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The Sea of Tranquility

BY THE SEA OF TRANQUILITY

4.7 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars78%
  • 4 Stars15%
  • 3 Stars5%
  • 2 Stars2%
  • 1 Star0%
4.70 / 5 based on 60 Reviews

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The Sea of Tranquility
The Sea of Tranquility
Reviews (60)
Q&A (13)
Media (4)
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Eunice F.
Sparks, NV
8 reviews
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Young Adult
My Rating: 5 freaking⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐. If I could rate it more than 5, it would be a perfect 10! Man! This is one hell of a book
Originally I read it Last March 17,2015 and I promised that I’ll find time to review this wonderfully written book. It was recommended to me by Ashley Lumba, a friend of mine.

My thoughts:

“I hate my left hand. I hate to look at it. I hate it when it stutters and trembles and reminds me that my identity is gone. But I look at it anyway; because it also reminds me that I’m going to find the boy who took everything from me. I’m going to kill the boy who killed me, and when I kill him, I’m going to do it with my left hand”
When you read the first page, you’ll see these lines and it strucked me to the core. I’m already hooked without even turning to the next page, these were her thoughts that she wanted to convey and promised to execute it. What made me think about these lines were:
• What happened to her before broke her to pieces for her to vow this vengeance.
• This humongous hatred in her heart that wants to explode
• The boy who was the culprit for making her this way
• The irreversible damage the boy have done to her which is why she can no longer be the same person again.

See? With just those lines you’ll be thinking a lot of things and it piqued my interest. This is going to be good as I said it to myself. And as I go along with the pages and chapters, the book didn’t disappoint me, it SURPASSED my expectations. I can’t seem to express it well through words that will give justice to the way that this book made me feel.

When the two main characters met, both of them were curious about each other, little did they know that they’ll be closer than anyone else. I love the way Ms. Millay had written it with all of the emotions being portrayed “Joy, fear, frustration, longing, friendship, anger, need, despair, love and lust”. This book was touching, heart-rending, heartbreaking, impressive, melting, mind-blowing, poignant, responsive, stirring, stunning.

I’ll never forget the feeling of Nastya when she was lost and found Josh’s garage, that said feeling of being welcomed without asking for permission, she didn’t utter a word to him and yet He let her stay and watch him do his woodwork. She felt safe in there like it was built to be her sanctuary.

“I know at that moment what he’s given me and it’s not a chair. It’s an invitation, a welcome, the knowledge that I am accepted here. He hasn’t given me a place to sit. He’s given me a place to belong”

You know what?
I do want to quote every lines that made me squirm, lonely, giddy, heartbroken and angry. However this review will be so long and spoil you.

Ms. Katja Millay made it realistic, not having perfect characters but with such strength to face their haunting past. To move forward without holding them back. It made you believe in second chances, that love will find a way to go back where it truly belongs.

I’m envious of Clay Whitaker’s drawing skills, the way he can see a person behind it, It’s been a dream of mine to draw something/someone like that unfortunately I didn’t have the skill to do that Lol! (frustrated as hell)

At the end of the novel, Josh asked a question she’s been waiting for which was a mind-boggling, heart-stopping, pulse-racing answer. That answer says it all!

I totally recommend this book for you guys to read. I commend the author for writing this enthralling story, hands down to you Ms. Katja Millay. It was an oh-so-freaking-good-that-you-wont-put-it-down-kind-of-book. I’ll looking forward to your upcoming novels. I’m already a fan of yours.
Jaime A.
West Allis, WI
12 reviews
I'm completely afraid that I'm not going to do this book justice when I write this review. So I'll start with the fact that I picked this up and read it in a 24 hour period. That's how much I loved this. Every time I had to put it down, I couldn't wait to be able to get back to it.

From the very beginning I was hooked. The prologue immediately grips you because you want... no you need to know more.

I hate my left hand. I hate to look at it. I hate it when it stutters and trembles and reminds me that my identity is gone. But I look at it anyway; because it also reminds me that I'm going to find the boy who took everything from me. I'm going to kill the boy who killed me, and when I kill him, I'm going to do it with my left hand.

