The Sea of Tranquility by Katja Millay
My rating: 2 of 5 stars
"Maybe if I can solve him and he can solve me, we can explain to each other. Maybe that's what I need. Someone to explain me."
I really wanted to like The Sea of Tranquility, I really did. I loved the summary and plot, I read a lot of reviews and one of my favorite reviewers gave it 5 starts, BUT I just couldn’t justify anything higher than 2.5 stars, this book was just NOT FOR ME.
Nastya is a 17 year old damaged girl. Everyone in Josh’s life is gone and he therefore doesn’t like to be bothered. Nastya shows up at Josh’s school as a new student and even though both of them have past issues, they sort of become drawn towards one another and like it or not, their lives become tangled.
From page one you are hit with punch in the face. Nastya basically says, she died 3 years ago by a boy and she plans on killing him. So from first glance, I am assuming she’s one pissed off cookie and this may become a murder mystery? So when I start to get to know Josh’s character, I am thinking to myself maybe he’s the killer? The answer would be no, this is not a murder mystery book and Josh’s character has nothing to do with Nastya’s past. So, let me say I do not like the way the book begins, even though I get what Millay was trying to do, but it was kind of leading us as the reader under false pretenses.
The book is told from Nasya and Josh’s POV, which I enjoyed a lot. Also, there are hardly any flash back scenes, which I appreciated. It’s difficult to write a book with characters having past issues and not do flash back scenes; I am not a fan of flash back scenes EVER. Like I’ve said many times, I love it when the title is referenced, it was referenced a few times and I smiled when I read it. That pretty much sums the positives.
This is my rant
I do not like Nastya. I don’t like the way she acts, dresses, “talks” and probably almost everything else. There is so much self loathing in her character it’s really hard for me to like the heroine. When you do find out what happens, I really didn’t understand why she was so self loathing. Her loathing was to the point where she didn’t care if the guys at the school lied and said she was sleeping with them. I.COULD.NOT.UNDERSTAND.
I am indifferent to Josh. I sometimes like him, but then he says something and it makes me want to punch him in the face. So, Josh closes himself off to people, okay, makes sense, everyone around him has left, he’s own his own. Right off the bat we know Josh’s story, but I really didn’t get anything out of Josh, if anything, he didn’t seems as damaged as Millay tried to make him to be. Josh mentions how he feels, but he doesn’t do what Nastya does, he doesn’t dress or act differently (out of the norm), but he kinds of just shuts himself off from people, except for his best friend, does being a loner equate to being damaged? I would say, not really.
I think there were too many issues between Josh and Nastya, I felt like Nastya’s issues over shadow everything, if anything maybe it should have been written form Nastya’s POV.
There is hardly any dialogue until 50% into the book. This was the downfall for me. I.CAN.NOT.STAND books when it’s just the character’s thoughts. I am talking chapters and pages of Nastya and Josh thinking. I wanted to rip my hair out and I started to skim. At some point I was thinking of just dropping the book, BUT the reviews were so positive, I forced myself to get through it.
At the 50% to 80% mark, things got better. There was more dialogue and more interaction between Nastya and Josh. Pretty much at the 80% mark, I realized Nastya and Josh weren’t perfect heroine and hero characters, in fact, I felt like Millay wanted me to hate them and I’ll be honest, I sort of did.
I didn’t want an epic romance because I knew I wasn’t getting that right from the start, but I didn’t want this long drawn out story. I love character development, it’s probably one of the attributes that distinguish a good or bad book for me, but I did not like the character development in The Sea of Tranquility. It was just too boring.
I understand the positive ratings, because there’s a lot of drama, a lot of tension and just pure anger, but execution is a major factor and execution was seriously lacking.
The Sea of Tranquility was just not for me.