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 17 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.
©2012 Katja Millay (P)2013 Simon & Schuster
I'm proud to be a bookaholic...addicted, obsessed, passionate!!! My favorite way to relax & escape reality....
This book was beautifully written. I highly recommend this heartfelt book. I did need some tissues so be prepared.
Busy mom who loves to read but doesn't always have the time. I enjoy YA, Romance and the occasional Best Seller.
I’m not someone who would really know a well written book if it bit me on the ear, but what I can tell you is that this one touched me to my very soul. This story broke me apart in so many pieces and then very carefully and slowly put me back together again. It is so beautifully written that it hurts. Yes, this is a book in the YA genre but it is so much more than the typical teen drama/romance novel. It is deep, it is raw and it will stick with you long after the story has ended. This is not a happy or sad story, but one of hope, healing and second chances.
I’m giving this one 10 stars for the brilliant narration and for the complex beauty of this well-written gem of a book.
“Stories make us more alive, more human, more courageous, more loving.” ― Madeleine L'Engle
This story really blows all others away. It's so beautifully written, the characters Nastya and Josh are so flawed and yet perfect at the same time. It doesn't even really feel like a story, it feels like you are seeing into these people's soul and what you find there is captivating, tragic, and real. Move over, every other favorite story I have ever read.... make room for Sea of Tranquility.
This is a book you will never regret picking up.
I'm semi-retired at 66 and starting a whole 'nuther life making fun jewelry. Loved my career/vocation assessing quaility of care in long term care and likewise loving being at home and tinkerin' at my tinkerin' bench.
Having read this book on my Kindle TWICE and rated it 5+ stars both times, it was with great trepidation that I downloaded the audible.com version. It even took me almost a MONTH to begin listening to it.Y'all, this book is and was a phenomenal read, so you can imagine the leap of faith to listening to it. Well, let me put you at ease and also congratulate whoever is responsible for bringing the audio version to life. IT'S JUST AS GOOD AND NOTHING IS LOST!! In fact, the audio version adds a dimension to the printed/digital book that simply puts this book (and the author, Katja Millay) into the stratosphere of spectacular writing. There a literally hundreds of 5 star reviews on Amazon, so if you want the eloquence of a great review of the story and Katja's magnificent and powerful writing, go there. I cannot do most of them justice. But listen to me when I say that listening to this book was an experience I will never forget. Initially, I was thinking to myself "Uh-Ho--this isn't working". But knowing that it often takes acclimating to voices you may have heard in your head as you read the book, I stuck with it. And man, was it worth it. There was a tipping point when the narrators BECAME the characters and the book totally came to life. Both Kirby Heyborne and Candace Thaxton were superb in their narration, intonation, voice, timbre and whatever else it took to make this wonderful book a wonderful listen. Sometimes the 'esses' would whistle slightly but not to the point of distractions. The characters of Nastya and Josh were spoken richly by each narrator. I will return to this book again and again when I am beret of a powerful and beautifully crafted story. My three words about this book to all who see this review--LISTEN TO IT!
Heartbreaking, Poignant, Amazing
All with Josh and Nastya
The Miracle of Second Changes
Josh, I’m so glad that you were able to see past Nastya’s lies and her ‘costume’, past her silence and hear her scream for help. I’m glad you were able to see the Sunshine behind the clouds and let it warm you in the process.
Avid reader, enthusiastic book club organizer, aspiring writer & devoted mommy of one Doberman puppy, Maddox, and one Half-Arab mare Kissy.
Some books can absolutely destroy you, rip out your emotional insides…and then in just 2 words, put you back together. This is exactly what The Sea of Tranquility did to me. Several people that I met at a book signing in January recommended this book to me. Few books that come with such high recommendations meet my expectations. This book surpassed them! In search of the ever elusive HEA, I was propelled by a compulsive obsession to finish this book! The author took me right up to the edge where I was almost ready to throw the book aside and scream that I will never believe in HEA’s ever again when I read the final page. Worth every tormented minute of reading!
