Thursday, June 27, 2013

The Sea of Tranquility by Katja Millay

The Sea of Tranquility by Katja Millay
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.

With the sudden influx of self-published titles purchased by major publishers, I've become quite hesitant to read them after trying several and not liking them in the least.

However, I'm glad I gave this one a chance. The Sea of Tranquility is definitely a breath of fresh air amidst a cloud of smoke, so to speak. Many of these "new adult" titles tend to blend into one another instead of standing out; most are so incredibly similar in terms of storylines and characters, only really competing against one another in terms of drama, sex and sexiness. Sex sells, obviously, and it seems in this new sub-genre, the more, the better.

I'm glad that The Sea of Tranquility contained an actual story, and a very well written one at that; a story about a broken girl and a lost boy who find one another. It was sweet, if a little unbelievable and cheesy at times. (sidenote: I especially found it funny that Nastya thought the use of the word "baby" was gag-worthy, yet didn't mind being called "sunshine" throughout the book. Because that wasn't just as bad...)

I guess the only real problem I had with this story - that kept me from loving it like everyone else - was its inconsistency. There were times I got really sucked into the book, flying through pages in one sitting because I was so invested, and other times I was yawning, I was so bored and was struggling to just get through whatever chapter I was in the middle of.

Though it wasn't an all-time favorite, The Sea of Tranquility is most certainly a well written tale of grief, struggle, and finding hope and strength in oneself, and ultimately in another. This is a book I'd recommend to fans of edgy, dramatic and romantic YA, as well as new adult readers in search of something more to a story than a bad boy trying to win over the perfect girl.

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