Review: The Sea of Tranquility by Katja Millay

Posted by Jessi (Geo) on March 14, 2014 | 15 Comments

Review: The Sea of Tranquility by Katja MillayThe Sea of Tranquility by Katja Millay
Published by Atria Books (11.13.2013)
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult, Romance
Format: eBook, 448 pages
Source: I own it
Buy on Amazon

5 Stars

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.

My thoughts

Wow. I haven’t read a contemporary that affected me so much since Before I Fall! This story was beautiful, guys. It had me sobbing!

loved Nastya. LOVED her. She was so awesome! She was witty and hilarious, she was strong, and she didn’t give a f*ck what anyone thought of her. Plus, she was interesting. I wish she were real so we could be friends!

I don’t dress this way because I like it so much or because I want people to stare at me in general. But people are going to stare at me for the wrong reasons anyway, and if they are going to stare at me for the wrong reasons, then at least I should get to pick them. Plus, a little unwelcome staring is a small price to pay for scaring everyone off. […] If I’m going to get unwanted attention, better it be for my ass than for my psychosis and my effed-up hand.

Something I didn’t know going in: Nastya doesn’t speak. At all. It made for a very interesting read, because nearly all of the story consists of her inner dialogue and her mental response to her surroundings. But it wasn’t a bad thing at all because I loved being in her head! 

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.

What happened to Nastya was surrounded by such an air of mystery that I was dying to know what happened! And while it took forever to finally find out, it made sense. Because someone who’s been through a traumatic experience like that would not be thinking about it – no, they’d be making every effort they could to avoid thinking about it. What I loved about her was that even though her life was ruined by what happened, she still did something about it and learned how to defend herself so it would never happen again.

I loved all of the characters! They felt very realistic, like they were real-life people. Drew was a womanizing asshat, but I loved him anyway! He was the perfect best friend for Nastya, and I loved how ‘just friends’ was all they were. Many stories would have pushed a love triangle there, but even though they were close physically and everybody thought they had something going on, the relationship was strictly platonic. Boys and girls CAN be just friends! They can!!!

“When you look at her what do you feel? […] Joy, fear, frustration, longing, friendship, anger, need, despair, love, lust?”
“Yes, what?”
“All of it.”

Josh Bennett. Ohhh, Josh Bennett. He was sooo swoony! He was amazing and he was perfect for Nastya. I shipped them so hard!! And the beautiful thing was, it took nearly the entire book for them to admit how they felt about each other. No instalove here, folks! The relationship moved slow and they had plenty of time to get to know each other. They became companions that relied on each other despite their efforts not to. 

I have to admit, though, toward the end it pissed me off a little. They were such IDIOTS when it came to each other! I wanted to have a Jessica Biel moment and be all, “JUST TELL HIM YOU LOVE HIM, YOU PUSSY.” And it wasn’t really Josh that irked me. It was Nastya. Her behavior was ridiculous! I understand that she didn’t want to let anyone in, but JEEZ. View Spoiler »

Katja Millay has a talent of making even mundane things seem interesting. Even when there wasn’t much happening, I was still 100% invested in this story. I couldn’t get enough of it! 

AND THE ENDING OMG. *dies* I looove the purpose of the title! EEP! Do I recommend this book? HELL YES I DO. I’m not even a fan of contemporary, nor am I a fan of New Adult (some call this book YA, but it reads like NA). But it blew me away!

Overall Assessment

Plot: 4/5
Writing style: 5/5
Originality: 4/5
Characters: 5/5
Pace: 5/5
Feels: 5/5
Cover: 4/5
Overall rating: 5/5

Jessi (Geo)

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15 responses to “Review: The Sea of Tranquility by Katja Millay

  1. YES THIS BOOK I WANT IT SO BADLY. I love the cover a lot and the blurb seemed awesome and it was just so tempting to read this one, but I haven’t gotten to buy it yet. But I want it. And now that I have read your review, I want it even more! I love contemporary novels that DON’T include a love triangle, so I’m happy to read that they are just friends. I’m excited to read this one in the future :3

  2. YAAAYYY! I’M SO GLAD YOU LOVED THIS ONE! Everyone should have this book in this life. Even if they hate it. It’s eye-opening and like you said, that ending is just WOW!

  3. Yeah. The first time I read this book I H-A-T-E-D it. Really hated it. But it stuck with me, marinating in my brain, always there, for MONTHS. So about a year later I read it again, and my love was equal to my previous hatred. I think that mystery surrounding Nastya in conjunction with her stupidity with Josh was just too much for me. But in the re-read, I already knew what the mystery was all about, so I was able to focus on the characters, and I LOVED them ALL–Nastya, Josh, DREW, and that artist kid (What was his name?). SO much love. I’m glad you loved them too. Great review :)

    • Wow, that’s funny! It’s amazing how your opinion of something can change. Maybe I should try to re-read books I didn’t like the first time that stuck with me! And yes, the characters were amazing! <3

  4. Tammy

    I’ve owned this since May 2013 on my Kindle but haven’t read it yet. I guess that’s a fail on my part :|

  5. YAY! So happy you loved this. The Sea of Tranquility is my favorite NA-ish YA, I loved it even more than Slammed (and I really loved that one). I wish these characters were real too…
    Awesome review!! <333

  6. whoa, it sure sounded like you enjoyed it very much! I will have to check this one out :P I’m not a huge fan of the cover but the title + how you said it tied to the ending made me very curious. Thanks for sharing Jessi :D

  7. I agree with every single point you made. I seriously loved this book and so far, I haven’t read anything like it again. Your review has given me the urge to reread it!

  8. The writing in this book is just so spectacular. Maaaaybe it could have been shaved a bit toward the end, but then again Katja Millay has such a way with words that you never want to stop reading them. There’s a lot of angst in this book, which usually isn’t my thing, but I just loved Josh and Nastya so much. I NEEDED them to find their happy ending together.

    Great review!

  9. So happy to see that you liked this one! I had been dying to read it, and then I read some not-so-glowing reviews that had me second guessing myself. You’ve just made me excited again! I love that the wait for the secret reveal was done well, and that there’s a male-female platonic relationship!! It can and it DOES happen!

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