“Piano prodigy Nastya had a traumatic event happen to her, only we don't know what it was. She doesn't talk, and is all of a sudden attending a completely new school and living with her aunt, Margot. Josh Bennett has had all of his family die over the years, leaving him utterly alone and creating a sort of "dead zone" between him and the people around him.
The Sea of Tranquility is written from dual point of views alternating between Nastya and Josh. Nastya is damaged goods, but we don't know why, and that mystery is one of the reasons this book was such a page turner. Events unfolded throughout the book, not revealing too much, so you're left to speculate on what event could have destroyed her life as you're reading.
This book was paced nicely, with enough to keep me reading long after I should've gone to bed for the night. Alternating points of view definitely work for this book, especially since you have a character that isn't speaking. It allows you glimpses into her psyche and her raw emotional state, and makes you wonder how she'll interact with her peers at school the next day. The supporting characters such as Drew, Clay, and Tierney were well-written, and not the cardboard two-dimensional cutouts that you often see in other young adult novels. The depth of even these supporting characters made you care about them as much as the protagonists, and kept you interested in what made them tick. Drew seemed like such an unlikeable jerk at first but actually came across being quite the contrary as the book developed. But I'll leave that for you to find out.
The quality of writing in this book was superb, and the the author crafted these beautiful scenes that kept me imagining what this book would be like as a movie. One of my favorite scenes is when Josh takes a bucketful of pennies to the fountain in the mall with Nastya to make wishes on her eighteenth birthday. The scene was painted beautifully, with arcs of the water fountain creating an arch over their heads, and you could envision the smiles on their faces as they made their wishes into the glittery pool. Another favorite scene was when Nastya first went out for a hard run (as a runner, I can relate), and got lost in the neighborhood and ended up at Josh Bennett's house. The fragility and vulnerability of her standing there in the light of his garage, not saying a word, lost and exhausted, really got to me.
My friends are always asking what I'm reading, and I can't wait to recommend this book to them. I only rate maybe ten books of the nearly 175 that I read a year as five-star. This book is definitely worthy of a five-star rating and I look forward to what Katja Millay will write next.”