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The Sea of Tranquility: A Novel | [Katja Millay]

The Sea of Tranquility: A Novel

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.

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Publisher's Summary

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

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.3 (526 )
5 star
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3 star
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2 star
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Overall
4.3 (475 )
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Story
4.5 (476 )
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 (137)
3 star
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1 star
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Performance
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  •  
    Noelle 06-28-14
    Noelle 06-28-14

    "My test of a good book is dreading to begin the last chapter." - Thomas Helm

    HELPFUL VOTES
    36
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    132
    78
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    FOLLOWING
    13
    6
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Sea of Emotions"

    There isn't one thing I didn't love about this book. It's an emotional roller coaster that has you so profoundly connected to the characters that you feel their pain. I recommend this book to anyone who, scratch that, I recommend this book to anyone.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Pamela Dale Foster Sykesville, MD 01-15-14
    Pamela Dale Foster Sykesville, MD 01-15-14 Member Since 2011

    I listen to and have recently started to write reviews. I've found the reviews have helped me to select books.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    396
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    252
    242
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    33
    3
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Overcoming Catastrophe"

    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.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    K. Ziegler Pleasantville, PA USA 09-14-13
    K. Ziegler Pleasantville, PA USA 09-14-13 Member Since 2012

    katemike66

    HELPFUL VOTES
    41
    ratings
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    147
    33
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    11
    10
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    Story
    "New Favorite"

    This is my new FAVORITE! You will not be sorry. The story will tug at your heart.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Elizabeth SEVERN, MD, United States 12-05-13
    Elizabeth SEVERN, MD, United States 12-05-13 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
    4
    ratings
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    18
    3
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    Story
    "Heartbreaking, Poignant, Amazing"
    If you could sum up The Sea of Tranquility in three words, what would they be?

    Heartbreaking, Poignant, Amazing


    Which scene was your favorite?

    All with Josh and Nastya


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    The Miracle of Second Changes


    Any additional comments?

    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.

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer 12-08-14 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    6
    3
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    FOLLOWING
    0
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    "Great Book, Great Characters, Keeps you listen"
    Would you consider the audio edition of The Sea of Tranquility to be better than the print version?

    Have not read the printed version.


    What did you like best about this story?

    I love the characters, you just really want them to succeed.


    What about Kirby Heyborne and Candace Thaxton ’s performance did you like?

    It was good over all.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    Are second chances even possible?


    Any additional comments?

    I loved this book!!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ella 10-15-14
    Ella 10-15-14
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
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    6
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    "Loved it"
    Where does The Sea of Tranquility rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    I've listened to it three times. I did the same with "Looking for me".


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    I agree with another reviewer that wrote that all the characters are well developed.


    What does Kirby Heyborne and Candace Thaxton bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    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.


    Any additional comments?

    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.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    N. Walden Utah 10-10-14
    N. Walden Utah 10-10-14 Member Since 2013

    Page Turner, Avid Listener, Life-long Student.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
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    101
    15
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    0
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    Story
    "Heartbreaking and Heartwarming"
    Which character – as performed by Kirby Heyborne and Candace Thaxton – was your favorite?

    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!


    Any additional comments?

    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.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    paula Los Angeles, CA, United States 08-25-14
    paula Los Angeles, CA, United States 08-25-14 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "a bit addictive"

    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.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer Katy, TX, United States 10-27-13
    Amazon Customer Katy, TX, United States 10-27-13 Member Since 2012

    Avid reader, enthusiastic book club organizer, aspiring writer & devoted mommy of one Doberman puppy, Maddox, and one Half-Arab mare Kissy.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    ratings
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    "Worth every minute of listening!!!"

    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.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Paige 05-23-15
    Paige 05-23-15 Member Since 2013
    ratings
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    "One of my favorites"

    I've listened to this book 3 times now. Truly one of my all time favorites. The narrators are so believable I feel like I am actually in Nastia's and Josh's minds. Great story of overcoming tragedy.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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