Contemporary, Young Adult

Darling it’s better down where it’s wetter

Sea of Tranquility by Katja Millay

sea of tranquility

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.

Bonus Points:

Furniture Building
john corbet

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…

Sunday Dinners


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.

baby names
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.

Commencement Speech: Um, I may need to hide under my desk for a while and eat lots of ice cream to recover from this book. It was so beautiful and painful and raw and wonderful. I don’t think anything I can say will truly do it any justice… but I’m going to try! There’s something really special about contemporary that can totally tear at your emotions and leave you feeling like you’ve been hung out to dry. The Sea of Tranquility is one of those books and does it in the best way possible. It deals with hard and pretty painful issues in ways that aren’t easy to read about, but you know that you need to. You owe it to the characters to understand them. What I loved best about this book is that you aren’t presented with both Nastya and Josh right away… you get little snippets into who they are as the story, and the characters, build. It leaves you wanting more without forcing you to read just to find out what happens. Something I adore in a book! Overall, fantastic read. Beautiful. Poignant. You need to read this ASAP!
Yearbook Quote: “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.
Superlatives: Most likely to make you need a big big hug!
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5 thoughts on “Darling it’s better down where it’s wetter”

  1. I’m so glad you also loved this one! You’re right a totally raw, emotional story, but an exceptionally well-done one! And of course it would be nice have a boy to build you furniture… until you have 3 coffee tables in your living room!


  2. Okay, OKAY! I have this from NG and I have officially moved it up to my first read of 2013. ARE YOU HAPPY NOW?! If this book makes me cry ugly tears…::shakes fist::


  3. I totally agree about Drew. When I first met him, I thought I knew exactly what kind of person he was, but I was so wrong. I loved how pretty much every character had good and bad characteristics!

    I am kind of in love with Josh. Definitely.


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