The Sea of Tranquility by Katja Millay
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.
The Sea of Tranquility is a rich, intense, and brilliantly imagined story about a lonely boy, an emotionally fragile girl, and the miracle of second chances.
Publishes in US: November 13th 2012 by Atria Books
Genre: YA contemporary
Buy it: Amazon IndieBound Book Depository
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This story is the master of suspense. It gives us lots of information about Natsya like she doesn't talk, and there is something wrong with her hand... and from the synopsis lets us know that she used to be a piano prodigy, and now she is trying to lay under the radar. But she attracts the attention of hot and charismatic Luke, and the mysterious and lofty Josh Bennett.
She is sullen, depressed, and doesn't want to inflict herself on her parents, so she is living with her aunt who is a nurse and works nights. But we don't know exactly why she is like that. I wanted to know how she was murdered but is alive, who did it, what happened to her hand, and why she doesn't speak. But these answers are deliciously spread out. It is a suspense to find out little clues spread over time. She is such a fragile and strong character all at once. She had something beyond her control happen to her, and it has effected every aspect of her life, and it took the thing that she loved most. And while she is damaged, and puts up a front, she is still trying to heal. She is finding a way to make her new life work, and little by little she lets people in, and shows them the beautiful and wonderful person she can be--broken pieces and all.
Although most of the book is in Natsya's point of view, we also get Josh's at crucial times and it gives invaluable insight, and also is a way to keep us in the dark a bit more with things.
Josh has such a broken past, with so many around him dying. He feels alone but also doesn't want anyone to get too close because he thinks that God hates him and kills all that he loves. Because his past seems to show that. But he has such a good heart. You can see how much he cares for his best friend Drew, and it made me smile when I read their interactions.
There is a lot of banter in this book, there is also quite a bit of language, but never to the point where it bothered me or seemed like it was there just to be there. It showed something about the characters, and it fit in with their personalities.
The Sea of Tranquility is a dark and gritty book. It is for mature teens and adults only because these are some seriously damaged kids, and it comes out in their actions sometimes. It is a story of healing, forgiveness, getting and giving second chances. While it does feature some dysfunctional adults, there are also some that I loved. Drew's parents completely took me by surprise but I loved them. And Natsya's parents confused me at times, but I can see it come full circle in something I can understand from both points of view.
The romance is a slow flame, building from wisps of smoke, and it was also so well done. As Josh slowly falls for Natsya, we get to see the more soft side of Natsya as well. I just loved watching them fall in love and try to protect the other from themselves.
It isn't at a break neck pace but it is amazing still, you have to slow down and appreciate the character growth and the intricacies of the characters. Their pasts shaped them so much--how they think, how they live, how they interact with others. It is great to watch how they all give to each other and even when they are hurting each other, everyone is learning and helping them to be better people.
The ending was amazing, and tied it all together and gave me not the ending I was expecting but something far better than I could imagine.
Books similar to The Sea of Tranquility:(links go to my review) Easy by Tammara Webber, Pushing the Limits by Katie McGarry, Wait for You by J. Lynn
My question to you, my lovely readers:
Do you play the piano at all? Or any musical instrument?