Books: The Cheapest Vacation You Can Buy

{June 2, 2013}   {Review} The Sea of Tranquility by Katja Millay

16151178From Goodreads: 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.


Katja Millay’s debut novel, The Sea of Tranquility, grips readers from the very first page and haunts them long after it’s over.  It is epic, heartbreaking, absorbing, and beautiful.  The first-person point-of-views, told from the alternating perspectives of the two main characters, Nastya and Josh, easily carry away the reader as the story unfolds, slowly unraveling and laying bare their downtrodden souls to the point of redemption and healing.  It is a superb read that I highly recommend to all.

Nastya’s past is a secret, one she holds close to her as she begins a new life, throwing away her old identity and reinventing herself.  Uncaring of the rumors that spread themselves in her wake as she closes herself off, refusing to speak, Nastya is a novelty to her peers, especially to Josh Bennett, a young man just as closed off as Nastya herself.  Together, these two form an unlikely bond, and as they navigate the choppy waters of life side-by-side, they uncover the hidden truths about one another in a most breathless, heartbreaking way. 

Millay seamlessly brings her novel and characters together as events unfold, giving readers small glimpses into Nastya’s past while showing the slow healing process that unites both Nastya and Josh as they come to grips with their own realities.  Perhaps the most refreshing aspect of the novel is that the events leading up to Nastya’s silence and thirst for revenge, while extremely ruthless and painful, are not that of a typical boy hurting girl story, and yet it is just as treacherous and heart rendering, causing the aftermath and hatred to run deep enough to shatter a soul. 

It is a beautiful tale that will tug at readers’ hearts, minds, and souls as they press onward in the journey that is The Sea of Tranquility.  Five stars.


Atria Books and Simon and Schuster have been extremely gracious in allowing me to read this novel, via Netgalley, prior to its re-release on June 4, 2013


sanah says:

Absolutely love this book. Glad you liked it too :)

Anita Powers says:

Wow, what a great review, I too loved this book and how you described it gave me goose bumps. It is “treacherous and heart rendering”, she touched on a subject that doesn’t always get covered in books geared to this age and she handled it beautifully. Fantastic review full of emotion.

I simply adore this book. I read it last year and was speechless. Tried to write the review but couldn’t do it. I just had trouble expressing my emotions in a way not to see like a demented fangirl.
Great review! :)

Thanks! This book is epic!

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