Review: Sea of Tranquility by Katja Millay

This is quite possibly the best book I’ve read in 2012.

Here’s the synopsis from Goodreads:

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.

Full of rage and without a purpose, former pianist Nastya Kashnikov wants two things: to get through high school without anyone discovering her past and to make the boy who took everything from her pay.

All 17 year-old Josh Bennett wants is to build furniture and be left alone, and everyone allows it because it’s easier to pretend he doesn’t exist. When your name is synonymous with death, everyone tends to give you your space.

Everyone except Nastya, a hot mess of a girl who starts showing up and won’t go away until she’s insinuated herself into every aspect of his life. The more he gets to know her, the more of a mystery she becomes. As their relationship intensifies and the unanswered questions begin to pile up, he starts to wonder if he may ever learn the secrets she’s been hiding or if he even wants to.

The Sea of Tranquility is a slow-building, character-driven romance about a lonely boy, an emotionally fragile girl, and the miracle of second chances.

Short version is: it was breathtaking. Beautifully written, powerful, extremely emotional. I spent the first half of the story dreading what was coming when Nastya would finally reveal what happened. Katja’s writing has a lyrical quality to it, and a keen understanding of human emotion.

It’s all about loss and remorse and second chances and learning to live with trauma.

It’s a young adult title in that the characters are high school age, but is written toward an older audience, with adult content.

Absolutely loved it.

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