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 listen to and have recently started to write reviews. I've found the reviews have helped me to select books.
This novel exemplified the reality that when tragedy intrudes into a person's life, there is sometimes a need to dig themselves back to a normalcy that they are able to accept.
This novel concerns the lives of two young people, a girl and a boy. Both are fast approaching the age of 18. They both feel detached from those around them, especially while in school. But these same two young people meet while in high-school. This leads them both to a hard fought reality that the world and themselves do have hope. Although their lives have been irretrievably changed they do find their way back. Struggles lay ahead, especially for the girl, who found the need to change her name, thus causing her to lose her own identity.
This anomaly occurs in the lives of the people around us as well as to some of the people who are listening to this novel. Purchase this book and gain an understanding that some people do struggle to live and interact with others again. There will be adjustments to be made but listen to know if laughter can again become a part of their lives.
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.
Have not read the printed version.
I love the characters, you just really want them to succeed.
It was good over all.
Are second chances even possible?
I loved this book!!
I've listened to it three times. I did the same with "Looking for me".
I agree with another reviewer that wrote that all the characters are well developed.
So many of the books on Audible are hopelessly narrated and/or have poor sound. These two bring so much to the story; they do a perfect job and the recording is high quality.
I'm 30 years old and I loved every sentence in this book. The story is easy to follow and the writing is simple, so it's very relaxing to listen to, yet it's emotionally and socially interesting and never boring.
Page Turner, Avid Listener, Life-long Student.
Both of the readers of this book added a realism and strength to the incredible characters but I was really touched by Kirby Heyborne's portrayal of Josh Bennett. Every inflection seemed to hit just the right tone for this fractured character who was falling apart and coming together within the story. Wonderful Job!
This is a book I could listen to again and I stayed up late listening to. While the story involves a teen romance it is truly about two tragically broken people who find a reprieve from the pain of their lives and unconditional, unspoken support in each other. The writer did an excellent job of sharing the complicated emotions of victims: the self-loathing, loneliness, desperation, fear, guilt, shame, denial, etc. - every ugly and heart wrenching emotion that twists in the gut of a person who has gone through loss or pain; as well as the hopefulness and yearning for peace, comfort, love,forgiveness, and healing that exists in a precarious, tiny part of them. I was truly touched by these characters and this book.
I really enjoyed this book. I got hooked in and ended up binging on the majority of it so finished in two short and one looong bout of listening.
This is well read by two narrators-- usually not my favorite tactic but as the chapters were from two POVs and the readers were very listenable, I dug it.
The story has the advantage of multiple unknowns that are hinted at but not totally revealed. One is, unsurprisingly, about romantic relationships, and the other primary beautifully slow reveal is about what is at the heart of one of the protagonists. Great supporting characters and refreshing friendships between young men.
I didn't realize that the main characters were in high school when i got the book. At times I wondered at the believability complex communication skills of these people as 17/18 yr olds. There were moments when motivations and miscommunications were a little hung up on patterns of misunderstanding and overwrought "it's all my fault"s, for the most part this is an engaging, entertaining book with compelling characters and relationships.
At one point the main character says something along the lines of "I'm not a vampire or from Hogwarts; I'm a person with real life problems." Appreciated that fact in the current tide of fantasy & dystopia novels.
It's good, not great, but has enough page-turning-ness to rate decently with me. A girl has to re-invent herself after a tragic misfortune. A boy is mysterious and gets on her nerves. Teens are tough in the face of life's unfolding tragedies. Teens.
I love to read and listen to books. I teach and share my love with my teenager and I'd like to share that love with you.
I know. It's about time. I'd heard so much about THE SEA OF TRANQUILITY that I bought it for the library, but didn't read it. Then Felicia @ The Geeky Blogger's Book Blog decided to highlight favorite audiobooks. Guess which one popped up more than any other? Yep. So when I was manipulated by Audible to buy audiobooks, I knew this had to be one of them.
I was immediately drawn into Nastya's world. I liked her wit and sarcasm and had to know what caused this girl to decide to remain silent. And not only that, but why was she outfitted in an armor that made her unapproachable and up for speculation. She seemed so strong and self-assured and powerless at the same time. Then the running, the relentless need to get herself to exhaustion so her mind could rest. I wanted to know her story.
And it would take an equally broken, Josh, with an equally thick wall of amour to not only intrigue Nastya, but frustrate her right out of her shell. Their story is one of damage and trying to deal with it. They can't quite seem to wrap their own brains around who they are now after. After the loss. After the things and people who have been taken away. Much less can they figure out how to navigate the everyday high school world carrying around so much pain. They aren't who they used to be. They've changed. So they erect walls and lots of barriers to keep everyone else out and try to protect what little they have left. But it is lonely.
This is a book to experience. I woke up at 2:30 am to snoring, so I plugged in my audiobook like usual to go back to sleep. But this was different, I couldn't go back to sleep. I stayed up the rest of the night following Nastya and Josh. My eyes leaked, my stomach was in knots and my heart broke. It was powerful and sad and beautiful.
CANDACE THAXTON captured Nastya's anger, jadedness and intelligence. KIRBY HEYBOURNE was Josh. He was strong, withdrawn, but attentive. They took the story that KATJA wove and made it play out in my mind in 3D. BRAVO.
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.
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