Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Review: The Sea of Tranquility by Katja Millay

The Sea of Tranquility
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.

”add

Publishes in US: November 13th 2012 by Atria Books
Genre: YA contemporary
Source: netgalley
Series? No.

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. 

Bottom Line: The Sea of Tranquility is beautifully written, deliciously suspenseful, and has a swoonworthy romance, one of my favorite contemporaries this year!

Books similar to The Sea of Tranquility:(links go to my review) Easy by Tammara WebberPushing the Limits by Katie McGarryWait for You by J. Lynn

My question to you, my lovely readers:
Do you play the piano at all? Or any musical instrument?
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47 comments:

  1. You know, I have seen this book online so many times and never really looked into it. Didn't even realize it was YA. I'm so glad I took the time to come read this review because it sounds like a really amazing book! Thanks for posting! :D

    ~Briana

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    1. I didn't think it was for me at first, but I ended up loving it so much

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  2. I really enjoyed this one too!
    Thanks so much for stopping by! Jen @ YA Romantics

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  3. I am so glad you loved this book as well. It is such a beautiful book and will forever be a favorite! Nastya and Josh's story is great and that ending is perfect.

    Teresa @ Readers Live A Thousand Lives

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    1. I know, couldn't think of a better way

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  4. And the cover is so freaking cool

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  5. Most definitely one I'll keep a look out for.

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  6. I loooved it! I couldn't put it down...., except that when they.... did it and then she breaks up with him I got totally pisses because I found that to be silly. It came out of no where; had it been hinted earlier that she might just do something like that.... but there was no.... I don't know, I felt it was added just to make the story longer. Other than that the book will always be one of my favorites.

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    1. That is a good point, but I still think that it was in character for her

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  7. The Sea of Tanquility sounds like a great contemporary-a bit gritty too. Natsya and Josh sound like fablous characters too. I've seen this one around, but wasn't too sure what it was all about. Thanks for the great review Brandi.

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    1. I didn't either, and the summary doesn't do it justice in my opinion

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  8. Lovely review. Made me want to read this. I've read several other reviews, but didn't really know what the book was about. Thanks!

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  9. This is one of my all-time favorite! So glad you liked it too. :)

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  10. This is one those books that I keep seeing and it has so may rave reviews. I still haven't read it yet though. Great review.

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  11. I smiled throughout Drew and Josh's interactions too. I loved their friendship in the end, despite the rocky start. I'm glad you enjoyed this book too. :)

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  12. I am so, so happy you loved TSoT, too! Josh Bennett is one of my all-time favorite guys, and this book has the best ending ever.
    Great review!

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  13. I could write a whole dissertation about why this book is so amazing. I will spare you and just say that I agree 100% with this review! LOVE this book so much!

    Kate @ Ex Libris

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  15. Yes, yes and yes wonderful, beautiful review and I completely agree!

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  16. This book has been on my list for ages! Ever since I first saw the beautiful cover I have wanted to read it. Thanks for reminding me. I must move it closer to the top of my list (I just got some gift cards recently). :) So glad you loved it!
    ~Jess

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  17. I'm so happy you loved it! This is for sure one of my fave reads this year. Great review Brandi :)

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  18. Thanks for sharing how much you loved this book! I used to take piano lessons but to be honest, I didn't like spending hours practicing on the instrument - I'd much rather spend my time on my books :P

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    1. I would too, but always wished I was more musical

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  19. I have heard nothing but amazing things about this book and I can't wait to pick it up! It sounds like a beautiful read, and the characters are just an added bonus. I can't wait to meet Natsya and Josh! Glad you enjoyed this, Brandi! Great review! :D

    ~ Maida
    Literary Love Affair 

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  20. I keep reading amazing things about this book! I really need to get to it!! It really does sound amazing!

    Loved your review!!

    Magen Corrie

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  21. Everyone seems to love this book, I love how emotional it sounds. I don't play piano but I really wish I did!

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  22. I loved this one, too Brandi! Such an emotional read! Great review. :)

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  23. I keep hearing such wonderful things about this I think I should give it a try when I can.

    Great Review!!

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  24. I wasn't a big fan of it, but I'm glad that you loved it. Great review, Brandi!

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  25. I've seen this book a lot lately but really haven't paid much attention to it. After reading your review, though, I think I definitely need to give this a shot! Not only am I now super curious as to what happened to her, I love that the book is deep and touches on a lot of issues. I also really appreciate when character growth is present in a novel and done well. Thanks for the great review! Glad you liked it! :)

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  26. Debbie read this before and I know this is an emotionally deep book... which is why I steered clear of it LOL

    Braine

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  27. I've had a hard time getting into this one. I know everyone loves it. I'm going to try again, though.

    I do play piano though I don't have one now. I play when I go home to my mom's house. She has ours from when I was growing up. I took lessons for 8 yrs.

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  28. I have this one on audio and started it. It was very mysterious about what had happened to her. I'm very curious and am afraid that listening to it will kill me since it takes so long!

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  29. You describe Nastya perfectly. This is such a great review, Brandi! And I'm so happy you loved this as much as I did!!

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  30. I 100% agree with you. This is such a beautifully written book. And the mystery was so well handled. I loved the slow building romance. so happy you loved this one.

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  31. oh yes I heard great things about this book, I'm happy you enjoyed it as well!

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  32. I have this book, have been told a million times to read it and what do I do? I don't listen!
    This review and ppls comments got me hyped to read it.
    I need to get myself away from always reading dystopian type stories.

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  33. I honestly don't think I've seen a negative review about this book on any blog I follow! Definitely need to read it soon!

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  34. I have heard nothing but RAVE reviews about this one! So happy you felt the same way :) reading your review made me want to kick my current contemporary slump and read this one soon...but it's been a loooong slump hehe

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  35. What a lovely review for this book! I adored this too, thought it made me quite emotional. I played the piano when I was a child, but then I switched to violin. Always wished I'd stuck with it!

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  36. Wow-5 stars! That's a high recommendation from you. I play piano and viola though I've never been very good (nowhere near prodigy level to say the least.)

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