The Sea of Tranquility by Katja Millay is a story of acceptance, love, and finding self-worth. Told in the perspective of two main charaters, Nastya and Josh, this book keeps the reader actively engaged. What I really feel like saying when describing this book is that it was amazing. That is it. I hate to be so simplistic about it, but really it was just an amazing, remarkable, noteworthy, outstanding, supercalifragilistic… well you get the point. The Sea of Tranquility definitely had me staring blankly at nothing for a good 2 minutes after I finished, I mean that ending was just beautiful. Not many YA novels can do that, heck not many Adult novel can do that. It is hard to find a book full of love, tragedy, redemption and good word-smithing. Don’t get me wrong, I love angel and vampires as much as the next person but sometimes books can touch your soul better than anything else in this world; it can fill you with hope and humanity. That is exactly what this book was like.
The two main characters were possibly the best two characters written in the past year. Nastya is a sultry girl, who uses outrageously exposing clothes and make up, rude attitude and the silent treatment as ways to hide who she is; to hide the girl that died. The reader does not get a real explanation as to what happened to Nastya, but what we get is a true sense of the deep desperation that has built up around her. Too tired to be what everyone needs, Nastya will not love anyone including herself. You see she died when she was 15 (not literally because this is not a PARAROMANCE) everything she is no longer in existence and she doesn’t know how to go about life this way other than to cut everyone off from her.
Josh is almost opposite. He’s been beaten up by life, so not quite dead yet. He has lost those he loves since he was 8. His life is one death after another and frankly he cannot let anyone in anymore. He is tired of losing people, he is tired of being left behind, and he is utterly tired of being around people. He is alone at school (no one dares to break through his barriers), he is alone in his head and most importantly he is alone at home in his garage tinkering with multiple wooden furniture projects. The last thing he needs is to become friends with the new girl in town, Nastya; it’s bad enough he can’t get the boy who played little league with, Drew, out of his life. What he doesn’t know is that Nastya is everything he might need and he might be everything she is missing, but that doesn’t mean either one has to come to this realization willingly.
Filled with deep romance and even deeper pain, The Sea of Tranquility is a perfect story that illustrates how life can knock you down, no air in your lungs, blood running down your face, vision blurred and there is still hope. The hope might be bleak but as soon as you let the vision become focused you will find that the hope is enough for one more day, for a brand new life, and for forgiveness of those that trespassed against you, including yourself.