Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Review: The Sea of Tranquility by Katja Millay

The Sea of Tranquility
by Katja Millay 
Publisher: Simon & Schuster/ Atria 
Publication date: June 20, 2013 (paperback)
Genre: YA Contemporary Romance 
Source: Publisher in exchange for unbiased review
Purchase*: Barnes and Noble/Amazon/Book Depository
*purchases through buy links support this blog


 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.

Katja Millay blew me away with her gritty, breathtaking, and intense story.  Sea of Tranquility brought us the story of two characters that will steal your heart. It’s a story of love, heartbreak, forgiveness and hope. As much as I wanted to savor this I quickly became immersed and consumed it. Three word review: beautiful, breathtaking and memorable.

The tale begins when we meet Nastya Kashnikov as she enrolls for her senior year of high school. Dressed in black and living away from her parents, we know something tragic has happen. She is medicated, in counseling and has created this wall around herself and her emotions. We then meet Josh Bennett, a high school senior carrying the weight of the world on his shoulders. Josh moves through life wanting to be left alone and loses himself in building furniture with his hands. Chance encounters have the two meeting and the tale that unfolds will have you catching your breath one moment and wiping a tear the next.

Imagine a girl walking down the hall as she passes you, she is staring straight ahead with dyed black hair, black eye make-up, cherry red lipstick, sporting a tight black t-shirt and tiny skirt with a pair of stilettos. She never speaks or makes eye contact but you will have walked right past Nastya. She is complex, beautiful, gifted and so messed up inside. She reveals her tragic story to us slowly and her voice is beautiful and captivating. You feel so many emotions towards Nastya from wanting to cocoon her and protect her to wondering what nightmare things she is capable of. Josh has a voice in this novel too and it’s equally touching. He has suffered more loss in his life then any one person should have to bear and yet there is such sweetness to him. The voice Katja gave him as he shared his story touched me so deeply as a mother and wife. Have you ever had the type of cry, where the tears fall silently down your face and you can barely see the pages anymore? That is Josh’s story. Together they create this strange exotic dance. As they unraveled they build a friendship, learned to trust, opened up and ultimately experienced love. It’s raw, emotional, awkward, silly, and tender. It is so unbelievably real that you become completely invested in them. I found myself rooting for them and hoping against hope that they find a happy place. Drew, family and friends all helped reveal them to us and where equally interesting characters.  

Sea of Tranquility is so much more than a romance; it’s a character driven journey that involves friends, family and heart. As the reader the author weaves you into the tale as you feel and experience every emotion through the characters. Her writing style and ability to give voice to the characters was breathtaking. This is the type of book that is meant to be read slowly and savored. Granted, I got swept up in the tale and consumed it in less than two days, but I have already gone back just to read some of the paragraph’s again. It is the type of book you can reread again and again. Here is a quote that I love:
"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."~ Nastya; Sea of Tranquility 
Seriously?!? Can't you just feel her emotions!  Katja and her characters captured my heart as they shared this story of loss, forgiveness and healing. The author's grasp of our ability to endure and overcome was so powerfully portrayed. You know that book high I am always chasing? This book delivered that and more. Yes its full of angst, but its beautiful, emotionally draining, hopeful and cleansing. It is a book I will recommend to my daughter, my best friend, my mother and my grandmother. It is timeless, poignant and breathtaking beautiful.  

Break out the tissues, grab the chocolate or wine and a copy of Sea of Tranquility. Put on your favorite comfy outfit,(you know exactly what one I am talking about), grab a cuddly blanket, turn of the phone and surrender your heart. You won’t regret it. Honestly, I would buy this author’s next book sight unseen. 

Five cups of perfectly brewed coffee out of five 
Kimba the Caffeinated Book Reviewer Kimba the Caffeinated Book Reviewer Kimba The Caffeinated Book Reviewer Kimba the Caffeinated Book Reviewer Kimba the Caffeinated Book Reviewer

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69 Comments:

At July 17, 2013 at 9:48 PM , Anonymous kimbacaffeinate said...

Isn't that the way of it..when you see a review for a book you loved, it makes you want to read it again!

 
At July 17, 2013 at 9:48 PM , Anonymous kimbacaffeinate said...

ooh enjoy it Meg, I look forward to hearing your thoughts on it!

 
At July 17, 2013 at 9:48 PM , Anonymous Meg-A Bookish Affair said...

