Tuesday, November 26, 2013
Audiobook Review: The Sea of Tranquility by Katja Millay
Title: The Sea of Tranquility
Author: Katja Millay
Narrators: Kirby Heyborne, Candace Thaxton
Unabridged Length: 13 hrs, 13 mn.
Here is a summary of the novel from the Goodreads website:
Former piano prodigy Nastya Kashnikov wants two things: to get through high school without anyone learning about her past and to make the boy who took everything from her—her identity, her spirit, her will to live—pay.
Josh Bennett’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. Now all he wants is be left alone and people allow it because when your name is synonymous with death, everyone tends to give you your space.
Everyone except Nastya, the mysterious new girl at school who starts showing up and won’t go away until she’s insinuated herself into every aspect of his life. But the more he gets to know her, the more of an enigma she becomes. As their relationship intensifies and the unanswered questions begin to pile up, 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.
I wasn't sure what to think of this book when I first started listening to it. This was my first experience with Millay and at first I thought it was going to be just another young adult romance, with boy meets girl, struggling through their relationship, but end up together in the end. Thankfully, the story went much deeper than this, allowing me to get to know these characters that were lost from the people they truly were.
Something happened to Nastya that turned her into a withdrawn and bitter individual. One day she just quit talking and put up a brick wall, not allowing anyone into her heart. All of this changed the day she met Josh. I think she saw something in Josh's eyes telling her that he was just as lost and hurt as she was.
Josh is a lonely, young man who lives alone in a home left by his grandfather. Money isn't a problem for Josh so he doesn't have to worry about moving even though he is still in high school. He doesn't have many friends in school, as he's been flagged as an outcast, so naturally he and Nastya are drawn to each other.
Josh and Nastya find refuge in each other, but they have many problems to overcome. As the novel goes on we learn what exactly happened to Nastya that turned her into the exact opposite type of person she once was. Although I appreciated Nastya's character, my heart went out to Josh as I felt I could easily relate to his problems. The heartache and loneliness that comes with being alone in the world is hard to explain, but Millay did a wonderful job of this.
I'm sure the narrators of this audiobook helped my appreciation of the story. Chapters alternated between Josh's and Nastya's stories, and Heyborne and Thaxton narrated, depending upon whose chapter was being read. Both of these narrators embraced their characters, bringing them to life for me and even bringing tears to my eyes a couple of times.
I enjoyed this audiobook more than I thought I would and with themes of love, loss, and forgiveness I'm sure many of you would enjoy this book as much as I did. I don't hesitate in recommending this book for personal leisure or even as a book club selection.
My Rating: 4/5
Disclosure: This audiobook was provided to me by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.