Book Review: The Sea of Tranquility by Katja Milay


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Where do I even begin with this one? It’s been 10 days since I finished reading this gem and I’m still left speechless. Just thinking about it stirs something in me that I can’t even dare explain. It’s beautiful. The Sea of Tranquility is one beautiful piece of literature that I would even go on saying that books like this one is the reason why I read.


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Title: The Sea of Tranquility
Author: Katja Milay
Date Published: November 13th 2012
Date Read: May 27th to June 18th 2016
My book format: Kindle edition


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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.

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Honestly, the title wasn’t a big come on to me. I mean – The Sea of Tranquility – you don’t get a lot from it – no hint of romance, no hint of the genre it was written under, no nothing. So I wasn’t really expecting anything from it at all. Just saw it in my TBR + it was in my Kindle + I have some sort of a free time = why not get into it, so I did. Didn’t know that what I had in my hand was going to be one of my most favourite books ever. Everrr!

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Nastya Kashnikov

Nastya is one heck of a female protagonist. She is probably one of my most unforgettable reads in the history of ever, just because of, one, everything she’s been through in life, and two, how she chose to deal with all of it. She is complicated, yet simple. She is confusing yet you’d understand where all of the angst is coming from. She’s a wreck, yet she’s perfect. I love how Katja Milay crafted one of the best character developments in all of the YA novels that I’ve read. The development was just so rich that by the end of the book, I felt like I have known Nastya (and Josh, and Drew, and just everyone else!) since forever. So cliche, I know, but believe me these characters will stick to you ’til you’re old and wrinkly. 

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I can’t help but relate to Nastya in so many aspects. I mean, I obviously have not gone through whatever she’s been through but, I don’t know, I just see so much of myself in her – the way she fights life back, the way she deals with people, her escape from everything (running!), the way she turns to notebooks every night just to have some semblance of control in life even if she doesn’t. I just relate to everything about her which makes this book, and this character, so dear to me and so close to my heart. Nastya is just so broken and so wrecked, yet she’s perfect the way she is.

Josh Bennett

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So. Josh Bennett. What can I even say about this perfect creature that Katja Milay just crafted oh-so-wonderfully. Josh is just perfect. His life isn’t, though. His life is the saddest and just the most tragic. But again, like Nastya, the way he dealt with everything is extraordinary. I loved how unlike other male characters, Josh could be so real. I felt like I could know someone like him in real life and actually like and befriend that person. I mean, he was so real to me  that I was invested in everything – in every bit of information about him – from beginning ’til the end. Plus he’s hot, so that’s probably one huge bonus there. 🙂


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Gah. The world should be full of Josh Bennetts!

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At first I thought there really is nothing unusual about the story. Thought it would be just about two angsty teens with two different tragic pasts, and all those tropes. But boy. What a misconception! It wasn’t really about the plot but the character development that made this book so so so beautiful. Nastya has her own story and so does Josh. Both are tragic in their own ways but when the two meet, things just start falling into place – they don’t get solved, they don’t instantly nor magically get settled – they just all fall into place. And that is what I love most about this book. Everything is so real. It could happen to me, it could happen to you, it could happen to everyone. 

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More thoughts while I was reading:

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5 Stars

No doubt this book would get a perfect, 5-star review from me! It’s just perfect in all aspects! Probably one of my best reads this year and I just can’t recommend it enough! So please please please if you haven’t picked this one up yet, plunge into it right now and don’t even think twice about it. I promise you, it’s going to be a perfectly wonderful experience!

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