Caution: May not be appropriate for those under 13, romance

The Sea of Tranquility by Katja Millay

The Sea of Tranquility is about Nastya, a girl who survived something awful (no spoilers!), and Josh, a boy whose name is synonymous with death. Their story is about love, and forgiveness, and about salvation; not saving others, but about saving yourself.

Okay, okay. That summary was really cryptic. I’m trying not to spoil anything, and I’m not sure how to summarize the novel without spoiling anything.

I really liked this book. Originally, I was looking for a book to bridge the in-between, as in in-between Monsters (the third book in the Ashes Trilogy, which, by the way, was AMAZING!) and another book, which I had not decided yet. I didn’t need it to be fantastic, or even overly amazing, I just needed it to be good enough to bridge the gap between really intense and whatever I read next. I thought that this book would be just like any other romance novel I read: fairly okay, with a hell of a lot of cliches and empty words said between two characters. I wasn’t looking for umph. I was looking for passable.

I found umph.

This book was absolutely and positively amazing. At first glance, I thought that it wasn’t too good. I actually debated putting it down after the first few pages, because Nastya’s narrative was so moody and annoying. And then I got about ten pages in. And it started to get really good. And then it got really really good. And then it got so amazing that my toes were literally curling and my heart was beating a little faster and I actually did not hear anything around me and forgot that I was even on the planet earth. It was that good.

One of the things I loved was that the book felt real. The chemistry between Josh and Nastya felt very tangible, and it made it more realistic to me that they didn’t just fall in love all of a sudden. It took time. They developed trust. And it made me trust their relationship a little more. He doesn’t just say, “Baby you’re beautiful. Want to go upstairs and hang out,” with a wink and a smile, and she doesn’t swoon immediately after, professing her undying love. Nastya is so much stronger and independent than that. When the guys in the story do that, she practically punches them in the face, or gives them a look that says, “Not in your life-time.” She’s this amazing, sarcastic, funny person, who yes, has a dark past. But she’s also strong enough to hold her past on her shoulders and carry on. She holds on to it, and wallows a little in it, but she more than just her past and her problems. And she was one of the reasons I kept reading.

While I’m on the subject of characters…there were very few that I outright hated. There were the obvious dislikes, but I never really hated any characters, with the exception of the most obvious: the reason for her pain. But I did fall in love with a lot of characters. The first, aside from Nastya, being Josh. Which you’d think would be obvious, since he’s the other narrator. First, his pet name for her is “Sunshine,” not “Baby,” or “Babe,” or “Honey,” or “Princess.” Sunshine. Not only was that one new to me, but it actually fit him and the way he thinks about her. Second, he’s literally Prince Charming, with a few more flaws and problems. He’s not perfect. But he’s close enough that he seems to be a knight in shining armor. I also loved his friend, Drew, who was the flirt in the opening of the book. We’re introduced to him before we are introduced to Josh, and I thought he was an absolutely fantastic friend and character. He’s a beautiful, hilarious person.

There was also Tierney, who was hilarious but I won’t touch too much on her, and Clay, another person I won’t touch on too much but who was a fantastically awesome person, both of whom I wish were real so that I could meet them.

I definitely recommend reading this book. I do have to warn you: there is a lot of mention of sex, use of alcohol and drugs, abuse, violence, dirty and “bad” language, and it is fairly intense. It will also make your stomach drop, it will make you laugh, and it will probably make you cry. But you should definitely read it.