Review: The Sea of Tranquility by Katja Millay


The Sea of Tranquility by Katja Millay
Young Adult
Atria Books (June 4, 2013)

Rating: A+
Heat: Sweet

Heroine: Nastya Kashnikov – Silent, Former Piano Prodigy
Hero: Josh Bennett – Alone, Furniture Aficionado
Setting: Florida, USA



The Sea of Tranquility has ruined me for all other books. I think I truly want to cry because this book has ended. It’s over and… I want more. I almost want to say I need more. My heart is simply not ready to let go of this world and these beautiful, heartbreaking characters. And when I say I’m not ready to let go, I mean it—it’s been five days now and they’re still on my mind.

The Sea of Tranquility is about two seventeen year olds: a girl who was dead for ninety-six seconds and a boy whose whole life has been surrounded by death.

From the moment Nastya Kashnikov’s internal monologue starts, I knew she was my kind of girl: mature, smart, tough, and witty. Or, in one word: Interesting. Nastya is the first heroine I’ve read that is completely and totally silent. She refuses to speak. But, without ever using her vocal cords, she manages to have such a strong voice. A voice that’s hidden behind a lot of armor—her clothes, her makeup, and her silence. Which is exactly what Nastya wants. To be invisible. Or, if not that, then to at least be left alone. Which is why she’s moved in with her aunt, hours away from everyone who knows and loves her.

Josh Bennett is the definition of alone. Everyone he has ever loved has been taken away from him. Which might explain the self-inflicted invisible force field around him that keeps everyone away. He likes that no one sees or bothers him because, when they do, its always filled with pity. And Josh has had a lifetimes worth of peoples pity… and casseroles and condolences. The only thing he hasn’t had enough of is wood. The boy loves his wood. If he could, he would spend every moment sawing and drilling and designing beautiful pieces of furniture.

Which is what Josh is doing, out in his garage one night, when Nastya shows up. And keeps showing up night after night. Never saying anything, simply watching him work. Without ever talking, Josh and Nastya become comfortable with each other… until one day, out of the blue, she speaks. And then doesn’t stop talking, but only to Josh. 

I love both Josh and Nastya so much. These two teens, who have both been through too much, are basically broken, and they help put each other back together. They find a home in one another. Who they were, who people think they are… none of it matters but who they are to each other. They have a relationship that I’ve never experienced in a book before—in any genre. I liked it. I really, really liked it.

And even though there are a lot of heavy moments, and a lot of series issues woven within, it was also incredibly funny at times. The things Nastya thinks… the banter between her and Josh, or her and Drew… it balanced the story out. Captured the best and worst parts of being a teenager.

The Sea of Tranquility is simply remarkable. It affected me on so many levels and evoked so many emotions… that I can’t even find the words. You can tell that Miz Millay followed her heart while writing this story because it follows no formula. I love the world she has created and these deeply emotive characters that came to life in my mind and my heart. The Sea of Tranquility is one of my favorite books this year—and it’s only January!

I can’t wait to see what Miz Millay creates next!

Favorite Quote:

Of course, if I were to take the books at their word, I’d also have to believe that all teenage boys go around calling girls baby, because apparently that’s the express train to romance. He was an asshole a minute ago, but he drops the baby on you and it’s all over. Uncontrollable swooning and relinquishment of all self respect activated.
Ooooh, he called me baby. My panties are wet and I luuuuuuuv him.
Do real boys actually call girls baby? I don’t have enough experience to know. I do know that if a guy ever called me baby, I’d probably laugh in his face. Or choke him.


Thoughts While Reading:

2.0% - "Nastya seems like my kind of chick."
47.0% - "Don't want to go to bed! ...Must go to bed..."
63.0% - "Ugh. Really, Josh? Right there, right then?"
83.0% - "Why? Why? Why?!"
100.0% - "Perfect ending. Except for the actual book ending part."


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