Publication Date: 4th June 2013 (1st published Nov 2012)
Book Source: Atria Books & NetGalley
Synopsis: 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.
This was such a beautiful, heartachey read. It's one of those slow unfurling stories, not like the petals of a flower, more like the layers of an onion, if you get what I'm saying. Quietly powerful, raw, intense, far from pretty but painfully and beautifully honest.
Nastya radiates pain, she has a "black belt in self-pity," she's sarcastic, angry, strong but damaged, scarred physically and emotionally. She doesn't speak but I loved her inner dialogue.
Josh has faced more loss and grief than anyone his age should have to. He's strong and caring, a genuine good guy but that doesn't mean every decision he makes is a smart one, I liked that though, it made him more real to me.
Drew is best friend to Josh and Nastya, he's the sweetheart with a playboy reputation and the fun and light in this story. I thought he was gorgeous, he affectionately refers to Nastya as 'Nastypants' and his playful innuendo and banter cracked me up.
Nastya and Josh are drawn to each other ... mutual pain and all that. I love how their relationship builds ... Josh becoming Nastya's safe harbour.
"I know at that moment what he's given me and it's not a chair. It's an invitation, a welcome, the knowledge that I am accepted here. He hasn't given me a place to sit. He's given me a place to belong."