Tuesday 2 April 2013

The Sea of Tranquility by Katja Millay

Review by Willow - 5 stars (Written 27.09.2012)

 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. All Josh Bennett wants is to be left alone, and everyone allows it because they all know his story: each person he loved was taken from his life until at seventeen years old there was no one left. When your name is synonymous with death, people tend to give you your space. Everyone except Nastya, a new girl in town who 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 a mystery 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.

Show More Show Less  Wow, I absolutely loved this book. If I could give it more than 5 stars I most definitely would! Probably my favourite YA book I've read this year.

"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. "

The story is about 17 year old Nastya, who is starting a new school away from her home town as she is trying to get away from something in her past and she doesn't want anyone to know about it. It has changed Nastya's whole life, who she is. She tries to hide away at school and fade into the background so that people don't get to know her. She sees a guy, Josh, sitting on his own all the time with no one bothering him and she wonders how he manages to keep his "force field up" to keep people away. Josh has his own past issues. We follow Nastya as she starts to form relationships with a small group and deals with her past. We also get to follow Josh and how he deals with things.

Katja does an amazing job of drawing you in to this story. There is the mystery of what happened to Nastya and she drips this out to you slowly, throwing in some things that you really don't expect on the way. Then there is the slow build relationships with Josh and Drew and his family and of course Josh's story of his past. Add in a good dose of angst and heartbreak and you find yourself completely emotionally drawn in and invested in the story. Nothing in this book feels rushed. Katja has taken her time developing the story and the main characters. I was actually disappointed when I finished the book that I would be leaving the characters.

Highly recommend this book.