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Monday, January 14, 2013
Sea of Tranquility - Review
By: Katja Millay
Published: November 13, 2012 by Atria Books
Source: Publisher via Netgalley (Thanks)
(Goodreads / Amazon)
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 must admit that I was very unsure how I was going to rate this book until literally the last 15 percent of it. I didn't get drawn in right away which always makes my initial rating of a book go down. It was nearly half way through (specifically 47% of the way through) before I was "hooked" and invested in the story . Its described as a "slow-building" book, and it is. However, it's very deep, and dark in some ways as well, as it explores the psychological breaking point and what some extremes that can take people to.
The author does a phenomenal job of character development. The book switches between 2 perspectives, Nastya, who hasn't spoken a word to another person in like 400+ days and Josh, who has lost every person that matters to him. Both are damaged and feel they are beyond saving. What they find in each other is surprising but they deny it's existence until potentially to late to return back from.
Josh...sigh...love him. How can you not? Even better - his name means "salvation".
Honestly I was depressed through most of this book. I enjoy a good drama but I prefer a little bit of drama mixed with a lot more of fun, happiness and romance. This book is mostly drama (IMO).
However, the last 15 percent redeemed the book for me. I teared up and felt great emotion for the 2 main characters and any time a book can get me to feel their emotion, then it automatically becomes a great book.
"Panty-Combusting Ken comes complete with Piqued Princess Barbie: unachievable measurements, designer purse, and annoyed scowl included!"
"Josh is my escape. He's my hiding place."
"I know at that moment...he's given me...an invitation a welcome, the knowledge that I am accepted here. He's given me a place to belong."
"...being kissed by Josh Bennett is kind of like being saved. It's a promise and a memory of the future and a book of better stories."
One thing is for sure, as in the words from Nastya "...my heart broke a thousand times...", that's the overwhelming feeling I have from this book.
Final rating - 4.3 stars.