Inspired Reading: The Sea of Tranquility

The Sea of TranquilityThe Sea of Tranquility by Katja Millay
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The Sea of Tranquility is an unexpected gem of a young adult novel that does not rely on the fantastical realm of monsters and magic. Instead, it explores the monsters that reside our own hearts and the magic of human connection. It is the story of Nastya, the mysterious new girl who has reinvented herself to hide her past. Her only purpose is to exact revenge upon the boy who destroyed her life. Despite the unassailable barriers she has built between herself and the rest of the world, Nastya finds herself drawn to a boy named Josh Bennett who loves to build furniture and somehow exists in a world apart from their high school classmates.

Katja Millay uses the first-person narrative in a brilliant dance between Nastya and Josh’s perspectives. The story unfolds in two very distinct voices. Nastya is all too aware of her own and others’ shortcomings. But it is difficult not to enjoy her sarcasm and vulnerability. As Nastya and Josh’s relationship develops, the reader gathers clues to the tragedy that ripped Nastya’s world apart. You’ll also discover why students and teachers alike avoid Josh. It is a visceral journey into the hearts and minds of Nastya, Josh, and Drew, Josh’s best friend. You’ll find yourself rooting for these utterly dysfunctional characters and hoping that they will overcome their respective inner demons, heal, and allow themselves to love and be loved. The Sea of Tranquility is an intricate tapestry of humor, human suffering, and above all, heart. A must read!

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