Review: The Sea of Tranquility by Katja Millay

February 8, 2014 Review 39 ★★★★½

Review: The Sea of Tranquility by Katja Millay
The Sea of Tranquility by Katja Millay
(Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository)

Publisher: Atria
Source: Borrowed
Pages: 448
Release Date: September 5th 2012
Genres: Contemporary, Love & Romance, Young Adult
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.

Full of rage and without a purpose, former pianist Nastya Kashnikov wants two things: to get through high school without anyone discovering her past and to make the boy who took everything from her pay.

All 17 year-old Josh Bennett wants is to build furniture and be left alone, and everyone allows it because it’s easier to pretend he doesn’t exist. When your name is synonymous with death, everyone tends to give you your space.

Everyone except Nastya, a hot mess of a girl who starts showing up and won’t go away until she’s insinuated herself into every aspect of his life. The more he gets to know her, the more of a mystery she becomes. As their relationship intensifies and the unanswered questions begin to pile up, he starts to wonder if he may ever learn the secrets she’s been hiding or if he even wants to.

The Sea of Tranquility is a slow-building, character-driven romance about a lonely boy, an emotionally fragile girl, and the miracle of second chances.
bec (2)

It seems that once again I have made a fantastic life choice: getting this book out from the library. I’d been in a sort of reading slump, picking up something and putting it down a few pages in (sometimes I didn’t even started). Nothing was catching my interest. Then I started THE SEA OF TRANQUILITY and life was amazing.

THE SEA OF TRANQUILITY is the first book in a long time that was so addicting I’m 99% sure it was physically impossible to put down. I enjoyed it so much and just want to say two quick things (I need to get them off my chest, okay). Firstly:

Secondly, if one of the reasons you’re shying away from this (especially if you’re a contemporary and/or mystery fan) is because “ew New Adult” STOP RIGHT THERE. My personal opinion is that this is YA. Quite upper YA but still YA. The characters are in high school. To me NA is not high school. And this isn’t filled with sex either so YOU HAVE NO EXCUSES NOW. READ IT. Of course you don’t have to, but it’s just something you might want to look into

What is it about THE SEA OF TRANQUILITY that has me resorting to threats to get people to read it? (because I need to see more love of this!) Mainly it’s just a very well done novel. The writing is great and addictive, with distinct differences in the voices between the two POVs. The plot can be a little slow and not a great deal happened (but it is a character driven contemp so *shrug*) but there’s hilarious characters and great dynamics and that’s what I kept coming back for (not that I ever left)

There is also an element of mystery when it comes to what happened to Nastya. And I’m sort of grateful and frustrated at the way it was revealed (only because I wanted to know SOONER). We are never plainly told what happened. Only given glimpses as she gives hints and start moving on, coming to terms. The…solution to the problem came rather abruptly and in a place I did not expect. Maybe the repercussions of some of those final moments could have been explored more. Oh and while we’re at it, I would have liked to see more of Nastya’s family and some of the other secondary characters (they were so interesting!)

I think the only thing left to talk about it the romance. Basic thoughts

I loved it. The build up was great and it developed nice and slowly and perfectly. Though I do have to admit the Obligatory Break Up was quite sudden and came out of basically nowhere. It confused me. Everything was forgiven and sunshine soon rained down on the glorious couple again ;) (Someone better get that or I’m going to cry)

If you can’t tell, I really loved THE SEA OF TRANQUILITY. It was the exact book I needed to pull me out of a minor slump and I’m so glad I got it out from the library. You should get your own hands on a copy, it’s worth it.


Rating Report
Overall: 4.8

39 Responses to “Review: The Sea of Tranquility by Katja Millay”

  1. Amir

    I am so glad you loved this book!!! This is a 5 star read for me and one of my all-time most favorites! And I agree, I would clasify this more as mature YA than NA. I hope whatever you read after this didn’t pale in comparison! It did for me! (>.<)
    Amir recently posted…Review: Under Locke by Mariana Zapata

    • Bec

      Yay! It’s pretty good. I’m going to try and buy it one day… I read another popular NA after this and it was pretty good too :)

  2. Nara

    I actually read it waaaaaay back when it was an indie book (#hipster) and promptly began to push it onto everyone I knew haha. It’s just such a well written book and the two POVs were done so well and the romance was amazing!
    I got the reference! So no need to cry haha. Although I feel like sunshine “raining” down is a bit of an oxymoron lol
    Nara recently posted…Blog Tour: Secret by Brigid Kemmerer

    • Bec

      It was done amazingly and the whole thing is just JKDHsafsa I’m trying convince Alise to read it but I don’t think I’ve been successful…

      SOMEONE UNDERSTANDS ME XD Shh… let me make my silly references when I can (It could be a sun shower :P )

