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The Sea of Tranquility ~ Book Review

The Sea of Tranquility ~ Book ReviewThe Sea of Tranquility by Katja Millay
Published by Atria Books on June 4th 2013
Genres: Young Adult
Pages: 434
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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.
Full of rage and without a purpose, former pianist Nastya Kashnikov wants two things: to get through high school without anyone discovering her past and to make the boy who took everything from her pay.
All 17 year-old Josh Bennett wants is to build furniture and be left alone, and everyone allows it because it’s easier to pretend he doesn’t exist. When your name is synonymous with death, everyone tends to give you your space.
Everyone except Nastya, a hot mess of a girl who starts showing up and won’t go away until she’s insinuated herself into every aspect of his life. The more he gets to know her, the more of a mystery she becomes. As their relationship intensifies and the unanswered questions begin to pile up, he starts to wonder if he may ever learn the secrets she’s been hiding or if he even wants to.
The Sea of Tranquility is a slow-building, character-driven romance about a lonely boy, an emotionally fragile girl, and the miracle of second chances.
Please Note: This book contains mature content including profanity, drug/alcohol use, and sexual situations/language.

I think I need to start reading more YA fiction. Before this one I’ve only read two, Paper Towns and Thirteen Reasons Why, and it was a 50/50 toss up… but I think The Sea of Tranquility has thrown me over the edge toward more YA.

The characters were wonderfully written, from the first moment you meet them you kind of fall in love with them, and as a mother I just wanted to pull them onto my lap and give them a hug. (Much like the Drew’s Mother in the book). They were complex, and intricate, and real. Which I love in a book.

What I also loved is that although all the characters in this book might be considered broken, they were not unredeemable as has been the case in some books I’ve read. (ie. The Girl on The Train). I don’t like it when there’s nothing I can like about a character. These characters drew me in immediately and I couldn’t wait to be part of the journey as their stories unfolded.

This was the book I chose for the week of Connect in the Year of Words Book Challenge. It couldn’t have been a better choice. This whole book is about connection, on so many different levels. There is the connection between the characters, all of whom are broken, and don’t want to connect with anyone. There’s the connection between each of the characters and themselves, which I think they want to face even less than connection with  others. There’s also the connection we make with our past, how it has shaped us and how we allow it to shape our future. It was definitely an excellent pick for the word connect..

Though this book was really very character based there were twists and turns, and some surprises along the way that kept me clicking the button to turn the pages on my kindle. It was a quick and effortless read, though not necessarily an easy story to hear told.

It’s interesting. I’m actually reading a book for my book club meeting (tomorrow! eek) and I find it so difficult to force myself to read. It’s not a bad book, I just don’t care, and I’m having to force myself to read it. When I picked this one up I just couldn’t put it down. It’s a fun reminder to check in with how a book makes me feel, and when I have to work hard to read a book, to be ok giving myself permission to not finish it.

Anyway… The Sea of Tranquility, big thumbs up. I definitely recommend it, but when you get about half way through, make sure you grab a box of tissues. 🙂

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