I've been anxious to read this one and your review has me moving it up higher on my TBR!

 
At July 17, 2013 at 9:48 PM , Anonymous Sharon - Obsession with Books said...

Your review makes me want to pick this book back up and read it all over again, I absolutely loved it as well, definitely my fave NA ever!

A fabulous review Kimba! :)

 
At July 17, 2013 at 9:49 PM , Anonymous kimbacaffeinate said...

ooh enjoy it and cannot wait to hear what you think!

 
At July 17, 2013 at 9:49 PM , Anonymous Melissa @ Harley Bear Book Blg said...

I really want to read this now! If it requires tissues, wine, and comfy clothes it's definitely my kind of book lol. And character development is so important in a good book so I"m glad this has tons. Great review!

 
At July 17, 2013 at 9:49 PM , Anonymous Sandy @ Somewhere Only We Know said...

Agreed!

 
At July 17, 2013 at 9:49 PM , Anonymous kimbacaffeinate said...

Aww, thanks cupcake and I am so glad you loved it too. Yeah, this is a book I will randomly pick up and read bits...I love the writing.

 
At July 17, 2013 at 9:49 PM , Anonymous Sandy @ Somewhere Only We Know said...

Awesome review Kimba! This review made me want to re-read the book. I gave it 5 stars too so it probably will get a re-read from me eventually!

 
At July 17, 2013 at 9:49 PM , Anonymous kimbacaffeinate said...

Sweet, enjoy and remember the tissues and chocolate!

 
At July 17, 2013 at 9:49 PM , Anonymous Katja said...

Wow, so glad you enjoyed it! I have this on my TBR and am just waiting for the publication date.

 
At July 17, 2013 at 9:50 PM , Anonymous Lauren said...

YES! Isn't this book so emotional and touching? I definitely needed tissues (and chocolate and wine). Love your review, and I love that quote!

 
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At July 17, 2013 at 9:50 PM , Anonymous kimbacaffeinate said...

thanks Sam, I am glad you enjoyed it despite a few problems!

 
At July 17, 2013 at 9:50 PM , Anonymous kimbacaffeinate said...

Ha, I liked that the issues they faced were more than teen issues. Hope you decided to try it.

 
At July 17, 2013 at 9:50 PM , Anonymous kimbacaffeinate said...

Enjoy!!!

 
At July 17, 2013 at 9:50 PM , Anonymous kimbacaffeinate said...

YA is a funny little creature, since it deals with characters that are 14 to 17 yrs old and are usually in high school. Some books are clean and deal with teenage romantic angst. They do not have foul language and a lot of the darker issues teenagers face. The publisher asked us to included the warning in our review and I think it's good to warn folks. Since I am obviously not a teen myself *coughs* I prefer the darker, edgier novels and avoid the young almost middle school ones. I think the YA genre is just like the adult genre in that some are clean and others aren't. It just let's parents/readers buying a book for their 14 yr old a chance to decide if their teen can handle the content. Let's face it, teen issues are real and when tackled right those subjects can be good thing. As for foul language, sex and drugs ..they are something every teen faces.

 
At July 17, 2013 at 9:50 PM , Anonymous kimbacaffeinate said...

Enjoy I look forward to haring your thoughts

 
At July 17, 2013 at 9:50 PM , Anonymous kimbacaffeinate said...

You will love Nastya since I know you love the bad girls!

 
At July 17, 2013 at 9:50 PM , Anonymous kimbacaffeinate said...

Hahaha...hope you enjoy it!

 
At July 17, 2013 at 9:51 PM , Anonymous Sam @ Realm of Fiction said...

Yay! I'm so glad you enjoyed this! I did some have problems with it along the way, but I really liked this one too overall. I'd happily read anything else by this author. I hope we do get to see more from her in the future. :)

 
At July 17, 2013 at 9:51 PM , Anonymous Debbie Haupt said...

thanks Kim. I'm a little confused as to why it's being shelved as YA and you suggest we keep it away from teens. Why would you keep it away from teens. And here's a question from one reader to another why do you think these publishers are shelving these really age inappropriate novels as YA, do you think it's because the genre is so popular now with adult readers?
thanks for the clarification :)
xoxo
deb

 
At July 17, 2013 at 9:51 PM , Anonymous Diana Leigh said...

Teen angst makes me nervous, but that cover is super cool. (I will have teenagers in a few years, and that makes me nervous too.)

