Audiobook Review: The Sea of Tranquility by Katja Millay

Posted February 15, 2014 by Melissa in Book Review | 9 Comments


Title: The Sea of Tranquility
Author: Katja Millay
Narrators: Kirby Heyborne & Candace Thaxton
Age Group:  New Adult
Genre: Contemporary/Issues
Length: 13 hours and 10 minutes
Publisher:Simon & Schuster Audio
Publication Date: June 4, 2013 (first published September 5th 2012)
Available Formats: Paperback, E-book, Audio
Find it: Goodreads
Buy it: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Book Depository
Source: Publisher


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.

My Thoughts

The Sea of Tranquility captured me from the first chapter…I just could not stop listening.  Lesson learned again…I do like New Adult…despite my hesitations…with one caveat…I don’t like straight contemporary.  I need some torment, some angst…and Millay more than delivers that here.

Katja Millay crafts an heartbreaking story of loss and pain and faith and hope all wrapped into a beautiful package.  The writing is fluid and descriptive and completely captivating. At times it almost feels like reading poetry…which I love. We spend most of our time inside our two main characters minds and learning from them, as little or as much as they are willing to share…and growing with them throughout the book as they slowly open up to each other and to us.

Both of our main characters and POVs (we alternate between the two), Nastya and Josh, are incredibly broken individuals. They manage to put up quite believable facades to the rest of the world, but slowly over the course of the novel manage to connect with each other, open up and eventually reveal themselves for who they really are.  I loved both of them from the beginning. Smart and witty, quite a bit precocious…just how I like my Young Adult and New Adult characters.  These two will completely tear at your heartstrings…guaranteed. I’ll admit that as with many books, the miscommunications or things left unsaid that at times ended up leading to further problems, did bother me. Much less so with this book though…because I could so clearly see and feel what Josh and Nastya felt.  I could hold almost nothing against them.  I just wanted to scoop them both up and hug them tightly…I was that attached.

Josh and Nastya make a great couple and the romance aspect of this novel was incredibly well done.  There was a lot more depth here though.  The whole mystery surrounding Nastya story and who she “really” was…the interactions with classmates and teachers…and ultimately the fight and growth that they each had to come to terms with their pasts and manage to overcome left me in tears by the conclusion.

Secondary characters also add to this tale.  Drew and his family in particular are amazing…and to be honest I wouldn’t mind seeing Drew pop up in  a story of his own.  He and Josh have an amazing relationship…one that grows even stronger in The Sea of Tranquility.

Bottom line this is an amazingly  written story of two extremely broken teens,  who with each other, find solace, strength, hope and eventually the ability to be themselves. No review I write can do justice to this story…all I can leave you with is the strong recommendation to pick this one up.  I promise it will be a stand out.

Narration Notes: Kirby Heyborne & Candace Thaxton did an amazing job and I’d not hesitate to pick up another book narrated by one of these two.  They completely captured the voices of our MCs and delivered more than just a straight narration but managed to convey all the feelings as well.

Was It Worth My Time?

5 Timepieces!


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