The Sea of Tranquility by Katja Millay
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Genre: New Adult/Mature Y/A
This book. I’m not exactly sure how to describe it and do it the justice it deserves. The story revolves around Nastya, a broken and mysterious girl who comes to live with her Aunt to escape the scrutiny in her hometown. She arrives in skintight black clothes, stiletto heels and a whole lot of ‘black shit’ caked round her eyes. She’s dressed to make a statement, one more like a streetwalker than a seventeen year old girl.
Then there’s Drew and Josh, a pair of best friends who some how end up befriending Nastya. Drew is the resident player, leaving a trail of girls in his wake. Meanwhile Josh thinks he’s the kiss of death. At seventeen, he’s watched his whole family die around him, leaving him alone, bitter and reclusive.
The story is told in alternating viewpoints between Josh and Nastya. I love how the story is revealed slowly, like peeling back the layers of an onion. Millay does such a great job keeping us in suspense, but not boring us to death while doing it. The characters are complex and flawed, oh how flawed they all are. But it is in these flaws that you find their fragility and love them all the more, no matter how many mistakes they seem to make.
Did I mention Josh? Bad-ass, loner Josh who is one of the swooniest boys around?
He slowly goes from disliking Nastya to suddenly finding her inexplicably wrapped around every nook and cranny of his life. And it is a lovely thing to behold.
(The quotes are mildly spoilerish – so skip ahead to below the quotes for the rest)
I know at that moment what he’s given me and it’s not a chair. It’s an invitation, a welcome, the knowledge that I am accepted here. He hasn’t given me a place to sit, but a place to belong.
Just so you know,” he mimics me, “I would chop that table up and use it for firewood before I would ever choose anything over you.” It’s a ridiculous thing to say, but he nails me with those eyes, making sure I know he’s serious…
I’m not sure how long we sit in Josh’s truck, holding hands surrounded by darkness and unspoken regrets. But it’s long enough to know that there are no stories or secrets in the world worth holding onto more than his hand
I stayed up just about all night reading this book, and I have a feeling I may need to reread it again, just to catch some of the nuances I missed being in a bit of a sleepless haze.
This is one of the best books I’ve read in quite some time. A wonderful debut from an author I can’t wait to see what she writes next.
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