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I mean... what?? I immediately needed to know what was wrong with her hand, what happened to her, could she really kill someone? I had all these questions and Millay answers them, but you don't get the full story immediately. It was like peeling off layers with each chapter.

This story is told from alternate points of view - We get Nastya's and Josh Bennett... yes... most of the time he's not just Josh to Nastya but he's Josh Bennett.

Nastya has gone through something horrific - something that is only hinted at throughout the story. She's left the small town of Brighton to start fresh in her Senior year. Whatever happened to her, ruined her.

Dying really isn't so bad after you've done it once.
And I have.
I'm not afraid of death anymore.
I'm afraid of everything else.

She changes everything about her, forcing people to be wary and afraid of her... making herself an outcast. Thankfully this doesn't work for some.

Enter Drew - From the very beginning I loved this guy. He doesn't apologize for being who he is, but at the end of the day, he's not the person everyone thinks he is. He's a loyal and supportive friend and he brought quit a bit of levity to extremely tough situations.

"She's really small and fragile-looking, and at the same time, it's like she's some exotic teenager mercenary, all rock solid, dressed in black, ready to take somebody down. None of it makes any sense. it's kind of disconcerting. She's like an optical illusion. You look at it from one angle and you see the picture and you think you've got a lock on it and then it shifts and the image changes to something entirely different and you can't even find the original picture anymore. It's a serious mindfuck."

The truth is ... even though Drew is her friend ...or has become her friend, he really doesn't know anything about her. Unfortunately, I'm not going to spoil anything so I can't divulge much.

What I can tell you about is the characters. They are wonderfully written. Millay has created these layered, multi-dimensional characters that jump off the page while reading. Characters win me over all the time and Millay had me from page 1.

Josh Bennett.. yes- I'm going to call him that too. This boy has his own problems. When we first meet him, it appears he's somewhat of an outcast, but when people think of him, they are reminded his situation so I think people stay away because they don't quite know how to act or respond to him. But he's respected... by his friends, by his teachers, by his peers and eventually by Nastya. They gravitate towards each other because of the issues they both have, but eventually it becomes more than an escape for both.

Again, I can't say much, but I will share some of my favorite Josh Bennett parts with you...

Good morning, Sunshine!" Josh Fucking Bennett. By now, I'm pretty sure that if I were to find his birth certificate that is exactly what it would say.

He's swoony...

"Not my fault that you're distractingly pretty." I have to take a minute to confirm to the pissed off part of my brain that still works that, yes, in fact, I did just say that."

"I'd ask you, you know. If I was allowed. I'd ask you a thousand times until you'd tell me. But you won't let me ask."

"It wasn't so much that I wanted to see her again," he says, looking at me with the depth of more than seventeen years in his eyes. "I wanted her to see you."

Then he shifts just slightly and I'm not kissing him anymore. He's kissing me. And when does, part of me is lost. But it's the part that's twisted and mangled and wrong, and for just that moment, with his hands in my hair and his lips on my mouth, I can pretend that it never existed.

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Have I sold you on Josh Bennett yet?

I feel like I haven't even scratched the surface of this story in what it's about - Actually I know I haven't, but I'm worried I might ruin something so I'm trying not to tell you much about the actual story other than the basics. You need to read and experience this as the story unfolds and to do that, you can't know certain things ahead of time.

Like I said, the characters are so well done in this story - even the secondary ones - I wanted more of Drew's mom, she was lovely and I want a short story about Tierney and Drew and I want I want I want! LOL

This story has a bit of everything... There are light, and sweet moments and there are parts where I found myself laughing out loud at a passage and then turned the page and found myself rubbing that spot over my heart because it hurt and then gasping at the sadness that I experienced. There is incredibly written dialogue and so much emotion in this book. At times I felt overwhelmed by the story, but by the end it was almost like a deep breath of fresh air. And when I got to the last page... I knew I was in love.

