Review: The Sea of Tranquility, Katja Millay

*Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book on Netgalley from the publisher in return for an honest review*
A Sea of Tranquility Katja Millay cover
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.

Katja Milly grew up in Florida. She moved to New York City to attend film school at NYU. She has worked as a high school film production/ screenwriting teacher before she stopped to write her first novel.

The Sea of Tranquility is not a book that normally fits my reading habits. I have seen it filed under romance and YA and I think both are correct though there is a fair share of dark feelings in this book. Still I was pulled by the synopsis, the title and the cover. I became so curious that I wanted to try the book and I am glad I did.
For me there are two things that really made the book. One is a bit difficult to explain because it is a feeling emotion thing from my site. I loved the rhythm of the book, the writing was accessible despite the not always happy things. It was fluently in going from one situation to another even trough chapters. I usually stop reading at some point when the point of view or situation makes such a significant change that you are really in a fresh situation but this book had very few of this points resulting in me reading half way trough the night.
The second things I really liked had to do with the attitude the Katja Millay gave her characters. I often feel that sex, alcohol and drugs are subjects taken for granted. Teenagers try them out it happens deal with it. Millay chose for a different approach though because yes it was part of the story, significant at points but she showed different experiences but also possible outcomes without being lecturing about it.
The story is a slow starter. You get pushed in the action while there are a lot of questions being raised. This was the hardest part of the story because I did not understand what was going on and why certain things where happening. I cannot say to much without spoiling the beginning actually but if you experience that feeling please continue to read it will be explained soon enough. Soon you are enveloped in an emotional wave where answers raise more questions if it comes to Nastya though Josh slowly becomes more clear.
The characters are great too. There are moments you want to slap Nastya but you know there must be more behind her reasons and in a way you feel sorry which actually is an emotion she gets angry about. It made me feel at points as if I was her enemy too. Josh is a decent guy though he has his mistakes and the relationship is an easy one to cheer for. I do want to give some credit to Drew too. I felt he was a very important character in the story as being the opposite of Josh or not so much.
Extra points go to the name meanings which is a very nice detail. If you wonder why I gave this book "only" 4 stars after this raving review and not 5... because I do not think I will reread this book. It was good, it made me cry and it is for sure worth your time and all your emotions but I feel it will be less exciting a second time.

The Sea of Tranquility
Author: Katja Millay
Publisher: Atria Books
Pages: 448
Format: eGalley
Atria Books : various
The Sea of Tranquility

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Too Fond
02 June, 2013 delete

I really liked this one, too--not one to re-read but a good reading experience nonetheless. I agree that the character of Drew really added an extra level to the story.

04 June, 2013 delete

I don't think I will be reading this one, but it's always nice when you have a emotional reaction to a book !