Book Club: Sea of Tranquility by Katja Millay
I was asked to review the audio book of The Sea of Tranquility, so I haven’t seen the cover in person. I don’t think it’s far to judge something I haven’t seen with my own eyes.
The characters in The Sea of Tranquility were real. When I say that I mean they had depth. Both of the main characters have things in their lives that they are dealing with, just like every one of us does. If you’ve gone through something similar, these two characters are easy to relate to. And I liked that.
I didn’t connect with the secondary characters as much but I do have friends and know people from school who were very comparable.
I can easily say my favorite characters were Josh and Nastya. Both seem broken, and both seem to be what the other one needs to fix themselves. While the reader doesn’t really know what happened to Nastya throughout most of the book, Josh is dealing with death. The death of his mother and sister, losing his father with them, and even his grandfather during the story.
At first I thought that my least favorite character would be Josh’s best friend (if you can even call him that), Drew. He seemed like a douche bag, who sleeps with every girl. But throughout the story the reader gets to learn much more about him and that completely changed my mind.
Now that Drew is out of the way, my new least favorite would have to be Nastya’s mom. She just doesn’t seem understanding or supportive of her at all. That’s what being a mom is, and she isn’t doing a very good job at it.
Nastya is the new girl, but she isn’t just any new girl. She dresses in short, tight and all black clothes. She doesn’t speak, and no one really knows why. She is now living with her aunt, and trying to start over.
Josh is living on his own now, and would rather be alone than be surround by others or loved ones.
Josh has never had a real conversation with Nastya (not just because she doesn’t speak) because he hasn’t been around her for very long. That is, until Drew drops herat his house intoxicated in the middle of night. Josh is pissed, and has no idea what to do with her.
Josh is dealing with his feelings for Nastya, he doesn’t really know what to do, or say to her, because he’s never felt this way before.
Nastya is completely embarrassed that Josh had to see and take care of her that night. Things are awkward, and she doesn’t know what to do.
Throughout the home stretch of the book, the reader gets to experience Josh and Nastya’s “relationship” grow closer. Just like Josh, we don’t know anything about her past and what event happened that seems to have changed her forever. But the reader does get to see small glimpses of visions Nastya has, reminding her of one of the worst nights in her life. The ending is heart wrenching, and had me in tears! Absolutely lovely and beautiful!
The Sea of Tranquility was given to me for an honest review and that’s exactly what I’m here to give. I’m sad to say that the synopsis for this book does the story absolutely no justice. I fell in love with the characters and all the crap they were dealing with right away. I enjoyed the way both seemed down to earth, didn’t care what others had to say, and didn’t make snap decisions like most teenagers would. The synopsis captures none of this. The synopsis almost makes it seems like a boy who likes to be by himself is bugged by a weird girl, until he falls in love with her. But it’s not like that at all.
Josh is quiet but sweet, and really cares for her. Nastya is silent, calm, and cares a lot for Josh as well. I felt that there were so many great aspects in this story that the synopsis just didn’t explain.
I think that the cover is pretty basic. As the story really focuses on the main characters of Josh and Nastya it does fit the story. I did enjoy the fact that they included the ice cream on the cover.
Told from two perspectives, Josh and Nastya, both who have experienced different kinds of loss and their emotional reactions to them. When they find each other it becomes a very powerful and emotional story.
Josh. He has so much knowledge and for the most part control of his emotions, and extends courtesy to others that is eye opening. I suppose there will be some that consider him boring in comparison to Nastya but I found him comforting.
Some random characters from her new school that tease her. Not any of the major characters.
Nastya has selective mutism. After a life changing experience in her life she has chosen to no longer speak. We learn that she used to have a love for the piano. She hides behind heavy black makeup and skimpy clothes to avoid the other kids at school who find her creepy.
Josh is also quiet, although he does speak aloud, unlike Nastya. But like Nastya he has also experienced the loss of all of his family members and resides alone. He has very few friends and immerses himself in wood-working projects in his garage to pass the time.
When Nastya beings to attend the same school as Josh she is immediately noticed by all because of her look. When she comes across Josh in his garage, she is drawn to his quiet concentration and his place soon becomes a sanctuary for her to escape to. They find a comfort in the fact they just accept each other and don’t ask to many personal questions.
That comfort eventually becomes stress, the closer they get to each other and as questions do begin to get asked. But Nastya is just not ready to share yet. This will cause several conflicts in the relationships, building into a very powerful and emotional ending.
What I took away from this story was much more than a complicated relationship between Josh and Nastya. They are both very much emotionally broken in their own ways, but they go through a healing process with each other. Each and every character in this book is shown to be broken in some way. Even side characters will eventually have their stories told and will experience growth just by being associated with Josh and Nastya’s story. I found this a very powerful and emotional story that will stick with me. A caution for those who may be shocked; there is some sex, drugs, alcohol and strong language.
“Daylight won’t protect you from anything. Bad things happen all the time; they don’t wait until after dinner”
“There are so many things that can break you if there’s nothing to hold you together.”