The Sea of Tranquility (Katja Millay)

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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.


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.

Josh Bennett’s story is no secret: every person he loves has been taken from his life until, at seventeen years old, there is no one left. Now all he wants is be left alone and people allow it because when your name is synonymous with death, everyone tends to give you your space.

Everyone except Nastya, the mysterious new girl at school who starts showing up and 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 an enigma 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.


No amount of praise will ever succumb to the greatness that this book is. It is powerful. heart-wrenching. Beautiful. And so perfect. As far as I know, this is the only published book by Katja Millay (correct me if I’m wrong) but her writing is so powerful and so full of emotion that I would probably read her grocery list if she published it. The Sea of Tranquility has been ranked into my top 3 all time favorite books.

“Everything in me turns on and shuts down at the same time. I am weak and strong. I am terrified and brave. I am lost and found. I am here and gone.”

This book had been on my TBR list for 2 1/2 years and I met a girl through Tarryn Fisher’s FB group that insisted she MAIL me this copy and I finally get to enjoy this book for myself. A couple of days later in my mail box, this beauty awaited. (Talk about one hell of a pay it forward!!) I read this book in one day. Let me rephrase that, I DEVOURED this book in one day and by the end of it my emotions were sucked dry. I cried. I literally LOLed. Out loud. I giggled. And AWWWed.

Nastya is your typical girl who went through a traumatic experience and lost her identity along the way. She doesn’t care about anything or anyone. Literally. When her parents can’t take much more and Nastya can’t handle being around them anymore, she leaves to live with her aunt and start fresh at a new high school.  She changes her looks and wants to attract nothing but promiscuous attention rather than her inner hurt and struggle but then comes Josh fucking Bennett. Josh Josh Josh. What a guy. You hate him, then you love him, then you want to strangle him, then you’re thinking WHAT THE HELL because come on, everyone knows those are the best types of books. But as long as you are swooning and awing more than you are screaming WTF we are doing good right? Uhh…

The five stars allotted for rating on Goodreads just don’t seem to suffice. TRUST ME. Being inside Nastya’s head is the most hilarious and exhilarating encounter I have ever had with any character. I am completely floored by Kayja’s ability to move me so dramatically and lovingly with just WORDS. The writing was flawless, and the symbolism that was displayed each page was intense and powerful. I WANNA READ IT AGAIN NOW!

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