~ On Hiatus ~

October 30, 2012

Contemp Favorites - Part II - The Not for the Faint of Heart Edition (1. The Sea of Tranquility by Katja Millay)

Hey everyone!

First off, let me warn you that this is not a review post, but mostly a long, fangirly, rambling post. The last time when I got so off the script and rambled on and on about a book was when I reviewed Flat-Out Love - and that should tell you something (and in my recommendations post before that).


You know those books that get to you on a very deep level? That make you connect emotionally with the stories and feel everything the characters feel - and then some? That make you fall in love with them so hard, you wish they were real? That make you want to jump into the book to be there for them, or into the author's brain and yell "what the hell were you thinking by torturing these poor souls like that?" Books that make you loose any sense of reality, that make you cry, frustrate you, squeeze your heart, make you pace around the room or stare off into space with a crazy dreamy look on your face, but you still want to read more? Because there's something so spellbinding, addictive and heart-melting about them that you can't. Stop. Reading? Those stories that are so incredibly beautiful, that you can't find the exact words to describe them? Those stories that pull at all your heart strings, no matter how sad and depressing, or sweet, passionate and hopeful they might be? Those books that are life-changing - and when you finish them, you feel like you just lived another life and you'll never be the same again?... Well, I've been lucky enough to read a few such books in the past few months and they really set a new standard for what I like in my books. And if you want to read just one book I've recommended this year, pick one of these (or, you know, one from my recommendations, part I). 

I ranted about them on Goodreads when I read them (I'm a little more active there than on the blog, as I update my status about the books I'm currently reading constantly), but I suck at multitasking, so thinking in English (which is obviously not my first language), trying to be coherent, to keep my excitement in check, to explain myself very well and to be at least a bit objective and not just yell "OMFGDASHFAZ  this book was amazing go read it now now now!!!" is not that easy.

So this is me just trying to bring these books to your attention. And ok, yes, fangirling a bit. Even if I wanted to write a review, there's not much to say, really. Not if you want to make them justice and capture all the awesomeness. You just have to read them and see for yourself. And, like I said on Goodreads a few days ago, now I can classify some of the books I've read lately in two categories: the mind-blowing, breathtaking, heart-stopping, life-changing books... and the rest (not saying they were bad, on the contrary, I read a lot of 4, 4.5 or even 5 stars books lately, but... these are more special and have their very own category and place in my bookworm heart).

Let's start with The Sea of Tranquility. This is YA, so it's safe to read for everyone. Well, maybe not for very young YAs, since there's mention of abuse, drug and alcohol use, profanity etc.

The Sea of Tranquility 
by Katja Millay

Published September 5th 2012
by Antisocialite Press LLC
Format: Kindle Edition, 380 pages


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.

Full of rage and without a purpose, former pianist Nastya Kashnikov wants two things: to get through high school without anyone discovering her past and to make the boy who took everything from her pay.

All 17 year-old Josh Bennett wants is to build furniture and be left alone, and everyone allows it because it’s easier to pretend he doesn’t exist. When your name is synonymous with death, everyone tends to give you your space.

Everyone except Nastya, a hot mess of a girl who starts showing up and won’t go away until she’s insinuated herself into every aspect of his life. The more he gets to know her, the more of a mystery she becomes. As their relationship intensifies and the unanswered questions begin to pile up, he starts to wonder if he may ever learn the secrets she’s been hiding or if he even wants to.

The Sea of Tranquility is a slow-building, character-driven romance about a lonely boy, an emotionally fragile girl, and the miracle of second chances.

Please Note: This book contains mature content including profanity, drug/alcohol use, and sexual situations/language.

My thoughts (sort of):

In a nutshell, this is the story of a seriously broken girl and the boy who helps her put the pieces of her life back together and heals himself as well in the process. 