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This book will pull you into the world of Nastya and Josh and you'll want to set up camp and stay for as long as possible. Millay is a talented storyteller and I look forward to much more of her work in the future. Run and get this book, because I know you'll enjoy it just as much as I did.
Lauryn E.
Richmond, VA
132 reviews

Nastya is at a new school and all she is trying to do is get by without anyone noticing her or approaching her. She dresses provocatively and doesn't care what anyone else thinks. She wants to move past the trauma of her past but is still forced to think about the past and what happened to her. Josh also dealt with some extreme trauma in is his past and everyone knows and he is saved by the "dead zone" that seems to surround him. Everyone but Nastya stays away from him. She trusts him with one of her secrets and from there their friendship grows.

This is not a traditional romantic situation. The emotions are raw and intense and there is a sort of juvenile appeal to the way both Nastya and Josh handle the situation, but with that being said the emotions are there and I found my self scream at my book frustrated that the characters where not opening their eyes and doing what I thought was the right thing to do.

The innocence of the story and the traumatic pasts that the two main characters are able to share are extremely touching and I found myself moved by every detail. The author did a wonderful job detailing the story and I did not feel as though there were scenes missing or parts that were not explained enough. I really enjoyed the back and forth and being able to read the story in both Nastya and Josh's perspectives.

In some ways this can be considered a cliched romance story but there is so much more to the story and I could not put the book down until I finished.
Kristy P.
Saginaw, MI
27 reviews
This book could have so easily fallen into the terrible YA category of books with emotionally wrecked characters who fall in love and everything is great forever. All surface, no substance. Luckily, this book went so much deeper into its characters than the standard fare and made Nastya's impossible-to-relate-to trauma and suffering somehow relatable.

From the start, I was completely sucked in and desperate to know just what happened to Nastya in her past life to make her silent, scared and pissed as hell. What could make a person lose almost everything and then willingly walk away from the few pieces that remain and attempt to start anew?

Besides the desire to get even further into Nastya's head, I think the author did a great job of capturing teenage relationships. We all new someone like Drew or Sara in high school. We all (hopefully) know what it means to love your friends so much they become your family. Unlike so many other YA/NA books, though, the relationships don't feel forced or out of range for a bunch of 17-year-olds. They feel real and familiar.

A lot of moments in this book are shocking and hard to handle. There's no way around it. But by the time the we finally learn what happened to make Nastya, well, Nastya, we've already become part of the family that has been created around her by Josh and Drew. We feel Nastya's pain, but we also feel her friends' concern/rage/confusion/comfort. Nastya is not alone in finally revealing her story, and neither are we, the readers, in hearing it which proves how well-timed that part of the story is.

Overall, this was a great book and a quick read. Well done!
Heather M.
Newport, KY
12 reviews
To try and find the words to describe “The Sea of Tranquility” for me can be rather tough. I always loved to read and have given it up for years since college. This was the book that brought it all back for me. It was a book that I was constantly thinking about, questions and wanting to know more.
I have never been good at expressing my thoughts or emotions and to be able to connect with Nastya as a character was somewhat unique and unexpected. The idea that you get little glimpses and flashbacks make it intriguing and still leaving that hint of mystery as to where the story will lead made it attention-grabbing for me.
I loved that the plot was not focused on the abuse rather than the forming and growing of new relationships of two people who saw themselves as “broken”. Although she and Josh were teenagers, they were very much living adult lives brought on by choices not their own. I loved that this was not a typical “teenage love story” and that it resembled internal and emotional challenges that many relationships face yet are never talked about. The story is filled with raw, pure emotions that were so real and relatable. I found myself so attached and entwined with the events and situations they were going through that my heart would ache for Nastya and Josh.
Katja has done such a wonderful job and being able to go through the Readers Guide questions in the back and get some of her reactions is an amazing experience that I am ever grateful for. She is so wonderfully talented and versed and it shows through this hauntingly beautiful story.
Erin B.
36 reviews
Nastya is a 17 year old girl who has had everything about who she used to be taken from her because of a very traumatic event. She has moved to a new town to live with her Aunt in order to avoid her old life. She dresses in all black, wears tight clothes with high heels, tons of make up, and has given up talking (453 days and counting) in hopes to keep people at arms length.

