Release Date: November 13, 2012
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Genre: Romance, Young Adult
Review Date: May 26, 2014
Rating: 5 bookmarks
Synopsis: 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.
Disclaimer: I received this ebook last year courtesy of the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
I don’t remember the last time a story affected me in this way. So many feelings are going on while reading their story, I laughed, I cried...almost. Be warned, this is a tearjerker. If you cry easily, have your tissue handy. You’ll need it. For me this story was harder to take emotionally than reading about kids with cancer. Yes, I know that sounds dreadful, but I’m being honest. My tear ducks remained bone dry when I read The Fault in Our Stars, but I must admit, I was struggling to hold it back once or twice with this book.
These are two kids with rough lives, but for different reasons. Two damaged souls find each other and manage to save each other, all the while they don’t understand or even realize the effect that they are having on each other.
What happened to Nastya in her past isn't revealed until about the 70% mark or so, but you can begin to put the puzzle pieces together as you read. But what’s even more disheartening is finding out the why behind it all. It's a lose-lose situation no matter what. As most things in life are, while the event was still horrible for Nastya, the situation isn't as black and white as it first appears.
The characters are so complex; it’s amazing to watch Nastya and Josh evolve. While their friendship grows, they also grow as individuals. The secondary characters add even more to the depth of this story, family and friends alike who are touched by both teens.
The title was perfect for this story. I recently found out that The Sea of Tranquility is indeed a real thing, a real place in space, on the moon actually. What does it have to do with Nastya and Josh? Well, let's just say it's a metaphor for something else that's pretty deep.
I loved the end of this story. It was real, it was harsh, yet it was hopeful. They are both young yet they have old souls due to their life experiences, which makes me want to believe that two teenagers can be together for the long haul. I want Josh and Emilia to make it. They both deserve some joy at the end of the bumpy road.
This is my first time reading Millay and hopefully she is working on something new because I will definitely read her again. It's been a while since I'd read a standalone book that I enjoyed so much. It's essentially a romance, but it's so much more. I recommend this book for anyone that loves a story of survival and renewed hope.
Here are a few of my favorite quotes from the book:
“Daylight won’t protect you from anything. Bad things happen all the time; they don’t wait until after dinner”
“There are so many things that can break you if there's nothing to hold you together.”
“Emilia," he says, and when he does, it warms me to my soul. "Every day you save me.”
“We're like mysteries to one another. Maybe if I can solve him and he can solve me, we can explain each other. Maybe that's what I need. Someone to explain me.”