Something terrible happened to Nastya a few years ago and it changed her forever. She's just a shell of the person she used to be. No one can understand her, no one can help her. And she doesn't really want anyone's help anyway. She's angry, closed off  and mysterious. She just wants to be left alone and to finish high school - and secretly to make the boy who destroyed her life pay for it. Josh has his own troubled past and lives under his own "don't f*ck with me" bubble. That's the only reason they can stand being around each other. They have their own baggage and don't need to open up or to make too big of an effort to spend time together. But slowly, Nastya's impenetrable, protective cell begins to crack. But instead of helping them get closer, it only makes things more mysterious and complicated. Their entire life is wrapped up in secrets and questions they can't ask because they're not ready to find out the answers - or they're not ready to give any answers in return. But as times goes by, Nastya's story begins to unravel. And it's heartbreaking. It's moving. It's incredible. Josh becomes a very important part of her life - her relationship with him is the only thing that helps her feel sane. But will the revealing of her past and darkest secrets finally manage to push him away? How long can he wait for her to trust him, to be honest with him and to open her heart to him? And when everything goes completely out of control and things get messy, is it too late to work out something together, or are they too shocked, hurt and afraid to try to have a normal relationship? Will love be enough to fix things between them? Is there any chance for happiness for them? 

There are so many questions! And every answer just rises even more questions. This story was such an emotional rollercoaster and had such an impact, that by the end, I didn't even know what to think or how to feel anymore. But I loved every second of it, nonetheless.  And I wish I could read it for the first time again, to feel that powerful connection with the characters and their story. Lucky for you, you can still do that.:) Oh, and this book couldn't get any better, there's the occasional sarcasm, dry humor or banter that's always a WIN with me. Oh, yes. And two alternative POVs. Double win!

My only regret right now is that I don't have a paperback copy. It would look nice on my all time favorites shelf. *sigh*

Favorite quotes: 

“People who go around advertising their birthday are douchebags. It’s a fact. You can look it up on Wikipedia.”

“When you look at her what do you feel?"
“Are you f*cking serious? Forget it.” He can kiss my ass if he wants to start talking feelings with me."
[...] "Joy, fear, frustration, longing, friendship, anger, need, despair, love, lust?”
“Yes, what?”
“All of it,” I reply, because I’m all in now whether I like it or not.

We have an unspoken agreement. I let him watch me. He lets me watch him. We never call each other on it. It’s a gift we give one another. No strings, no expectations, no reading between the lines. We’re like mysteries to one another. Maybe if I can solve him and he can solve me, we can explain each other. 

“You are distractingly, even-if-that-is-not-a-real-word, pretty. You are so pretty that I bullied Clay Whitaker into drawing me a picture of you so I could look at you when you aren’t around. You are so pretty that one of these days I’m going to lose a finger in my garage because I can’t concentrate with you so close to me. You are so pretty that I wish you weren’t so I wouldn’t want to hit every guy at school who looks at you, especially my best friend.”

And why I say this is not for the faint of heart? Well, my first reaction after I finished it was something along the lines: With this story, Ms Millay broke my heart in a million pieces, allowed me some time to heal and then did it all over again and stomped on the pieces for good measure, before putting it back together. BUT because she had the power to do so with her wonderful words, because the story was just as incredibly beautiful as it was heartbreaking and for a gazillion other reasons, I can't give this book any less than 5 stars.

Get the book (It's only $2.99!) Amazon / B & N

Stalk Kaja: Twitter / Facebook / Goodreads

Ok, I'll stop gushing now and be back later with my thoughts on The Dark Duet by CJ Roberts. That one is a little disturbing, dark, intense, extremely hot and definitely not for young readers, so stay tuned. :D


  1. "You know those books that get to you on a very deep level? That make you connect emotionally with the stories and feel everything the characters feel - and then some?"
    YES!!!! Oh so YES!!!!! Those are the books I soooo want to read and always looking for!
    I'm so going to get my copy right now! Thanks Deea!!

  2. @Danny I love those books the most too!;) I hope you enjoy this one as much as I did!♥


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