Her first day at her new school she crosses the court yard and sees Josh Bennett, a 17 year old boy sitting on a bench surrounded by some sort of invisible force field since everyone seems to just leave him alone. All Josh wants to do is build furniture in his garage. Josh's only friend is Drew, that is until Nastya starts showing up at his house and just won't seem to go away. Josh and Nastya start a very slow building and deep relationship and are forever changed. This is a book about love, loss, second chances, and appreciating what you have instead of dwelling on what you have may have lost. I loved everything about this book, the story line, the writing, the characters, and especially the ending. This is a MUST read!!
Nicole R.
Lawrence, MA
67 reviews
The Sea Of Tranquility is quite possibly one of the most beautifully written books I've read in its genre. The five stars allotted for rating this story just don't seem to suffice. Everything about this book pulled me in; From the various rave reviews decorating Goodreads, to its calming title and enchanting cover--yet all of this was rendered insignificant when I became captured by the breathtaking beauty within.

The story opens with a powerful prologue, igniting instant intrigue. We are forcefully introduced to the horrific aftermath of Nastya's tragedy, but don't learn of its details until later on as the layers quietly unfold.

Nastya is a girl who has lost her identity, and with it, her will to live a life consisting of anything more than just barely existing. She has survived a heart wrenching tragedy that has left her a broken shell of the hopeful person she used to be. When the pressures of pretending to be 'okay' around her parents become too great, she moves in with her aunt and reluctantly attends high school again. Nastya strategically transforms her look, hoping to deflect all attention to her provocative appearance rather than the turmoil festering within.
Theresa O.
Coarsegold, CA
45 reviews
I’ve been swept into the Sea of Tranquility with no reason to escape. I’ve never felt so emotionally connected to the main characters of a book. This novel will remind you of everything you take for granted. It is beautiful yet heartbreaking. It is honest and real.

Nastya has started her life over. She has reinvented a life for herself so she can forget the past. Josh is her perfect math, he hides in a “force field” to camouflage he’s feelings of loss. The only problem, is that their connection brings up the harsh memories of their pasts and threatens to tear them apart.
This is Katja Millay’s first novel and I hope it is not her last. I am forever devoted to her writing! This is one book you will not regret reading… all the way to the very last line!
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Gladys A.
331 reviews
I started reading this book before bed last night. I had bought it based on a some of the reviews I read, but wasn't convinced I would like it. And then I started reading. And kept telling myself I would just read one more chapter and then put it down. Until 2am rolled around and I finished the book.
The characters in this book were wonderful. I loved the interplay between Nastya and Drew, it was entertaining and at times made me laugh out loud. I also loved the relationship between Nastya and Josh.
This is the first book I've read by this author, I'm not sure if it's her first book or not but either way I will be keeping my eyes open for her next one in the hopes it will be on par or exceed this one. I definitely recommend it, just caution you not to start it unless you have time to keep reading ;)
Melissa B.
23 reviews
I said it before and I'll say it some more... I hate to cry. Still, I picked up this book knowing that I'll probably need a tissue or two. You take 2 broken people, mix in a huge vat of horrible things that happen outside of their control, add in peers who don't understand, add a helping of not being able to see those that do care, and add a dash of loneliness. Unfortunately, even that recipe does not come up with the brilliance of this book. Yes, you can safely say I loved it.

I give this book 4 1/2 out of 5 stars. I really loved this book and I recommend it to those that love a story where two broken people come together, not to "fix" each other, but to find a way to "fix" themselves with the support of the other.
Kayla O.
Cabot, AR
85 reviews
Is this a good read?
Kayla O.
Cabot, AR
85 reviews
Is this a love story?
Andrea W.
Nesconset, NY
180 reviews
Is this book young adult?
Gladys A.
331 reviews
What do you think of this book?
Nicole D.
66 reviews
What made you read it??

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