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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 (447 )
5 star
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3 star
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Overall
4.3 (409 )
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4.5 (411 )
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Performance
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  •  
    Diana Valencia, CA, United States 02-08-14
    Diana Valencia, CA, United States 02-08-14 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "I'm a hard to please reader BUT..."

    I almost did not buy this book due to the fact that it was in the YA genre (this is what books like Twillight have done to me) but for some reason I felt this might be different. I am so glad I gave this book a chance since I have to admit it was the best audio book I have listened to so far. Although the story revolves around a group of young adults the writing is so superb that readers of any age will be entertained. Katja Millay makes these characters come to life and you feel like this is a true story someone is telling you. You laugh, you cry, you feel angry and sad with even a little suspense thrown in.
    Absolutely beautifully executed, I would give the book 10 stars, if I could.
    In addition what takes this book to another level are the amazing performances by Candace Thaxton and Kirby Heyborne. It is a rare thing when an amazing book and an extraordinary performance collide and this is what happened here. In this case I have to say the audio version is superior to the printed book.
    Listen to the book , you won't regret it. I'm looking forward to more from this author.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    AmReviewer 01-26-14
    AmReviewer 01-26-14 Member Since 2013
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    "WELL DONE!"

    I can't remember a book that moved me as much as this one did. Life is not fair. Tragedy can befall anyone and not everyone overcomes such pain. Even with this harsh reality we are given hope. You aren't asking yourself why bad things happen. Rather, you're urging the characters forward toward recovery and healing. You believe that it is possible, even under the worst of circumstances. Incredible writing and incredible narration. I very rarely read (or listen) to a book twice. This one will be an exception.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Gayle 12-21-13
    Gayle 12-21-13 Member Since 2008

    Avid reader (listener) and Audible Fan!

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Absolutely WONDERFUL!!!!!"

    My favorite Audible purchase of 2013. Heartbreaking story, beautifully written, and superb narration. Could not stop listening.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Melissa Bee 09-23-13
    Melissa Bee 09-23-13
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A few cliches amongst many amazing moments"

    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.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lisa dudley, MA, United States 09-19-13
    Lisa dudley, MA, United States 09-19-13 Member Since 2013

    I love to shop & listen to audio bks

    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
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    "Soooo sad the book came to an end...."

    This book absolutely stole my heart and my feelings....the author did a fabulous job with going between the main female and male characters. For a debut, Ms. Millay was a natural. While the book itself was nothing like Gone Girl, the set-up was. The reason I even picked this book was b/c of Kirby Heyborne. He is an excellent narrator / actor. Candace Thaxton complimented her role and played it with equal greatness. This book earned every star possible and then some.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Christine MINNEAPOLIS, MN, United States 09-04-13
    Christine MINNEAPOLIS, MN, United States 09-04-13 Member Since 2011
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    "A Serious but Lovely Listen"
    If you could sum up The Sea of Tranquility in three words, what would they be?

    Devastating, beautiful, realistic. There is no doubt that this book is about heavy and difficult topics. Josh and Nastya have both lost a lot of the wonderful parts of their life, and are forever changed by it. Yet they come together in an almost magical way, that at the same time still feels completely normal. The characters are all wonderfully developed, and true to the emotions you know they must be feeling.


    Which character – as performed by Kirby Heyborne and Candace Thaxton – was your favorite?

    I don't think I had a favorite character but both the narrators did a fantastic job. Candace's performance of Nastya's inner monologues could be sad, bitter, or a total hoot, and Kirby brought great emotion to Josh as he transformed from standoffish and detached at the beginning to passionate and engaged by the end.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Definitely, especially as the book got going and the relationship between Nastya and Josh started to develop. The author did a great job of injecting some mystery into this book as you don't know exactly what happened to Nastya til most of the way through. I immediately started listening again, and it was just as good the second time through, and subtle comments and hints about Nastya's past all came together.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Debbie Lake Havasu City, AZ, United States 09-03-13
    Debbie Lake Havasu City, AZ, United States 09-03-13 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Loved it"

    This book is beautifully written & totally captivating. I just loved it! It's so heartfelt. I didn't want to stop listening.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Rene GAINESVILLE, VA, United States 09-02-13
    Rene GAINESVILLE, VA, United States 09-02-13 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Breathtaking and Captivating"
    Would you listen to The Sea of Tranquility again? Why?

    Absolutely! I immediately re-listened to the book as soon as I finished it the first time. The first time through the story grabs you and does not give you a minute to breathe. The second time through, you will appreciate how well the story was written.


    What did you like best about this story?

    This book was well written and performed. I can't imagine a rating less than 5 stars. The author created a captivating story of young teenagers with a tragic past. She was able to suck you into their stories and feel their pain, healing, and hope for that second change to life through new love. Yes, this is a YA book, but will be enjoyed by readers of all ages.


    Which character – as performed by Kirby Heyborne and Candace Thaxton – was your favorite?

    I really enjoyed both characters. I really like Kirby Heyborne, so I guess I have to go with Josh's character.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    There are so many great moments in this book. I would not want to give anything away.


    Any additional comments?

    Outstanding writing and narration. Congratulations on an exceptional book. Katja, I look forward to your next book!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Judy Evansville, IN, United States 08-22-13
    Judy Evansville, IN, United States 08-22-13 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Loved it!"

    This book got me from the first chapter. Well written and narrated. Very glad I took a chance and downloaded this one. I will be looking for more from this author.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jennifer Garcia Los Angeles, CA USA 08-21-13
    Jennifer Garcia Los Angeles, CA USA 08-21-13 Member Since 2014

    itlnbrt

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Okay"

    I want to start off by saying how much I love this cover. The cleverness is just amazing.

    I had to give this book between 3 - 3.5 stars. I loved the concept and thought it was incredible and a very touching plot to touch on. However, the story itself really did not get good until about 3/4's in. The first 3/4's of the story felt like filler, stuff that wasn't needed or that could have been edited a lot. Too much time was spent on Nastya's building relationship with Drew and Josh. And, yes, that was needed, we needed to see them all bond but I don't think it really should have taken so much of the story to do so. It was like too much backstory without the actual backstory.

    A lot more attention and emphasis should have been placed on her tragedy. We got fed tidbits of it and still really had no clue what happened until the end of the book. I just think I would have appreciated this journey more if we had more focus on the tragedy and how she moved on with those boys and the new town after the fact. The last 1/4 was so much better because we got into the issues more, we saw the relationship between Josh and Nastya. We saw how much Drew changed and stopped being such a self-centered jerk and actually cared for someone besides himself. We saw her finally deal with the pain and feel something other than acting numb. There's not too much I can really say without giving it all away but the last part was the best.

    I liked how thought out the telltale signs of distress were. The names, the clothes, the make-up, the hand, etc... symbolically it was incredible.

    Also, sometimes while reading I felt like things were being repeated. I wish I could remember but it was like the author kept trying to reiterate her meaning by continuing to say the same thing with just different words. I wanted to fall in love with this book like so many others did, but I just didn't. I didn't hate it either. I actually thought the storyline has so much potential. And like everything in life, it's just my opinion, we're not all going to like the same things with the same capacity.

    I would still recommend this book but it's just not my favorite book.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
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