Title: The Sea of Tranquility
Author: Katja Millay
Sometimes a book comes up and smacks you in the face with how amazing it is. You think you’re ready when you read it, and that the heartbreak you know is coming won’t sneak up on you. Then you’re reading the book and before you realize what it happening, you heart is in a million pieces, those pieces have lodged themselves in your throat, and you can’t breathe because of how perfect the words you are reading are.
The Sea of Tranquility is one of those books. I was wholly unprepared for what this book did to me. I knew it wasn’t going to be lighthearted, yet parts of it were. I knew there would be a bit of love, but I didn’t understand just how perfect that love would be. I knew my heart would break, but I didn’t realize how many pieces a heart could break into until I read this book.
Nastya is trying to find her way in a new life. Everything she has ever known was taken away from her in a few short moments and she’s left to rebuild some form of life. As much as she wants to find a way to live, things are holding her back. She can’t seem to find a way to move forward without things dragging her back to a world she doesn’t know how to live in anymore.
Josh loses the people he loves until it’s just him. He shuts people out, not wanting to risk losing anyone else. If he doesn’t give himself anyone to love, he won’t have to lose anyone else. He has people in his life, but he keeps them safely locked away from any real emotional connection to keep them safe.
When these two people started an unlikely relationship, I knew the hurt was going to come. They share some secrets, but keep others. What started as a relationship of toleration slowly becomes friendship which leads to romance. These two people don’t jump right into their feelings; both know that feeling can be dangerous.
Nastya and Josh are looking for the second chances. They’re looking for a way to forge ahead in life, even though their pasts haven’t been kind. They want the chance to love and be okay. Every page is laced with that need. Even more than they want each other, they need that second chance. Millay did an amazing job in keeping the story authentic, giving just the right about of hurt coupled with a pinch of hope.
I really don’t have the words to express how much this novel moved me. Nastya and Josh were broken, and they aren’t magically fixed in this book. To expect perfection after everything that happened would have made this book felt wrong. Even though everything wasn’t wrapped up in a perfect little bow, the last words of the novel were exactly what they needed to be. I will never look at pennies, garages, or woodwork the same again.
The Sea of Tranquility is a perfect book. Read it. There’s nothing else I can say.
Thank you to Atria Books and NetGalley for a copy of the novel in exchange for an honest review.