Friday, July 26, 2013

Book Review: The Sea of Tranquility by: Katja Millay

Release Date: November 13, 2012
from Atria Books
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"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."

My Thoughts:

At this point there is nothing I can say about this book that hasn’t already been said. It has been raved about and cried over by practically every single bookish person I know. Therefore part of me feels as if this review is a bit useless, because what can I say that hasn’t already been said numerous times. However, I have a lot of feelings when it comes to this book and this is my outlet. 

This book is a gift. That is the best word I can use to describe it. It is wonderful and beautiful and the writing is fantastic. I was hanging on every single word. The story builds up ever so slowly and the story is pulled apart layer by layer and piece by piece. Nothing is handed to you all at once. Even when you think you know everything there is to know, there is still more to the story. It is the best kind of torture. I spent the entire book frustrated and an emotional wreck… in the best possible way of course. 

This book packs an emotional punch, but not necessarily in a bad way. Simply put, the book makes you feel and feel with your whole heart. I laughed, I cried, I sighed, I screamed, I danced around like a little girl, and at one point tossed my iPad in a fit of rage. This book will break you down and tear you apart, only to put you back together. Once you become invested in the story, there is no turning back. 

The characters we meet are truly broken and together they find some semblance of peace, but that peace does not come easy. Nastya is a character that broke my heart. To see the pain she was living with killed me, and it killed me even more because I had no idea what made her the way she was. Then we have Josh and I really loved Josh. This was another character that broke my heart because of all the pain he had to deal with. This review would not be complete if I didn’t mention Drew. Drew brings lightness to the story that is very much needed with Nastya and Josh. There is so much more I want to say about the characters, but so much of the story is focused on the characters journey that to do so would be considered spoilery. 

This book hurt, and it hurt a lot. I loved every single second of the hurt. It was also original. The whole concept it opens to and the way the story is told is genius. It may be a contemporary with broken characters, but it is like no other book out there in the genre. It also had the ABSOLUTE BEST closing line in a book I have ever read. Can you say uncontrollable sobbing? Cause that was me. It was pure perfection. 

The Sea of Tranquility is a book everyone needs to experience. So if there is anyone left out in the world that has not picked up this book, please remedy that as soon as possible.


  1. OH MY GOSH! I was honestly expecting a very different, very girly review...but this blew me away. I love it when a book can make you feel so much in just a hundred pages. It says a lot about the author's writing skill. To get invested in the story, to fall in love with the characters and experience the emotions they do, in my opinion is just absolutely fantastic. I am so happy to see this book made you feel that and so much more.

    Sadly, I am one of those people who hasn't read this yet, and I am sooo going to fix that this weekend. lol ;p I love that its unique and brings something different to the contemporary genre. I can't wait to see what all the hype is about!

    Just plain old awesome review, Teresa! :D

    ~ Maida <3

    1. I love you comments... You have to let me know when you read this one... we must discuss all the things.

  2. This sounds so incredibly amazing! I've heard almost nothing but good things about it. I'll definitely have to pick up a copy asap. Great review :)

  3. emotional punch and a gift def are words I could use too. I loved it and glad you did too.

  4. I think this is one of the best books ever, and I totally agree with everything you said. Wonderful review.

  5. I am so, so, so happy that you loved TSoT, Teresa! It is definitely one of my all-time favorites. The last section, and the last two words are probably the best ending ever. Love your review, Teresa!

    1. Those last two words absolutely broke me. If I wasnt already crying I would have started sobbing!

  6. Excellent review Teresa. I felt much the same way while I was writing my review. I agree with Andrea- that ending... OMG. I literally was in tears at that point. Millay wrote such an emotionally charged book, dealt with serious topics, and developed incredible characters. This was such a win for me too.

  7. Oh, I want to read this one!! I'm going to have bump it up on my list! I definitely loved that you describe this book as a gift, it has to be great then!


    1. Magen... you HAVE to read this book. It is incredible!

  8. I couldn't agree more as this book is truly a gift! I've read it few months ago and I still can't get it out off my head. Great review :)

  9. Oh goodness, Teresa. First of all, this is an excellent review. I'm so happy you shared how this book made you feel. I have yet to experience The Sea of's patiently waiting for me on my reader. But I KNOW I'm gonna love it. I love a book that makes me feel with my whole heart and from what you've described, I know this will be a true 'gift'. :)

  10. Sadly, I feel like I'm in the minority with how I feel about this book. Yes, it's emotional, touching, gripping, and real. The writing is great. But, I just couldn't get into it. Plus, it was JUST SO LONG! Ugh. That might have to do w/me being in a reading slump while trying to read it, lol. Glad you liked it though. Great review Teresa!

    Confessions of a Vi3tBabe
    Deity Island


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