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Noelle August

The Sea of Tranquility

The Sea of Tranquility - Katja Millay image
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"It was like feeling without knowing. Like a fever dream. Like the dream of second chances."

It's so hard to put into words how I feel about this book. Every word, every space, every punctuation mark was so perfectly and intricately placed to form the most beautiful story. My hat is goes off to Katja Millay for crafting such a heartbreaking, heartwarming, and ugly-cry inducing story. Thank you for this gift.

Something terrible happened to Nastya Kashnikov. She died, well figuratively. She lost her identity. In her post-death life, Nastya is a slave to structure, control, and illusion. After the "event," Nastya moves out of her parent's house and in with her aunt in a new town where no one will know her secret, and she's not telling. Her life consists of merely existing. She goes on nightly runs, bakes ridiculous amounts of sweets, and writes her 3 1/2 pages before going to bed.
"I am pressed so hard against the earth by the weight of reality that some days I wonder how I am still able to life my feet to walk."

Josh Bennett's life has been defined by tragic losses. His mother and sister died in a car accident, his father died of a massive heart attack, and his grandparents lost their battles with cancer. He shuts everyone out of his life, except for his best friend Drew...and Nastya. Nastya embeds herself into Josh's life. He doesn't want her there, but she keeps coming back like a boomerang.
"You have no reason to trust me."
"No, but I trust you anyway," she says, walking out toward the driveway.
"And I'm supposed to trust you?" I say to her back. This girl is really crazy if she thinks she's walking in here, out of nowhere, and expecting me to do that.
She stops, turning to level her eyes at me before she goes.
"You don't have to trust me. I don't have any of your secrets."

One of my favorite things about TSoT (or tee-sought, as I call it) is Nastya's inner dialogue. Even though she went through something so traumatic, she is so strong, intelligent, and witty.
"There's nothing sunny or shiny about me, but after last night, he's earned the right to mock me this morning. So yes, I think, at least for a little while, Josh Bennett can call me whatever the hell he likes."

"Plus, once he did the requisite double-take and recognized me, he'd probably beat the crap out of any guy who looked at me in all my Snow White meets Frederick's of Hollywood glory."

This is a story about second chances and two people learning to love themselves and one another. Their romance is not insta-love or conventional-just Josh and Nastya. It was slow-building, raw, and emotional, and it left me absolutely speechless. I felt every emotion as if I was in the book...SO MANY FEELINGS!
"I let him watch me. He lets me watch him. We never call each other on it. It's a gift we give one another. No strings, no expectations, no reading between the lines."

The Sea of Tranquility is my number one book of 2012. Considering this is her debut novel, Katja is a force to be reckoned with. I will read anything Millay writes.


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