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.