Friday, January 25, 2013

Review: The Sea of Tranquility by Katja Millay

The Sea of Tranquility
by Katja Millay
Published: November 13, 2012

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 seventeen 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.

I fell in love with The Sea of Tranquility from the very first page. Head over heels in love. And not only because it was so good reading it but also because it left me thinking about it for days after and suddenly had the urge to read it again; which I probably would given that I have all the time in the world.

So here goes:

"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."

See? I mean, come on! How can you not be eager to devour a book with that opening? As I have expected, it did not disappoint me.

I didn't even remember this book being in my TBR list since who-knows-when. All I know is that I was hanging out at GR one time when I saw a friend like her friend's review of this book. It's not really a review, just a short comment saying Nastya Kashnikov looking exactly like this:

Obviously, I was intrigued and anxious-to-the-bones to start it and OHMYGOD. Just like that, I'm hooked!

I loved every character. Each of them having different personalities, different pasts, different stories, different views and yet they couldn't be more alike, in a way. It relates not only to me as a reader nor to Nastya and Josh but also to everyone who may come across this book. I don't mean that in a literal sense. I, for one, doesn't have a dark and bitter past that haunts me. Point is, this book lets me see the bigger picture of life in general.

The plot is brilliant. I am aware that there are other books out there that can be easily associated with this. Mysterious leave-me-the-hell-alone protagonists, starting-a-new-life-and-living-the-dark-past-behind type of books.. but the way the story was told plus awesome characters and an amazing writing style, you do the math. I was really caught up with the characters and the role each of them played in the story (not only Josh and Nastya), like everyone is significant that if one of them wasn't there, it wouldn't be as perfect. I felt every emotion I could think of reading both perspectives.

Nothing is more shattering than when the life you are living is one step away from attaining the future you've always dreamed about but was taken from you in the blink of an eye. No time to be surprised. No time to grieve. Except when it gave you a second chance at living, knowing that nothing will ever be the same again, leaving you with the feelings you were supposed not to have felt again.

It is never easy to just forgive and forget, no matter how long ago that past may be especially if it is your whole life in line. And no matter how much you've prepared for that day to come, will revenge come as easily and accordingly to what you've planned to do or say?

The Sea of Tranquility left me sad yet happy and relieved at the same time. I still have a lot I want to say about this but I'm afraid it will take a lot of time to try and put it into words. This book may sound depressing and all, but really, it isn't. And just when I thought there couldn't be any more surprises in store, it shocked me at the most unexpected part. The ending was perfect and pretty much says it all. Full 5 stars!


“Maybe nobody knows how. Sometimes it’s easier to pretend nothing is wrong than to face the fact that everything is wrong, but you’re
powerless to do anything about it.”

He tears apart faces and puts them back together whole, like I would a piece of music. I could play it a hundred ways, imbue it with a different emotion every time and try to find the truth of it. He does that with faces, except he’s not putting the truth in, he’s drawing it out. He’s looking for the truth of me. I wonder if he’ll find it, and if he does, maybe he can show me where it is again.

1 comment:

  1. I liked this book too and I am really into this new cover - so beautiful!
    It's clear that we won't always feel the same about the books we read, but so far we have similar opinions ;)) There were things that I loved about this book and there were some tiny ones that bothered me, but overall it's a story that I can recommend to my friends.

    Rowena Hailey (Ptarmigan Hunts)


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