 
At July 17, 2013 at 9:51 PM , Anonymous Barbara Walker said...

I've heard so, so many good things about this book and now with your glowing review, I don't think I can resist much longer. Okay, not just glowing, raving! It's going on the buy list. :)

 
At July 17, 2013 at 9:51 PM , Anonymous Lily B said...

I started this book, it takes a bit to get into but I heard so much good about it <3 that I cannot wait.

 
At July 17, 2013 at 9:51 PM , Anonymous Christy (Love of Books) said...

I've had this book for awhile, so I reeeeeally want to read it this summer!I don't think I've heard a bad thing about it yet.

 
At July 17, 2013 at 9:51 PM , Anonymous Heather said...

I cannot wait to read this one! I just got it and I haven't seen one bad review yet. I mean not one! How can that be??? Katja Millay must be a flippin' genuis! I'm dying for a little time so I can read it!! Excellent review. Thanks Kimba!

 
At July 17, 2013 at 9:51 PM , Anonymous kimbacaffeinate said...

I love that quote and the book is full of quotes as beautiful as this!

 
At July 17, 2013 at 9:51 PM , Anonymous Anna@herding cats said...

Wow Kimberly. Sounds like an incredible read and whew that little quote. Yeah you can definitely feel that. Goodness. I'm really liking the cover as well. Glad you had such a good experience with this one!

 
At July 17, 2013 at 9:51 PM , Anonymous kimbacaffeinate said...

ooh if the audio is done well, this will be beautiful!!

 
At July 17, 2013 at 9:51 PM , Anonymous candacerobinson said...

Oh wow, what a wonderful review! I might be getting the audio of this for review and I'm looking forward to it very much. Your review has me very excited!

 
At July 17, 2013 at 9:51 PM , Anonymous kimbacaffeinate said...

thanks Naomi...i hope you get a chance to experience this. I love emotional character reads like this.

 
At July 17, 2013 at 9:51 PM , Anonymous Naomi Hop said...

That is a beautiful review.... it sounds like such a great read!! I love those books that sweep you away and bring your emotions out too!!

 
At July 17, 2013 at 9:51 PM , Anonymous kimbacaffeinate said...

thanks Trish, I hope you enjoy it as much as I did, don't forget the tissues!

 
At July 17, 2013 at 9:51 PM , Anonymous kimbacaffeinate said...

ooh you will love it from beginning to end!

 
At July 17, 2013 at 9:51 PM , Anonymous kimbacaffeinate said...

I love when that happens!!!

 
At July 17, 2013 at 9:51 PM , Anonymous kimbacaffeinate said...

Ya know you made me look on goodreads just now and you are right all 3 or higher, I would love your thoughts on this!

 
At July 17, 2013 at 9:51 PM , Anonymous kimbacaffeinate said...

don't forget the wine and chocolate!

 
At July 17, 2013 at 9:51 PM , Anonymous kimbacaffeinate said...

welcome, hope you get to read this one!

 
At July 17, 2013 at 9:51 PM , Anonymous kimbacaffeinate said...

yes and it was wonderfully messy!

 
At July 17, 2013 at 9:51 PM , Anonymous kimbacaffeinate said...

thanks Ali!

 
At July 17, 2013 at 9:51 PM , Anonymous kimbacaffeinate said...

oooh i so agree, thanks Andrea!

 
At July 17, 2013 at 9:51 PM , Anonymous kimbacaffeinate said...

Ha..me to cupcake!

 
At July 17, 2013 at 9:51 PM , Anonymous kimbacaffeinate said...

thanks Christa, I think you would enjoy the language as well as the characters.

 
At July 17, 2013 at 9:51 PM , Anonymous kimbacaffeinate said...

and it was beautiful written!

 
At July 17, 2013 at 9:51 PM , Anonymous kimbacaffeinate said...

thanks Jenea I hope you get a chance to experience this!

 
At July 17, 2013 at 9:51 PM , Anonymous kimbacaffeinate said...

I am looking forward to hearing your thoughts on it when you do!

 
At July 17, 2013 at 9:51 PM , Anonymous kimbacaffeinate said...

This is worth the read and the language is beautiful!

 
At July 17, 2013 at 9:51 PM , Anonymous kimbacaffeinate said...

agreed!

 
At July 17, 2013 at 9:51 PM , Anonymous kimbacaffeinate said...

thanks Lisa, I am really glad I got the opportunity to read it as well.

