Friday, August 8, 2014

The Sea of Tranquility

The Sea of Tranquility
by Katja Millay

Genre:  Young Adult
Listening Length:  13 hours and 10 minutes
Published:  6/4/13 by Simon and Schuster Audio
Format:  Audiobook

My rating:
5 out of 5 stars 

This story about two teens who are trying to cope after tragedy is dark, raw, intense and not especially uplifting.  It also has a lot of mature content for a teen novel.  But I really loved it and was pulled into the story from the very beginning.  I listened to the audiobook, which is a format I don't use very often as I sometimes have trouble paying attention.  I didn't have any trouble paying attention to this story as it grabbed me and didn't let go until the last word, 13 hours later.

At the beginning of The Sea of Tranquility, Nastya, a 17 year old girl with a mysterious secret, starts attending a new school.  It is apparent early on that she has suffered a severe tragedy, and that she is most definitely not okay.  She doesn't speak to anyone, she dresses like a whore, she has issues with her left hand, and as the novel continues, the reader (or listener, in my case) pieces together bit by bit what has happened to leave her in such a state.  Josh Bennett has also suffered his share of tragedy, as nearly everyone he has ever loved has been taken from him.  

At this point, the story sounds like it will be predictable teen fare:  two teens with tragic pasts find solace in each other's arms and all of their problems suddenly disappear.  And while there are elements of this in The Sea of Tranquility, I felt like the novel was so much deeper.  I was especially pleased with the ending.  I was worried about where the story was going, and that I wouldn't like it.  I thought either everything would be wrapped up in a perfect little bow, or everyone would be left wallowing in their misery.  Somehow, Katja Millay managed to find a middle ground, providing an ending that was both satisfactory and realistic.  

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