Author, Katja Millay crafts a painfully dark narrative of two damaged, grief-stricken souls both in desperate need of healing. Despite the tragedy Nastya and Josh have experienced in their own individual lives, this is a story about the creation and offering of second chances. Sometimes when books are of a dark nature, the author allows the darkness to carry the story and propel you to find the answers out of simple interest. Katja Millay does not allow the darkness to define her book, even as Nastya permits the darkness to define her life. Bit by bit, Millay masterfully reveals Nastya’s tragedy. Piece by piece, Josh attempts to rebuilds his life. These two forge a new, if not unlikely, friendship and one would think the story would end there with a nice big HEA. However, this book is too real and edgy for that to happen. Josh and Nastya have had too much happen to them in their young lives, too much destroyed and taken away. Part of healing is not just intellectually knowing that what happened in your past is not your fault and should not control your future. Part of healing is actually embracing this knowledge and moving forward with life. Nastya struggles with this:
“It’s not that I wanted to be dead, I just felt like I should be. Which is why it’s hard when everyone expects you to be grateful simply because you’re not”
Josh struggles with this as well. Having lost everyone he has ever loved, he finds it almost excruciating to be vulnerable again. Together the two must overcome and heal from their past or it will consume their future as well.
I could go on forever and never do this book justice. Millay’s writing style is so fluid that I frequently forgot that I was a reader and not actually a part of this book. It is a book I could read again and again and be affected each and every read. Deep, dark, edgy, and simply exquisite.
You will not be disappointed. This was a great book done justice by the equally great performance of the readers.
This was such an amazing book. I kept waiting to be disappointed somehow but it never happened. I had to stop and take breaks just to give myself some breathing room.
Audiobooks have changed how I drive! I look forward to driving for work when I have a good book on deck.
The character development was excellent...Nastya and Josh are captivating young people. Even secondary characters, e.g., Drew are well developed. The characters speak like young people including cursing and sexual innuendo, and it feels authentic to the characters, not forced or obvious that it's written by an adult. This fictional book evokes real emotions; the grief and angst are almost tangible. The author doles out the tragic plot in a way that was manageable...the reader is allowed time to digest information about a character and given just enough information to wonder what will be revealed next. The dual narration was well done. The narrators sounded age appropriate, that is, they sounded like the teenagers they were narrating without sounding immature or too young. I enjoyed every minute of this book and I am anticipating listening to it again fairly soon.
I've put off writing this review for awhile, because I just don't know quite how to rate this novel. There were brilliant moments while listening to this book where pain and anguish were subdued by something so heartwarming or heart-stopping that I felt it was truly amazing. Then there were some aspects and portions of the book that I felt bordered too much on high school cliché or just plain bothered me (Josh's nickname for Nastya was one). I understand that the characters are in high school and that young adult is the genre for this book, but I expected it to transcend beyond that making older adults forget that they aren't the intended audience. There are times that this book accomplishes that and others where it doesn't. That being said, this book is worth reading/listening to and worth recommending. It has one of the best opening lines (where Nastya talks about her hand and what she wants to do with it) and one of the best closing lines-her two word answer to Josh that was flabbergasting. This book wasn't perfect but it did have moments of perfection and I do see why the majority of people reading it give it 5 stars.
"One Of The Best"
It is not often that you see a novel which is realistic in every way. It is sad to think that such things can happen. I loved them. Yes, I felt that I got to know them. I can understand their motivations. I can relate to them. In some parts of the book, I laughed outloud. Other times, I cryed. I can not recommend it strongly enough.
I was hooked by the unique ‘voice’ of this novel from the very first line, the prose are captivating. The point of view switched between Nastya and Josh, but in both cases the sense of these characters was immediate and honest. I guess this narration was ‘The Death of Bees’ (random blurted thought) meets ‘Pushing the Limits’.
I would have liked more insight into Josh’s head in the second half of the novel and some of Nastya’s decisions seem to come from a far more self-destructive place than you anticipate, but the storytelling was fairly balanced otherwise. I enjoyed the slow growth of their friendship, the way they gradually slipped passed one another’s guard. The secondary characters like Drew and Tierney were well drawn, interesting and entertaining – they were pretty perfect and didn’t feel extraneous.
If you like smart observant characters, romance, heartache and stories to get lost in then this is a good bet. It’s not fantasy, or science fiction, or a Mills and Boon romance, but it will wreck you, steal your breath and your affections, your heart even. It will impress you.
This is a book that was worthy of a recommendation by Colleen Hoover.
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