Published by Atria Books, Simon and Schuster on November 13, 2012
Genres: Coming of Age, contemporary, dark, Death & Dying, Emotions & Feelings, Fiction, General, New Adult, Romance
A School Library Journal Best Book of 2013An ALA/YALSA Alex Award Winner
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. Two and a half years after an unspeakable tragedy left her a shadow of the girl she once was, Nastya Kashnikov moves to a new town determined to keep her dark past hidden and hold everyone at a distance. But her plans only last so long before she finds herself inexplicably drawn to the one person as isolated as herself: Josh Bennett.
Josh’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. When your name is synonymous with death, everyone tends to give you your space. Everyone except Nastya who won’t go away until she’s insinuated herself into every aspect of his life. But as the undeniable pull between them intensifies, 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.
HOLY SMOKES! What a moving, powerful book. How did this one elude my grasp for so long?? The Sea of Tranquility has been classified both as Young Adult and New Adult. I could see it going either way, but I think it is closer to upper Young Adult. Especially since both of the main characters are in high school. Even though they are each wise beyond their years. I really don’t know how to write a review that does this book justice. I have read a lot of really fantastic books, but the Sea of Tranquility will always stick out in my mind because of how much it moved me. This is a powerful book. It reminded me of the raw emotional power like in the books Lost and Found by Nadia Simonenko. And anyone that knows me, or has read my reviews of those new adult books, know just how high of praise that is.
The Sea of Tranquility starts off feeling very mysterious. It took me a couple of chapters to get my bearings because I didn’t know what had happened to Nastya. Could she not talk? Or did she chose not to? I really didn’t know for a good part of the start of the story. Plus, why did everyone give Josh such a wide berth. It takes a little while for you to get the answers, but once you do, you fall into an easy pattern in the book. I loved the day to day that Nastya and Josh fell into. It was weird, sure, but it was beautiful. Each of them is so deeply wounded. But watching them with each other was equal parts fascinating and heart wrenching. I fell in love with them a million times over. When Nastya left cookies for Josh I fell in love. When Josh made a chair for Nastya, I fell in love. The characters were not without faults, but their faults are what made them interesting. I wanted Nastya to open up to Josh. It seemed like she was never going to. And at first I thought Josh would be the one that was more closed off, but it ended up being her that wouldn’t take a leap of faith.
I can’t imagine going through what either of them has gone through. And they each had their own coping mechanisms. I am not in a position to judge how either of them dealt with it. There was one point in the story where I almost started crying because of what Nastya chose to do, and how it affected her and Josh. I was shocked. Sure, events and deaths in books have made me cry before, but I have never teared up just by reading about a choice that a character made. That was when I knew this book had really gotten to me. I have recommended this book to so many people already. There are plenty of books that I read and think, “this book would be great for fans of contemporary romance” or “for fans of new adult” or “fans of horror”, etc, but no. The Sea of Tranquility is something that I think EVERYONE NEEDS TO READ. It is the most moving book that I have read all year. Hands down.