This book was so good, that it was the only book I read this week. I normally read 4 books a week but this one was so good, I took it slowly, savoured it, thought about it and was in no rush to finish it.The Sea of Tranquility by Katja Millay
Published by Atria Books on 13 Nov 2012
Genres: Contemporary, YA
My Recap :
A damaged girl, hiding behind a false name, too-little-clothes and too-much-makeup starts her life again in a new town, in a new school, living with her aunt. Nastya is also hiding behind silence as she has selective mutism. On her first day she meets Josh who is just as hurt by life. Together they are about to take a journey of discovery.
My Thoughts :
Let’s just be clear I loved this book. As soon as I saw these words, I was gone. I knew I would love the book.
“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.”
I love the writing style and this was part of why I read the book so slowly. I wanted to linger over the words and think about them. I needed time to just relish how slowly the story was being revealed and how even through silence Nastya was screaming how much she hurt.
The story was also difficult for me in ways as I had a close family member who also suffered from Selective Mutism for over 2 years. It brought memories of what a scary and frustrating time this was for all of us who loved her. I felt The Sea of Tranquility did a great job of showing just how much her family were affected and hurting also by this. Plus it gave me an insight into just how hard it was for Nastya to maintain her silence, how one part of her brain was on constant alert to make sure no words slipped out. That really affected me too as it was the first time I had thought about that.
The main characters Nastya and Josh won my hearts from the first time I met them within the pages. Both are victims but they don’t play a victims role. They are doing what they need to do at that moment in time to get through another day. They grow a lot in the book and become more vulnerable and in doing so they give themselves another chance to live fuller lives than they do when we first met them. They both have touched my heart (especially Nastya) in a way characters rarely do. In all honesty I doubt I will ever forget them.
The other characters are fully fleshed out as well and add interesting colour to the book. Drew who is a friend to both Nastya and Josh added humour and teenage high jinks. However mostly what I feel about the characters and the storyline is that it is real. Pulsatingly painful, tragic, gritty, raw but real life laid out before your eyes. So real that at times I felt physically hurt just from letting my mind wander too far into these characters lives.
It is a depressing theme but there is humour and most of all there is sweet, tender love to balance everything out. A love that gives you hope in the good in people and the belief that second chances can always exist and even third and forth. By the last page after wiping my eyes and giving a heavy sigh I felt uplifted and on a huge book high.
Who should read The Sea of Tranquility?
At this stage I think I’m one of the last to read it! However if you have not read it, do yourself a big favour and do so immediately. No matter what genre you normally read, this book is about life so I’m recommending it to everyone.
Bookish Chat : Have you read the Sea of Tranquility? Did you love it as much as I did? Or do you plan to read it?