The Sea of Tranquility by Katja Millay

Posted 10 December, 2012 by Danny in Blog, Danny, Danny's Book Review, Featured / 15 Comments

The Sea of Tranquility

Genre: Upper YA/NA  Contemporary
Publication:  November 13th 2012 by Atria Books
Copy from publisher
Get your own: amazon | BookDepository
The Sea of Tranquility by Katja Millay on 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.

I have heard about The Sea of Tranquility as one of the raising self-published stars, who climbed the bestseller lists! It was no surprise when Atria books picked her up! When, I was then contacted to review the book, I couldn’t reply fast enough! And…!

A Borken Girl and A Broken Boy

Nastya is broken. You can actually feel her pain through her thoughts and behavior, yet we have to find out what exactly happened to her as she is not speaking about it. But, it’s easy to feel the sadness, the anger and the desperation that is oozing out of her. It will break your heart seeing this girl so closed and desperate. Nastya build a wall around herself when she stopped talking, at all, with no one! In addition she hides herself behind trashy clothes and trashy make-up to keep people at bay.

Then there is Josh who is always on his own at school. No one even tries to get near him. There is something tortured about this boy, yet   Natsya has no idea what it is. But she feels utterly drawn to him, because she feels like he is the only one that won’t bother asking about her and she hopes he will let her just .. be..

Emotionally Intense and Incredibly Sad

I was emotionally invested right away. Both characters stirred at my heart with their sad stories and I wanted to heal them! I admired their strength as both Josh and Nastya are incredibly strong persons who are left to deal with their horrible situations alone, as they both feel like no one can comprehend what they are dealing with and because they refuse to take help from outside.

I was having tears in my eyes through a big part of this book, the story had a firm grip on my heart and I couldn’t let go of this story. It’s a story that sucks you in and hold you close, even though the story was not fast progressing. But the slowness worked perfectly for the slowly transforming romance about two people who need each other in order to heal their broken souls.


Phenomenal Supporting Characters and Just a Beautiful Story

I always love when an author not only cares to develop the protagonists but also the secondary characters and Katjy Millay created a phenomenal cast of characters! I feel in love with Josh’s best friend Drew, who first seemed like a total playboy but turned out to be a wonderful friend to both Josh and Nastya. But there is more! It’s not just a story about two people, it’s also a story about family and some scenes were so affectionate and beautiful that I was crying about the tenderness.

Favorite Quotes

“And maybe I’m a liar and I do need it, because being kissed by Josh Bennet is kind of like being saved. It’s a promise and a memory of the future and a book of better stories.” 


“What did you call her?” she ask’s but I don’t think it’s her real question.
“Sunshine,” I say, and she smiles like she believes it’s perfect and she may be the only person other than me who would think so.
“What is she to you?” she whispers. The real question and I know the answer even if I don’t know how to say it.
Drew’s muffled voice rises up from the floor before I can respond.
“Family,” he says.
And he’s right.”
– Josh’s POV


“We’re like mysteries to one another. Maybe if I can solve him and he can solve me, we can explain each other. Maybe that’s what I need. Someone to explain me.”

Bewitched Rating

Bottom Line

The Sea of Tranquility by Katja Millay is raw, passionate,  incredibly intense and  filled with a lot of sadness, angst and anger. But there is also beauty. Beauty in love and family. It’s a story about 2 broken people who need to find a way back from the dark place they were hiding and finally enter the light again!


 New Adult   

Additional Info

Josh and Nastya are both seniors in High School, but it’s a rather mature story which is why I would consider it as a crossover to NA. To be honest, I do not think I can make this book justice it’s so amazing that I feel bad putting my tiny words together about this story.
If you are up for an emotional book, that will make you cry and smile, then please go and get a copy!
Much Love,
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15 Responses to “The Sea of Tranquility by Katja Millay”

  1. Oh my gosh, yes yes yes! Emotionally invested is the perfect way to describe it. I was so completely invested in these characters and I felt like they were real people.
    I love that Drew became such an amazing character in the story! I was totally not expecting that, and I loved how much we really got to see of his life as well.
    Hands down one of my favorite books. Ever.
    Brittany @ The Book Addict’s Guide recently posted..The Sea of Tranquility – Katja MillayMy Profile

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  2. I just read and reviewed this one the other day. I know she self-published this book and I would love to find out if she tried to get an agent first and was unsuccessful or just opted to self-publish. Because I would be totally amazed by any agent who turned down a chance to represent Ms. Millay’s book. No wait, scratch that. I really wouldn’t be that shocked. 🙂

    But seriously, this is the kind of book I want to write one day. I never read a book more than once, but I am considering changing that rule for this book.

    Great review as always Danny!
    Lori L. Clark recently posted..Amazon Self-Published Bestsellers Monday, December 10, 2012My Profile

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  3. I am always wary of self-published books (though I’m trying to work on that) and I know a lot of other people are, so it’s nice to see titles like The Sea of Tranquillity prove that lack of an agent doesn’t necessarily mean your novel is worse than one with an agent.

    The Sea of Tranquillity has been on my to-read list for a while now, and I keep meaning to get round to it, especially when I read such good reviews like yours! I’m thinking this will probably be one of my first reads in 2013.
    Nikki @ Pickle & Books recently posted..Book Review: The Perks of Being a WallflowerMy Profile

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  4. I haven’t read it yet, but EVERYONE is recommending it and I’m seeing gushing reviews everywhere so I really must pick this up. I found your review beuautiful and I can’t really express how much I want to read this book right now, unfortunately it’d be a bad idea to start it now, because I have so much to do at Uni that I can’t even finish the books I’m reading atm. I really like this cover and I thought the first one was gorgeous as well!

    Oh, btw, I know you’re huge fan of NA, so you should check out Nyrae Dawn’s “Charade”. It was about two broken souls as this one and I’m 95% sure you’ll enjoy it considering your taste in the books you’ve reviewed in this genre.

    Beautiful review, as always, Danny!
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  5. I’m so excited to read this book! I’m so glad you loved it just as much as everybody else did. The characters seem very real and relatable, I can’t wait to meet Nastya and Josh! This seems like a really touching and pull-at-your-heartstring type of story, which I love! Beautiful review, Danny!

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  6. Oh, Danny, wow.

    I saw this show up in the Goodreads Choice Awards, but I didn’t really pay much attention and now… WOW.

    OK, I’m seriously serious. Before your review I wasn’t much interested, but how you’ve described it and those amazing quotes! I mean: ” “And maybe I’m a liar and I do need it, because being kissed by Josh Bennet is kind of like being saved. It’s a promise and a memory of the future and a book of better stories.” “

    Oh, I NEED this book. AMAZING review, Danny! ♥
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