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The Sea of Tranquility: A Novel Paperback – June 4, 2013
"Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress"
Is the world really falling apart? Is the ideal of progress obsolete? Cognitive scientist and public intellectual Steven Pinker urges us to step back from the gory headlines and prophecies of doom, and instead, follow the data: In seventy-five jaw-dropping graphs, Pinker shows that life, health, prosperity, safety, peace, knowledge, and happiness are on the rise. Learn more
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Aspiring concert pianist Nastya’s left hand has been so badly damaged, she will never play the piano again. What caused the injury has left the 17-year-old traumatized; in fact, she has chosen to become mute and hasn’t spoken a word in more than a year. Meanwhile, Josh, also 17, has lost his entire family to death, leaving him bereft and very much alone in the world. The two troubled teens meet and begin a cautious friendship that will blossom into something deeper. But will it be enough to save the two from themselves? Author Millay writes her first novel from the respective points of view of the preternaturally introspective teens, whose relentless self-loathing—especially Nastya’s—will test some readers’ patience, as will the book’s length and often deliberate pace. That said, fans of character-driven fiction will find much to admire in this deeply felt novel that is an excellent example of crossover fiction, which has equal appeal to older teens and the twentysomethings who are now being called New Adults. --Michael Cart
"Fans of character-driven fiction will find much to admire in this deeply felt novel that is an excellent example of crossover fiction." (Booklist)
“A heart-stopping, emotional journey from the first word to the last. Hands down my favorite book of the year...and quite possibly all of infinity.” (Colleen Hoover New York Times bestselling author of Slammed and Point of Retreat)
"Alternating first-person narratives allow Millay to delve into the minds of both of her main characters, and she keeps readers on the edge of their seats...Populated with perfectly realized teen characters–not a stereotype in sight–this is the ideal crossover novel." (School Library Journal (starred review))
"A stunning debut. The Sea of Tranquility stole my heart, broke it, robbed me of breath, and made me ache. Read it and fall in love with Katja Millay's raw, lyrical writing." (Ann Aguirre USA Today bestselling author of Enclave & Outpost)
“Equally heartbreaking and uplifting—a riveting, unforgettable read. Absolutely brilliant.” (Maryse’s Book Blog)
“Everyone should read this book at some point in their lives. It was GORGEOUS and unforgettable. A must-read!!” (Aesta's Book Blog)
“I am finding it difficult to express with mere words just how much I adore this book. It touched me in a way that only a few books before it have. It left my heart aching, filled with sadness and despair, love and hope. So much hope.” (The Indie Bookshelf)
“The Sea of Tranquility reminded me that books aren't just entertaining; they're more than that. This was more than that. It caused me to feel, invaded my thoughts, my heart...it became a part of me.” (Tough Critic Book Reviews)
“One of the most AMAZINGLY written books I have read to date! Simply BEAUTIFUL! I was so connected to the story and it’s characters, I completely tuned out everyone and everything around me while reading. I felt like I was there and I never wanted to leave.” (Lisa's Book Review)
“The best advice that I can give readers who are considering reading The Sea of Tranquility is BUY IT NOW! The Sea of Tranquility by Katja Millay is one of the best books of 2012. It definitely earned its spot on my MUST READS list.” (Reading, Eating and Dreaming)
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1. No insta-love. If you're tired of YA protagonists locking eyes across a crowded hallway one minute and plotting their forbidden elopement the next, this is the book for you. The central relationship is built slowly and thoughtfully, with realistic setbacks and obstacles. You can feel them falling in love, which doesn't always happen in YA romance.
2. Creative, memorable romantic gestures. As the boombox was to Say Anything, so a bucket of pennies is to The Sea of Tranquility. Read it and you'll see what I mean. There are at least three or four really cinematic courtship scenes in here that will make you melt (and wish you knew someone like Josh Bennett).
3. Great supporting characters. Sometimes secondary characters are there for comic relief or steadfast support - which can work fine, depending on the book. Here, I appreciated the extra care and attention given to characters like Clay and (especially) Drew. I like an author who thinks beyond the two main characters and takes time to build a believable network of friends and family around them. (She could easily write a sequel about Drew, a realistically flawed and endearing character readers will love.)
4. Compelling, respectful treatment of trauma and its aftereffects. The characters' pasts are much, much more than dramatic devices. Nastya's ongoing struggle with the trauma that changed her life is complex and well-drawn, and your heart will be in your throat when the details of that day are slowly revealed. She's got quite a wall around her at first, but take Josh's cue and stick with her; she opens up as the story unfolds, and you'll be rooting for her all the way to the end.
5. Very satisfying conclusion. Without giving anything away, I have to emphasize that this is NOT one of those books you'll want to throw against a wall (or delete from your Kindle) when you get to the end. With all the drama that unfolds in the book's last third, it would've been super-easy to miscalculate the ending, but this story wraps up just right. Plus the last line is KILLER!
Very much recommended. Looking forward to much more from this talented debut author!
It starts off slowly but with plenty of mystery and unanswered questions and then chapter by chapter as the layers of the story start to unfold, you are completely wrapped up in this book that you don't even know how it happened.
Nastya has suffered something very horrific and life changing but you don't know what exactly. She isn't an easy girl to know or love and what makes it even harder for anyone to get to know her or become a part of her life, is that she doesn't talk. She is bitter and angry and very cynical. She is full of hate and wants revenge. She has a dry but witty sense of humour that we see initially in her internal monologue and then later in her conversations with Josh and Drew.
Josh Bennett is just as closed off to everyone as Nastya, and even though he isn't mute he rarely talks to anyone and together they are quite the pair of misfits. Nastya worms her way into his life and initially he doesn't want to let her in because of all she is hiding but he can't say no to her. Theirs is an unusual kind friendship that they both know will shatter under the weight of all the secrets and the past she doesn't want to share or deal with. It's heartbreaking.
Their mutual connection is through Drew and if ever there was a secondary character that was as important and as loveable as the main characters then Drew is it! I LOVED Drew, he was such a remarkable character who saw past the facade that Nastya wore everyday. He was relentless and never took no for an answer. He wore her down, took her out of her comfort zone time and again and become a huge part of her life.
Drew and Josh are best friends and beside but they are very different. Drew is a player and has a different girl every week, Josh is the silent stay at home broody type. But somehow they work and together Josh and Drew become the friends and family that Nastya wasn't looking for but can't live without. The banter and humour between the 3 of them is really wonderful. All three are quick witted and sarcastic and I loved every word!!
Nastya's ( or Sunshine as Josh calls her) journey for revenge doesn't pan out the way she wanted or envisioned and this in itself is another huge lesson in life for her. What will she do and what path will she take?
This is a powerful book with so many messages and so many wonderful quotes that resonated with me that I could have highlighted close to the entire book. It does have a resolved ending but it does leave you wanting more ( lots more ) but sadly this is a standalone and hard to believe this is the only book written by this very talented author.
My review can in no way do this book justice. Do yourself a favour and read this book. It's amazing and thought provoking and one that will stay with you for a long time.
Most recent customer reviews
It's a love story that slowly builds and isn't the, Oh my God I love him and I...Read more
Here is what I think Millay excelled at, for me anyhow. She gave her readers a strong message.Read more