I picked up The Sea of Tranquility by Katja Millay knowing nothing about it except for the insanely crazy high rating it had on Goodreads. Seriously, last I looked it was 4.72 with almost 3,000 ratings? That’s a first for me. YOU GUYS THIS BOOK IS SO GOOD THAT I WANT TO WRITE THE WHOLE REVIEW IN CAPSLOCK. I’m not kidding. I finished it less than 24 hours ago and I am aching to read it again. I want there to be a movie that I can watch 10 times in a row…or TV show…play…I’M NOT PICKY!
As far as the plot of The Sea of Tranquility goes, you really want to go into it fresh with only vague ideas of what will happen. This isn’t an action packed thriller or a snappy, quick-moving contemporary. The plot is slooooooooow (I mean that in a good way). It is all about character building and really digging in and getting to know Josh and Nastya, the two protagonists. They are packed full of issues – the book features violence and death and dealing with the effects – and not being able to deal with the effects. Bits and pieces of their story are given to you a little at a time, and knowing stuff beforehand would be a bummer on the reading experience. JUST SAY NO TO SPOILERS.
Things switch back and forth between Nastya and Josh’s POVs and I have never been so happy to have a dual narration in my life. I couldn’t get enough of either of them. Watching them meet, get to know each other, develop a relationship…I SWOON. The chills abounded. Also, I teared up so many times, you don’t even know. Basically all they had to do to make me emote was look at each other meaningfully.
Now, I’m going to give you a gift. Don’t worry, after lecturing you about spoilers, I’m not planning on giving you any. I just want you to read the prologue:
I hate my left hand. I hate to look at it. I hate it when it stutters and trembles and reminds me that my identity is gone. But I look at it anyway, because it also reminds me that I’m going to find the boy who took everything from me. I’m going to kill the boy who killed me, and when I kill him, I’m going to do it with my left hand.
Starting with a bang = understatement of the year. After reading that one paragraph, for me it was immediately BOOM – All in.
Also, I discovered on Twitter that the Makeshift Bookmark ladies, Jen and Carla, were both reading it as well. I always forget what it can add to the reading experience to have friends you can tweet your crazed and capslocked enthusiasm to. (Also, for the record, they freakin’ loved it as much as I did.)
Forget my favorite reads of 2012 list, The Sea of Tranquility is on my fave reads OF ALL TIME list. The amount of emotion Katja Millay manages to pack into this story is ridiculous – the end brought on The Epic Ugly Cry of 2012. The book doesn’t just have the best prologue ever, it has the best last line ever. Seriously – the journey you go on culminates in the most gut-wrenchingly wonderful ending. I can’t even stand it.
Read The Sea of Tranquility. Read it if you love young adult contemporary novels. Read it if you would rather walk naked across a field of razor sharp barbed wire with feet soaked in vinegar than read young adult contemporary novels. It doesn’t matter – you will love it.
To Sum it Up:
- I might be the slightest bit evangelistic about this novel. (You have two weeks to read it or we won’t be friends anymore.)
- I definitely recommend going into The Sea of Tranquility knowing next to nothing – it will make your reading experience a lot richer.
- SOBBING. LOTS OF SOBBING. Beautiful, gorgeous, heart-wrenching and wonderful.