  3. Pam@YA Escape from Reality

    I really enjoyed this one too, it was definitely an emotional read. I love character driven contemporaries so I especially loved getting to know Nastya and Josh and I loved their relationship. And I just have to say. Best. Last. Line. Ever. Made me tear up. Great review!
    Pam@YA Escape from Reality recently posted…Stacking the Shelves (31)

  4. sarabara081 @ Forever 17 Books

    This is one of my favorite books ever! I completely agree with you, it really isn’t too NA feeling, definitely more YA, and I appreciate that it isn’t weighed down with tons of sex. The ending is one of my favorites ever! When I went back and reread the book the little hints that were there… EEP! Love this book! So glad you picked it up!
    sarabara081 @ Forever 17 Books recently posted…Review: Spirit Bound (Vampire Academy #5) by Richelle Mead

    • Bec

      There’s, what, one sex scene? Definitely does not fit the general stereotype for NA.

      Ah, I want to reread it now! I’m so glad I picked it up too :D

  5. Kaitlin

    I cannot believe I haven’t read this one yet. I do have it, but I keep putting it off for other books (I know, that is a very, very stupid thing to do). This book looks absolutely perfect for me. Addicting upper YA contemporaries with amazing romances are my absolute favorite. I have a feeling that when I finally read this one, it will be as impossible to put down as you said it is.

    Great review, Bec! I love the gifs you used, especially the first one. :)
    Kaitlin recently posted…Review ~ Be with Me by J. Lynn

    • Bec

      Stop. Get this book. Place it in top of your tbr. You will not regret it. It sound like you’ll love it.


    • Bec

      It’s pretty close to that! It’s a book a lot of people would enjoy, I think, if they got past the whole thinking it’s NA thing… Hopefully more people give it a chance :)

    • Bec

      Thanks! This is so completely different to NA books, it’s really good. I hope you find time for it soon!

    • Bec

      It’s good when you read something out of your comfort zone/genre and love it! It is a pretty awesome cover.

    • Bec

      That is pretty much the best compliment I could receive as a reviewer. Thanks! I hope you decide to pick it up soon and love it :)

  6. Allie @ Little Birdie

    Oh my gosh I LOVED this! You’re completely spot on about being both grateful and frustrated with the reveal. It came completely out of nowhere (and when she saw him in the gallery?!?!?! WHAT?!). SO random.

    This was such an emotional book for me and I think it’s one of the most well-paced novels I’ve read. Everything takes time to build up and develop and those flashbacks were haunting. And that thing about her name? THERE ARE TOO MANY FEELS HERE.
    Allie @ Little Birdie recently posted…Is This Really How You Want It To End?

    • Bec

      It was very sudden. And out of place with the great pacing through the rest of the book.

      Ahaha, I know the feeling! It’s hard to restrain the feels.

  7. Faye @ The Social Potato

    I’d love to read this one, but the very reason why I’m kinda avoiding it is because I know it’s heavy stuff… like real heavy stuff, and while I am open to reading sad books every now and then, the heavy ones tend to linger for a while and it brings chaos to my already chaotic life. Hahaha.

    It sounds like one of those books YOU JUST HAVE TO READ BEFORE YOU DIE though so I’ll surely be getting to it soon. I’ll just have to prepare my heart first </3
    Faye @ The Social Potato recently posted…ARC Review: Half Bad (Half Life #1) by Sally Green

    • Bec

      It’s definitely worth reading when you’re ready for it. I hope you love it and it doesn’t bring too much chaos to your life :)

    • Bec

      Aw that’s a shame :( But understandable. Maybe you might be in the mood for something like it one day and then it will be perfect for you XD

  8. Lola

    I read this book quite some time ago and I really enjoyed it! I do think it’s a slow pased book, but it really fits the story and just like you said it’s character driven and I felt like all the character developments where done really well. I really liked the slow build-up romance.
    The Obligatory Break Up was one of the things I didn’t like. I don’t like this trend and I think the Obligatory Break Up is really overused.
    Lola recently posted…Release Day Blitz: Everlasting (Night Watchmen #1) by Candace Knoebel

    • Bec

      I wouldn’t want this book to be any faster paced. It’d rush through so much if it was.

      That break up was the only thing that annoyed me. Couples can have arguments and problems that don’t mean a break up!

  1. Reading Recommendations: Fresh Starts | Readers In Wonderland

    […] THE SEA OF TRANQUILITY fits the fresh start theme in two different ways. Firstly, it pulled me out of a reading slump. The writing was so gorgeous and addictive. Exactly what I needed at the time. Secondly, the story follows Nastya as she arrives at a new school trying to escape a traumatic event in her recent past, and Josh, who is known as the guy who lost all his family at once and wants to escape that title. Over the course of the novel these two help each other come to terms with their life and they start to heal. Also the romance is amazing. If you want to see more of my thoughts on THE SEA OF TRANQUILITY my review is here. […]

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