FAVORITE BOOK OF 2013: The Sea of Tranquility by Katja Millay
The Sea of Tranquility Genres: Contemporary, New Adult
MY #1 BOOK PICK FOR 2013 IS...
THE SEA OF TRANQUILITY
By Katja Millay
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.
The Sea of Tranquility is a rich, intense, and brilliantly imagined story about a lonely boy, an emotionally fragile girl, and the miracle of second chances.
Where to start with Sea of Tranquility…OK, I’ll just get it out of the way. FIVE FREAKING STARS. If that’s all you need to know, then you can stop reading. This book is up there with one of the best all time books I’ve ever read. The characterization is exceptional, the romance is both heart-breaking and touching. The conflict was completely original and Nastya Kashnikov is a girl you will never forget.
This book stayed with me for weeks – I actually read it a while ago, but I was on an editing deadline and had all kinds of other projects going on, so this got pushed back – several times. And I’m glad – because I love this book as much now as I did when I finished it. And the ending – OMG I was blown away by the last sentence. It was a puzzle piece I had forgotten about, but it slammed me. Just perfect.
I don’t want to give away the plot too much because unraveling the secrets in a natural way will make you enjoy this book so much more. So if you’ve not read other reviews on this book – DON’T. Just get it and read it. Don’t read the reviews!
There are three main characters in this book – Nastya, Josh, and Drew. And I know what you’re thinking – that’s a love triangle, but it’s not. It’s perfect. Everything you think about these characters as you begin the story is wrong. Everything. This is the beauty of how well written this book is – the personalities of each of the three characters is revealed in just the right amount at just the right time.
Nastya is amazing – I love her spunk, her drive, her ability to run, her hard-ass persona, and the way she wears high heels to school, gets one stuck in a crack in the sidewalk, and then pulls of the perfect recovery. She’s as real a heroine there is – I was crushed as her story was revealed…simply crushed.
There were a few confusing spots for me – one was the beginning with Josh, but it all fit together in the end. I loved that you get two points of view in this novel – I loved hearing how patient Josh was with Nastya as well as how he managed to peel away her layers and figure her out. He shows how he cares about her in very small, but very deep ways. He takes her shopping with him, he builds her something, he respects her privacy – of course, that’s after he tried to get rid of her. But Nastya won’t be deterred – she’s on a mission to figure him out as well.
At first I could not figure out if Drew was a good guy or an asshole…LOL…but getting to know him and his family – especially how his parents were so traditional and had really brought him up to be a gentleman – was a treat I never expected. I love how my opinion of Drew kept changing.
Again – this is a five star read, I loved it and if I could give it more than five stars I would. I hope Katja Millay is hard at work on another book because she is an amazing writer.
Damn, I read a lot of books this year. But since I suck at keeping track of just about everything, I have no idea how many. I have no idea how many people visited this blog, close to 200K, I have no real idea how many followers I have unless the damn widget keeps REAL track for it for me, I have no idea how much I spend of graphics or contests. I’m an account’s nightmare. 😀 I don’t even know how many books I’ve sold, but Jana Aston made me a spreadsheet, so technically I could look. I’m just not a numbers person. In fact, I’m quite lazy when it comes to just about everything. Don’t let the prolific blog posts and books fool you. I’m damn lazy.
BUT I do know what I like and these here are just SOME of the many great reads I found this year. I say just some because I reviewed these books on the blog, but I’ve read a TON of other books that never got on the blog that I love. I like books that inspire me to be a better writer. This is why I loved each and every book on this list, plus my 2013 Number One book, The Sea of Tranquility. That book, The Edge of Never, Shatter Me, Days of Blood and Starlight, Rock Chick and Beg – these books INSPIRED me to either write better, or differently. They made me see things in a new way. They made me rethink what a story is, what a character is, and how to make people feel things with words. So I owe these authors. And I respect them for their storytelling abilities, their characterizations, and their plotting.
If you haven’t picked them up, they all come highly recommended from me. So if you’ve found that you and I have similar tastes in books over this past year, then you’ll probably enjoy these books too.