Alaska Ptarmigan Hunting)

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