 
At July 17, 2013 at 9:51 PM , Anonymous kindlemom1 said...

Oh I love that quote, you can really feel her pain in it.
I am so glad you loved this one Kim!

 
At July 17, 2013 at 9:51 PM , Anonymous BarkLessWagMore said...

Sounds heavy. Just the way I like them!

 
At July 17, 2013 at 9:51 PM , Anonymous Andrea @ The Bookish Babe said...

Beautuful review, Kim. I'm about to cry just thinking about TSoT. It is definitely a book that will stick w/me forever. I actually reread the last chapter a few nights ago, and cried so hard. Most perfect last sentence ever.

 
At July 17, 2013 at 9:51 PM , Anonymous Debbie Haupt said...

Kim, great review looks like a lot of teenaged angst.
Thanks

 
At July 17, 2013 at 9:51 PM , Anonymous Christa said...

I love character driven stories and this sounds absolutely fantastic! The cover is gorgeous too.

 
At July 17, 2013 at 9:51 PM , Anonymous Jenny @ Supernatural Snark said...

I've read nothing but amazing things about this book Kimba, I really need to read it! I know it's going to be one that's emotionally intense though, so I feel like I need to prepare myself beforehand. This was a stunning review and I can't wait to experience this book for myself!

 
At July 17, 2013 at 9:51 PM , Anonymous Jenea Whittington said...

Wow, this sounds sooo emotional. I think I would have to have a case of tissues to read it. I do wonder what happened to Nastya's life though. Wonderful review.

 
At July 17, 2013 at 9:51 PM , Anonymous Toni @ My Book Addiction said...

I can't wait to crack this one open! It's sitting here, taunting me. haha.

 
At July 17, 2013 at 9:51 PM , Anonymous Pnrurbfantasyreviews said...

So glad you enjoyed this! I remember why I loved this book and you brought back all the emotions I felt! Wonderful review. I'm also looking forward to more from this author.

 
At July 17, 2013 at 9:51 PM , Anonymous Michelle said...

I really want to read this one. I wasn't sure about it before but since I've really started reading contemporary I'm dying for it! I'm so glad you enjoyed it and I'm definitely glad it gave you that 'book high', lol.

 
At July 17, 2013 at 9:52 PM , Anonymous Blodeuedd said...

The c over is just so cool! I can't get over that

 
At July 17, 2013 at 9:58 PM , Anonymous kimbacaffeinate said...

It's not really teenage angst, these are issues they face that any of us could. This really is timeless with no age limit although I would keep this away from you teens.

 
At July 17, 2013 at 9:58 PM , Anonymous Trish Hannon said...

That quote is amazing, I love it. I'm really looking forward to reading this book. And as a character reader, I'm delighted you mentioned its a character driven journey. So glad you got a book high from it, its what we hope every book will deliver and so few are that special, perfect read. Great review :-)

 
At July 17, 2013 at 9:58 PM , Anonymous Heidi said...

I am so glad I impulse requested this a few months back. I have it scheduled I think next week and I am so looking forward to it. The quotes are amazing and I have nothing but great reviews.

 
At July 17, 2013 at 9:58 PM , Anonymous Melissa (Books and Things) said...

YES! I'm so with you on this book! I also LOVE that quote as you do. Oh and btw, didn't you just love that ending? I felt like I knew what was coming and then it did! I think I squeed with joy. *excuse me* ;D

 
At July 17, 2013 at 9:58 PM , Anonymous Maja (The Nocturnal Library) said...

I have yet to see a negative review of this one, and people keep saying that the word 'romance' doesn't even begin to cover it, which makes me kind of happy and excited. My bestie Lisa read it a while ago and she was VERY impressed, so I think I'll be reading it too sooner rather than later.
Great review, Kimba!

 
At July 17, 2013 at 9:58 PM , Anonymous Melissa's Eclectic Bookshelf said...

Wow, this sounds like such a powerful read! I'll havew to be sure to set aside a weekend with a box full of tissues when I pick it up!

 
At July 17, 2013 at 9:58 PM , Anonymous GRgenius said...

You're right....I CAN feel her emotions just from that passage. Good choice and great review. Thanks for the share!

 
At July 17, 2013 at 9:58 PM , Anonymous Pabkins said...

Complex, beautiful and messed up inside haha - sounds like a handful!

 

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