Sunday, December 2, 2012

The Sea Of Tranquility by Katja Millay Review


I live in a world without magic or miracles. A place where there are no clairvoyants or shape shifters, 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.

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.

The Sea of Tranquility is a slow-building, character-driven romance about a lonely boy, an emotionally fragile girl, and the miracle of second chances.

Please Note: This book contains mature content including profanity, drug/alcohol use, and sexual situations/language

Hootie says: 

I'm not entirely sure how to describe the best book I know I will ever read. I always hear about how books changed people, and thought it was bullshit. I no longer think it's bullshit. I won't be using my usual Gif's and funny pictures in this review because for once a book has left me almost utterly speechless. I am just existing right now but I will try to explain what this book is about. Just know that nothing I say will accurately describe how this book will affect you.

17 year old Nastya Kashnikov is a very broken young girl who is still coming to terms with something very tragic that happened to her when she was 15. This event has changed her from the once beautiful, happy child into a dark and angry person and when she remembers what happened she stops talking all together. The silence is killing her family so she leaves to live with her aunt because she just can't see the looks of disappointment on their faces anymore. Moving 2 hours from the place it all happened should help the stares and the knowing looks Nastya is used to getting. The rumors and gossip about the way she dresses is nothing, it's the knowing eyes she can't take. She is just an anonymous blip on the radar and she wants it that way. When she sees a boy sitting across the courtyard one day, completely cut off from the other kids she can't help but notice how alone he is and wonders what is it about him that keeps people away. Enter Josh Bennett! This boy is just as broken as Nastya having lost everyone he loves, he just wants to be left alone. Most of the kids do except his longtime best friend Drew Leighton. When Nastya gets the heel of her shoe caught on the sidewalk and a group of girls start in on her about her appearance Josh steps in to help making sure later that she knows he won't help again. To clear her mind of all the things weighing her down she runs nightly as a way to exhaust herself so she can sleep and in order to stave off the nightmares that haunt her she writes it all down in notebooks so it won't have any power over her dreams. One night while out running she gets lost and ends up unbeknownst to her at Joshs' house. From that night on she comes to his garage and watches him work never saying a word. He does his best to get her to leave him alone but after a while becomes dependant on her company. Throughout the story Nastya and Josh become close, she eventually opens up to him and speaks after going 2 years without a word to anyone. Josh slowly opens up to her about his loss but all she ever gives away are cryptic hints that drive him crazy because he doesn't really want to know but at the same time he does. Nastya agrees to let a fellow student draw her for his art class which will inadvertently bring her face to face with her past and become the catalyst to this amazing story.

I have never felt so speechless before and anyone who knows me, knows that is nearly impossible. This is probably the most beautiful story I will ever read simply because of the profound effect it is having on me 24 hours later. I can think about nothing else but this story and I hope that never changes. This book killed me then healed me, it broke me then pieced me back together, it dropped me and caught me. There is no way to put my feelings into a box because I ran the gamut of emotions during this book. When I started it, I wasn't sure I was going to like it because I wanted to know what happened to this girl to make her this way and you don't find out immediately, you find out in small bits. I soon realized I was chained to my couch unmoving while the world around me kept turning but I was mesmerized by this beautiful and tragic story. This girl who was once the town jewel known for her talent on the piano will steal your heart the more you get to know her. I didn't realize I was getting so emotionally attached to these characters until things between them started to get intense. The book is slow building but it's much better that way because you get to know Nastya and Josh better the more in depth it goes. Josh Bennett both made me love him and hate him throughout this book. At times he came across as a jerk and other times he was so amazing it was hard to be mad for long. These two broken people come to depend on each other and help heal their emotional scars. The supporting characters amazed me! Drew Leighton starts off as this douche bag, with his sexual innuendos towards Nastya but once you get to the heart of why he is this way another crevasse opens up in your heart making room for him. Clay Whitaker where do I even start. His character may be supporting but he plays a big part in bringing this story to it's head. He is a very talented artist and draws Nastya in a way she doesn't see herself anymore. He is able to capture her the way she was before the tragic event that turned her into who she is today. There are 2 things I will never look at in the same way because of this book and they are:

Pennies and Pearl buttons.

The moment in the story where the pennies come in was such a sweet beautiful moment that represented hope for both Josh and Nastya. Watching her slowly start to hope again was magical. Watching her dare to dream again made me feel a nervous elation hoping that nothing else would cause her pain ever again.

The pearl buttons to me, come to mean innocence lost. Two major scenes in this book feature the pearl buttons and both scenes choked me up and had tears in my eyes. It takes a very emotional book to make me shed actual tears and while I may get misty eyed about certain stories I was full out crying this time. During a particular scene I started to come undone and thankfully my best friend Globug chose that moment to call and check on me because she knows when I am not on twitter much during the day that means a book has consumed me. Everything is The Sea Of Tranquility and nothing hurts. If this book can reach inside my once blackened, broken heart and bring out emotions in me I have buried, then I know it will touch you in the same way. The whole book was incredibly beautiful and the last two words spoken will echo in your heart and mind for a long time. I'll never be the same after reading this book and I wouldn't want to be. 

(Arc Provided By Netgalley)

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