Author: Katja Millay
My Rating: 8.5/10
Summary (thanks Goodreads, you've saved my fingers a whole lot of typing): 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 first, I had no idea what to expect. I mean, don't most contemporary novels boast about being the most heart breaking and realistic and wonderful book out there? I mean, most do. At least that I've seen. But Sea of Tranquility is one of the few that truly delivers. The reader is introduced to Nastya, a girl who has clearly had some issues and has had some hard times dealing with them. We don't know what happened to her, but we learn pretty quickly that it was something huge. Something life altering. Something that nobody should have to deal with and something that she didn't know how to deal with. Whatever had happened had took her voice - both literally and figuratively. She moves schools to live with her aunt and changes everything about her. She wants to run away from herself.
Then we are introduced to Josh, and while it's obvious that Josh is going to somehow be of great significance to Nastya, we don't know why. Josh has his own problems that are actually problems, and not issues that are just present so he can somehow have a deeper connection with Nastya. No cop-outs, he has problems and he knows it. And so does apparently everyone else at the school. They're drawn together, and form some kind of bond over the course of the school year, while in shop class and while hanging out in his garage late at night when all Nastya wants to do is run. Their connection is intense and real and thought provoking and everything I didn't know I was looking for when I picked up this book.
There were parts that I wasn't too fond of, but I don't want to give them away for spoilery purposes. But the good far outweighed the bad and I'm so glad that I picked this one up. It will most likely be in my top 10 of 2015.
Final Thoughts: This book is an emotional powerhouse, and I definitely, without a doubt, recommend it.