Sea of Tranquility by Katja Millay
The Skinny: 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. (From Goodreads, couldn’t make myself summarize this one!)
BFF?: I don’t know if I’d want to be BFFs with either Nastya or Josh. Not that they weren’t completely wonderful, but because they were both so damaged and broken. I loved how despite all of this, though, they found solace (somehow) in each other, being able to find some consolation in the other. Their relationship was definitely dysfunctional, but it just worked. And once you moved past their hurt and pain, they both had wonderful personalities. I loved how they surprised me with one liners or quips that seemed so perfectly out of character that it made their character just that much more real. Maybe I don’t want to be BFFs with them, but I definitely would want to be in their lives in some way. Maybe a cool aunt or cousin.
You know who I WOULD love to be BFFs with? Drew. Seriously, he was hands down my favorite character. I loved how although he seemed like this douche, he was really a good guy deep down. His character was surprising and endearing, something I never saw coming.
Readability: This one goes between Nastya’s POV and Josh’s POV. I LOVED it. At first I preferred Nastya’s voice over Josh’s, but eventually I wanted more of Josh. I wanted to see inside his head and his thoughts. The writing was superb and beautiful, flowing and raw. And it read just as wonderful.
Crush Level: 7
With the exception of a certain girl named Leigh, Josh is all that is good in a guy. He’s sincere, he’s upfront, he doesn’t BS around. He’s the kind of guy I would totally want to have a thing with, whether it worked out or not, just to say at one point in my life, I had a guy who was wonderful.
Oh, and he could build me neat furniture.
I think people who know how to build are like those who know how to quilt, knit, crochet, and can. They are special because they hold on to nearly lost arts and keep history alive in their craft. Annnnd… I couldn’t help but think of Aidan from SATC making pretty furniture.
I don’t run. But I dream of doing it. I sometimes feel the urge to just take off and run, feeling the uninhibited sensation of speed and escape. So whenever there is running in books that captures this, I totally dig it. If only I did it…
Nastya and Josh both attend Drew’s family’s Sunday dinner and they’re really great. I loved the family moments, how wonderful Drew’s family was towards Nastya, and just the whole concept of fancy Sunday dinners with the family.
Nastya has a thing for names and their meanings. It was kind of a bigger part of the book, but small at the same time. Just made things really unique I thought.
Voldemort the Cat
There was one particular scene where Nastya gets a ceramic cat, despite Josh’s objections. She names him Voldemort.