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The Sea of Tranquility: A Novel Paperback – June 4, 2013
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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!
I believe the mark of a good author is when they can make you feel, and this book has all the feels, the entire spectrum. As a reader, I felt invested in the characters. I watched while Nastya grew, while Josh grew, while their relationship grew. I hurt for them as they struggled. When their paths first crossed I couldn't guess the extent that both of their lives would change. By the end of the book Nastya has entirely transformed, and not for the first time in her life. It was a happy ending that left me feeling it would only become happier as time when on.
I am putting this author on my very short list of authors to watch, and I am yearning to read more of her books in the future.
In the beginning you will think you know exactly how it's going to play out, but as you continue to read Katja lets you see that you have no idea what she has in store. The female MC was my least favorite of the three main characters but only because she was so flawed with no redeemable (albeit understandable) qualities. The other two were male and the author brilliantly captured their perspective. I loved them both and the fact that there was no love triangle made this book even more special to me. Their friendship (mf and mm and mfm) was awesome. This is a very sad story. I wasn't even sure it was a romance until the last 20 percent, but if I had cried at all it would have been tears of joy in the end. I LOVE HFN endings and that's exactly what this was. Nothing was tied up neatly in a bow but it also wasn't disastrous. It was a hopeful ending.. I wouldn't recommend this to someone under 17 because it has some heavy stuff. Every critical review states exactly what I was thinking at various parts in the story, but as a whole it's perfect and the journey to the end makes perfect sense. Kudos to this author!