January 05, 2014
Book Review: The Sea of Tranquility
Author: Katja Millay.
Source: Publisher, for honest review.
Publisher: Atria Books (Simon & Schuster)
Published Date: 11/13/12.
Barnes and Noble.
"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."
What first pulled me in and made me say yes, when I was offered The Sea of Tranquility for review, was the cover. While we all know the good ol' saying, "don't judge a book by it's cover", an amazingly beautiful cover does help persuade you into buying or accepting a book! But not until recently did I see that the cover wasn't just two faces, but instead the white part was a cup of spilled and melted ice cream! Am I the only one it took this long to figure that out?...
I can admit the core behind this story, isn't something new. Two broken people, who are lost, find each other, while never admitting it at first, the two complete each other in ways they would have never thought. We've all read books like that? Right? Where the characters are overly mushy and lovey-dovey. But what makes The Sea of Tranquility better than all those books combined, are the characters and the things said and thought by them. They're funny, dorky, sarcastic, and overall really interesting and realistic. (So not disgusting romantic, in other terms).
Nastya Kashnikov has built this huge wall around herself, she doesn't speak and she doesn't let anyone in anymore. She's now living with her aunt, instead of her parents and brother, Nastya's seeing councilors and is even on medication. It's her first day of school, and Nastya is already dreading it. She knows that people will judge her and give her looks, especially because she's dressed in ALL black and doesn't answer questions, and doesn't respond.
On the other side of the universe is Josh Bennett, is dealing with his own issues. Recently he started living on his own. After his mother and sister died in an accident, he also lost his father in a different way. While most teenagers would love the idea of living on their own, Josh isn't too excited about it. All he wants is for people to leave him alone, and to build furniture.
The Sea of Tranquility follows the beautiful, humorous, and a bit sarcastic, story of these two characters and how their lives begin to intertwine one day. The struggles they face, the love that they are afraid to admit, and the heartache they feel. But also the emotions that they can't deny, the happiness and longing they experience for one another. The Sea of Tranquility shows us true love, even in what seem to be the darkest lives. Absolute brilliance.
Like I said before I was drooling over these characters! Nastya was witty and sarcastic. Josh was more calm and quiet. But both characters sprout and grow in The Sea of Tranquility, both open up to each other, and both begin find themselves. I also found other characters, such as Drew and his family very enjoyable as well! Drew, himself, first came off as a complete jerk, who had nothing in head but girls and getting them in bed. But throughout the story we got to see a very different side of him, which was sweet and a good friend.
Drew's parents were so nice and accepting of Josh and Nastya, even when their own families weren't. On the other hand Drew's sister was rude, mean, and hateful, which I also kind of liked...in a weird way. She was so different from the rest of her family, and from Nastya, it was intriguing to see how they dealt with one another.
Overall The Sea of Tranquility was one of my favorite reads in 2013, even though I'm reviewing it in 2014. The characters were top notch, the ending was fantastic, and I am so happy I was asked to review this book. There's no doubt that I'll be picking up more of Millay's books, and reading them!