Fictionators & Fan Fic Readalong & Review: THE SEA OF TRANQUILITY by Katja Millay
July 26th, 2013 by Liza Wiemer


This was my first time participating in a Readalong with the wonderful people of The Fictionators, Kassiah and Caren, and of Fan Fic, Jaime and Erin. We tweeted to #TSoTreadalong and posted on a special link on Facebook, sharing our thoughts. And oh what a novel they choose!

The cover: The design is brilliant – that’s melted ice cream that helps to outline the faces on pavement. It has the perfect connotation for the novel. Bravo to the cover designer!

The summary from Goodreads:


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 review, also posted on Goodreads:

An exceptional story.

I am NOT going to talk about Josh. Or Sunshine. Or what happened to her in THE SEA OF TRANQUILITY by Katja Millay. I am not going to discuss the unfairness of what Josh faced over and over again. Many others have done so and done it extremely well. I second, third, fourth my agreement.
I will say this: THE SEA OF TRANQUILITY begs the reader to take action, to make a change, or a choice, even a small one like picking up the phone and calling a loved one to say “I love you.” Or even bigger steps – taking a hard look at oneself and making a decision to begin to heal a past wound. Just. One. Step. Because a novel like this cannot be read without the reader going through some type of transformation. You can’t read it and do nothing. At the very least, one must think. One must examine his or her own life and recognize ones own struggles. No one is perfect or close to it. There are always dark shadows. Perhaps they’re not as deep or traumatizing as what occurs in this novel, but they’re there and they can’t be diminished in comparison to someone else’s.
An exceptional story does exactly what TSoT does – it pulls you in, grabs you by the heart, makes you think, makes you feel. It changes you and, hopefully – please, please, gives you the opportunity to take action. Perhaps just recommending this novel to someone else might save a life.
Today, TSoT reminds me once again to be thankful for having survived. For having another moment to say I’m grateful for the immeasurable blessings in my life.
Thank you Katja Millay for writing an breathtaking story. And thank you to Kassiah and Caren of Fictionators and Jaime and Erin of Fic Fare for putting this readalong together. I read this novel because of YOU! xxxx

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