Monday, June 3, 2013

The Sea of Tranquility by Katja Millay

Standalone
448 p.
Available now
Publisher: Atria Books
Source: eARC from NetGalley and the publisher
"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.
 I said it before and I'll say it some more... I hate to cry. Still, I picked up this book knowing that I'll probably need a tissue or two. You take 2 broken people, mix in a huge vat of horrible things that happen outside of their control, add in peers who don't understand, add a helping of not being able to see those that do care, and add a dash of loneliness. Unfortunately, even that recipe does not come up with the brilliance of this book. Yes, you can safely say I loved it.

When I first started the book, I admit I was confused. The book just dives into the lives and it almost felt as if you should know what was going on. I am no stranger to reading in the middle of the series, but I knew this was a standalone from the beginning. I actually stopped and did a double check to make sure I was correct and it was a standalone.

After that was sorted, I understood why it started that way. Nastya, is determined to not allow anyone to learn of her past, so you are thrown into the mix as much as our main characters have been thrown. What I loved about Nastya's story is that we do not get to know what happened to her for much of the book. I thought this was brilliant. Often we want to know what happened as if then we can determine how broken she is... a thing we cannot possibly determine with such little information. However, by withholding the exact details of her assault (the only thing we do know), we truly figure out how broken she has become. We are left with the raw emotions like anger and fear to deal with. Contrasted with our hero, Josh who we know everything that has happened to him and yet the author also finds a way to help us understand his brokenness. You knew that these two would come together. This story is how they come together and hopefully find the road back to themselves.

My only complaint with the book has to be the jumps. It does jump from Nastya's POV to Josh's POV, but that isn't a problem at all. All those jumps are marked and they have distinct voices. The jumps I'm referring to have to do with either actual location and/or time. One minute they are in school, the next at home, or suddenly it's next week. I think these transitions just need to be worked on a bit.

I give this book 4 1/2 stars. I really loved this book and I recommend it to those that love a story where two broken people come together, not to "fix" each other, but to find a way to "fix" themselves with the support of the other.

24 comments:

  1. Great review! I really loved this one too. I'm looking forward to more stories by this author.

    Cat @ A2H

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    1. Oh so am I! I can't wait to see what she comes up with next.

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  2. As I enjoy a good cry every now and then I'm not put off by the need for tissues, the jumping about does however put me off a bit. Great review as always, I admire that you manage to remain so objective.

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    1. The jumping wasn't huge and some may even miss it.

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  3. WOW! Holy weapon 448 pages is a pretty good size1

    Tissues? I will admit I love the books that make me cry :)

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    1. Yes, tissues! :P Still, I loved it. You'd probably love the ending. :)

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  4. I hope the jumps and confusion in the beginning won't turn me off

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    1. The jumps were small, but threw me for a bit, but I doubt that the beginning will now that you know. :)

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  5. Ahhhhh!!!! I need to read this Melissa! I've actually been putting it off because I know it's going to make me cry, and as much as I love books that make me all emotional, I always pass them over in favor of lighter books until I've shored up my courage. I feel sufficiently armored at this point, so I think I'm finally ready to dive in. Your review is stunning, and I'm glad to know about being confused at the beginning going in, now I won't feel so out of sorts.

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    1. Yes! You need to read it Jenny! I wanna know what you think and especially what you think of the ending! READ EET! ;D

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  6. Oh yes, this book definitely needs to come with a packet of tissues attached to it. SO glad you loved this! I agree with you on the transitions, those could have been a bit better, but overall it is such a beautiful read. Lovely review Melissa!

    (PS love the new header! :D so summery!)

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    1. Oh so true. That would be great to just give the person a tissue so they don't have to hunt it down. :)

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  7. I really do think I'd enjoy this one. I'm glad to hear that you gave it a chance, despite it being emotional, and ended up loving it. That makes me even more curious!

    -Lauren

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    1. I've read more emotional books lately. I end up giving in and enjoying them a lot. *sigh* :)

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  8. I hate to cry too but sometimes it's so intense. Doesn't happen a lot but I understand.

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  9. I like the cover but I can't seem top focus on it

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  10. I am with you, I hate crying and feeling anxious while I read, I want to escape not be thrown into a vat of horrible things, still for whatever reason I requested this and I will be reading it next week. I am glad that despite it being an angsty book, you loved it. I am encouraged.

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  11. I read for comfort, not to be devastated, just like you. My bestie Lisa read this a few months back and she couldn't put it out of her mind, so I kind of stayed away because it seemed safer. But we're very much alike, and you liked it, plus you said exactly the right thing - that they didn't fix each other, but helped each other fix themselves. That is very cool.

    Great new look, btw, very sunny.

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  12. I love that you said you aren't a stranger to reading in the middle of the series. We love that about you!! I read another review of this one on another blog and knew I had to read it. It scares me, but I know I'll kick myself if I don't read it!

    Heather

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  13. Yay, I'm so glad you enjoyed this one! I was so pleasantly surprised by the depth of emotion I felt for it and though there were a few flaws, it was a really solid debut. Fantastic review! :)

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  14. It's funny that you read this book cause I just read it myself this past weekend. I really enjoyed it. Nice review.

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  15. I have heard a lot of wonderful things about this book. It seems like I have been kind of avoiding the more emotional reads (as much as I can) right now just because it's the start of summer and a happy time but it sounds like this is one not to be missed. Maybe I can fit it in this fall.

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  16. This book physically hurt to read at times but I loved it. I also agree with the few criticism you had with it.

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  17. So happy you loved this book. I am reviewing it soon and giving it 6 stars. I loved how we didn't know the details on what happened to her for so long. The mystery of it all was intense. :)

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