The Sea of Tranquility is going to be hard to review because I just don’t want to say too much about anything and give any of the amazingness away. Suffice it to say, that this was a SPECTACULAR read – heartbreaking and poignant and also incredibly sweet and hopeful. Really, you want to read this book. Now.
- Minor details. Honestly, the only things I can even think of to list as negatives for this book are really minor details. There is one point where I was a bit frustrated with a decision that Nastya made and a couple of points where I thought a secret had been kept unfairly by switching perspectives before we saw a certain person’s POV, but these are tiny, minor details and I really almost don’t even want to mention them!
- The writing. Just read the first part of the synopsis above and you’ll see the beauty of Millay’s writing. She just expresses things in such a real and yet poetic way. All of Nastya’s emotions are bared for us (and Josh’s too!), and their thoughts and feelings are often beautiful and poignant, without ever seeming overblown.
- The mysteries. Almost from the very beginning of this book, there are surprises. I was immediately intrigued – pulled into the story. When the first mystery was revealed, I was floored – I had to go back and re-read a few things because I was just so surprised – and yet, I shouldn’t have been. It was there, but cleverly disguised. Now, don’t get me wrong – the mystery wasn’t there for shock value or anything like that. In fact, Millay did an amazing job of weaving together an intensely intriguing book without resorting to gimmicks or plot devices. The mysteries that were revealed throughout the book were highly emotionally impactful – which brings me to my next point …
- The emotional impact. This book touched me in so many ways. I felt an incredible array of emotions while reading this – I was in swept off my feet, sometimes amused, sometimes heartbroken, intrigued, concerned, in love, hopeful, frustrated or amazed, occasionally even angry or confused. I love it when a book can make me feel so many amazingly disparate emotions. This story kept me awake thinking about it long after I put the book down – the sign of a truly amazing book!
- The characters. Millay has written a complex story about broken people who connect in a way that is truly special and unique. These characters are messy and real and absolutely perfect for each other (all of them – not even just Nastya and Josh). Nastya and Josh are amazing together – I couldn’t get enough of them long before they had even developed any feelings for each other. And the other characters in the book aren’t left as two-dimensional scenery. Drew and his family are perfect in their imperfections (LOVE the family dinners) and the scenes with Nastya’s family are painful and yet real and sometimes hopeful. You can’t help but feel drawn to these people – to feel like you want to know them. While this book was definitely a standalone, I can’t help but wish I could visit these characters again – I miss them!