You ever sit on writing a book review for months because you don’t want to use the wrong words in your review and you can’t quite find the best way to convey just how much a book means to you? I have that situation with The Sea Of Tranquility by Katja Millay, a book I read in December, but haven’t reviewed until just now, March. Y’all, I pretty much am in LOVE with The Sea Of Tranquility – so much so that I was pissed that when I finished it there would not be the possibility of getting a hard copy until June. You see, I wanted a hard copy so that I could flip through it whenever I wanted to revisit certain passages and certain pages — like most normal people, but friends, I don’t often get that MUST OWN FOR REVISIT PURPOSES feelings with a ton of books, at least not lately.
Urghhhh my heart hurts just thinking about the plot. Okay, so The Sea Of Tranquility opens on a totally mopey note. Nastya, one the of the main characters is totally angry and depressed and anxious. She’s also starting at a new school — and is living with her aunt instead of her parents. You see, something super traumatic has happened to Nastya — she used to be a piano playing tragedy, but now she can’t play piano because of what happened to her. At her new school, she dresses all in black, wears short skirts and doesn’t speak to anyone. Concurrent with Nastya’s storyline is that of Josh Bennett, the boy she meets who is kind of like an island of calm amid the high school crazy – but there is a reason for that. ANYWAYS, as you can start to guess, the two characters really begin to connect with each other and of course a relationship happens. And y’all I do not want to go into too much detail on the plot because it’s best left discovered for yourself so you can have an emotional reaction like I did — as you can see by my goodreads updates:
So, at first Nastya is super emo and frustrating and I am all come on girl. But then you know, I realized I was being a dick about how I viewed her. You see, when people have PTSD there are going to be certain triggers and certain behavior changes. So, of course I can’t just expect Nastya to be totally normal — and that would have undermined her growth. Oh man you guys, just thinking about how far she came in The Sea Of Tranquility puts a smile on my face. I thought her pain came across as very authentic, given the circumstances. I also really found myself rooting for her, once I realized I was being an asshole about her character. Y’all, I was beyond invested in Nastya. OH and she has a penchant for making dessert which lol, I liked reading about.
Which brings me to the other point of view character, Josh Bennett. Yo, this kid is tragedy city. You see, his mom and sister died in a tragic accident while he was young. His dad died. His grandma died. And his grandpa died. So, like, you can obviously guess why he does not let people close to him except for his best friend Drew. Anyways, he feels a certain connection with Nastya, when she shows up at his house out of the blue — because she’s going for a run and gets lost. Anyways, Josh is really into carpentry and you guys I never thought I would swoon for that but MMMM MMM girl it is good. Anyways, he does a few jerk moves, like a typical boy, BUT also grows as well.
So you would think a book where one of the main characters doesn’t speak would be bereft of dialogue, right? Wrong. Y’all, just because Nastya doesn’t speak doesn’t mean the other characters don’t. So, like the characters in this book do swear – a lot. But it’s okay because they are older teens and that’s what older teens do. I thought the dialogue seemed real. ALSO ALSO the pacing is perfect. Like, I thought The Sea Of Tranquility would take me forever to read because it’s very long. Yet, I totally could not set it down and read, legit 200 pages in one day. The pacing is utterly perfect. AND AND the imagery was also something I liked — I could perfectly picture Josh’s garage and Nastya’s jogging route. Finally, in regards to the writing style, I have to say that I loved how it all connects in Katja Millay’s story. Everything comes together so perfectly at the end that I just wanted my own paper copy so that I could flip back to the beginning to see how each thing connects back in and to re-read some of the foreshadowing. Sigh. OMG AND HOW COULD I FORGET! There are side characters and they are done to perfection — from best friend Drew and his amazing loving family
The romance in The Sea Of Tranquility totally deserves it’s own paragraph. I think this book is considered New Adult, because there is sex and it’s actually GOOD. Anyways, THIS BOOK IS WHAT I WANT NEW ADULT TO BE. Like, there are so many swoons. There is a slow burn between the two, there is no instalove, but a gradual building of trust between Nastya and Josh. It’s perfectly paced – their romance, with a lot of give and take. And omg, I just have to mention that there is intimacy between the two that isn’t based around sex and it’s very sweet to read. But yeah, there’s parts where you might need a cold shower. Seriously, the romance in this book was my favorite and I can’t even pretend that I did not love it.
I don’t know what else I can do to convince you that you need to read The Sea Of Tranquility by Katja Millay without getting all spoilery on you. Look there’s kissing. There’s emotions all over the place — in a good way. There’s well developed side characters. There’s so much I can say about the book months after reading it. I am passionate about The Sea Of Tranquility — I believe in this book and how invested I was in it – like I might as well have been breathing this book. So, seriously, if you want a new adult romance that’s quite serious, don’t let this book pass you up, I beseech you LOL (who says beseech). But seriously, just change your life for the better and check out Katja Millay’s book.
Disclosure: Received for review via Netgalley
Other reviews of The Sea Of Tranquility by Katja Millay:
The Allure Of Books – “YOU GUYS THIS BOOK IS SO GOOD THAT I WANT TO WRITE THE WHOLE REVIEW IN CAPSLOCK.”
Anna Reads Books – “Oh, glory me, this book is good.”
For What It’s Worth – “The Sea of Tranquility is filled with moments.”