Book Talk: The Sea of Tranquility by Katja Millay





book synopsis Nastya, once a budding piano prodigy, has found everything taken away from her. She’s moved to a new school where nobody will know her and what happened to her and she has no plans of talking about it — or about anything at all. Until she meets Josh Bennett who has had everyone he’s loved taken away from him. There’s something about him that she notices immediately and she sees how nobody even goes near him at school. He definitely notices her because she’s the mystery around school and somehow she keeps showing up everywhere. They begin to get know each other better but they realize there are still so many things they don’t know about each other — secrets that aren’t ready to be told. (I know this sounds vague but THE STORY IS SO GOOD).


good books to read

I mentioned last week that How To Love by Katie Cotugno got me out of a strange slump I was in but there was one more book that helped? YEP The Sea of Tranquility by Katja Millay blew that reading slump to smithereens. I just need to sing this book’s praises. My dear friend Jen told me a long time ago to read it back when it hadn’t even been released but I just never got to it. STUPID STUPID STUPID.

So let’s talk about what made me all heart-eyed towards this book.

1. This book was the WHOLE package. The Sea of Tranquility was a beautifully layered and absorbing story with just so much depth to it — every plot line felt significant, the writing was excellent, every minor character added so much and the emotions that tie it all together are rooted deep..not something superficial. I felt it all to my core and I really, really needed these character’s in my life. It’s the kind of book that should be in the dictionary next to the word poignant because it was that in every sense of the word but it was beautiful and uplifting and happymaking at the same time. There were times when my heart would be fluttering because of a Josh/Nastya interaction or the feeling of Nastya’s walls falling down a little bit. And then my heart could be brutally aching — just because of the intensity of their stories and their sadness. This story will stay with me.

2. As I finished the book I was immediately longed for the characters. These are characters that leap off the pages and crash right into your heart. Nastya (this girl and her snarkiness!) and Josh (so, so sweet) were the kind of lead characters you long for — realistic and flawed and memorable. They are broken and so wanting to be whole in the face of what has happened to them. You learn a lot about them and you feel everything they feel. I loved their individual story and the strength I saw in them and their relationship brought me great joy and great pain sometimes and WOW it was intense and light and all consuming for the reader watching these two broken souls come together. I loved their time in the garage and how their friendship evolved. It was perfect. And the thing is…it could have been a good book with two great main characters and maybe some decent secondary characters but Katja Millay’s secondary characters made this book move to that GREAT. I was so invested in THEIR lives too and every single one of them added so much to this story. I mean, DREW. You peg him for one thing, and he is that, but he is SO MUCH MORE. He was one of my FAVORITE characters and the more I saw of him and got to know of him I just LOVED him especially with how he and Nastya interacted! I loved the family dinners and just really his family was so memorable to me. GAH I could go on about ALL the characters but I so appreciated how dimensional they were!

3. I haven’t given favorite status to a book in a while but this book deserves it. I read an e-arc I had of this sitting on my kindle and I NEED this novel to be sitting on my shelf. I need it to be here for when I want to get lost in their story and the words. To reread certain parts that just really affected me. This is the type of book that was perfect for me — yeah, there were little things I could be nit-picky about (like a certain part that gutted me but didn’t make all that much sense because I’m not sure I understood the motives of Nastya in that moment) but all I can think about this book is how much I loved it and how deeply I felt. My heart felt raw but so alive after and I never wanted that feeling to end.



book reviewsI hate that I feel like I can’t convey my love for this book. I’m smitten. Beyond smitten. This book just gutted me because of how visceral of an experience it all was — the way Nastya and Josh’s stories are revealed, the beautiful way in which Nastya begins to find herself again and just the raw sadness that emanated from the characters sometimes. But it made me laugh and swept me off my feet and gave me genuine hope. It’s a new favorite for sure and I will be pushing it on everyone I can because The Sea of Tranquility took my expectations for it, stomped on them and gave me this perfect book that I needed so, so bad.




short book reviewsea-of-tranquility-katja-millay


Let’s Talk: Have you read this one? What did you think of it? Did you love Drew and Nastya’s relationship? Her and Josh? ALSO, is anyone else confused as to why this is labeled New Adult? (Or do you have insight that could help me understand that label?)

The Perpetual Page-Turner


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About Jamie

Jamie is a 32 year old married lady (with a new baby!!) who is in denial that she's actually that old to be a married lady and a mom. When she's not reading you can find her doing Pilates followed by eating ice cream, belting out Hamilton (loud and offkey) and having adventures with her husband, daughter and rescue dog.


  1. I’m so glad you enjoyed this book, I really want to read it! Especially after reading your review!

  2. How heartbreaking was it when that whole thing about her name came out? I thought Katja handled that so perfectly and all of the flashbacks had just the right kind of raw intensity to completely break me.

    I actually have no clue why this is New Adult. I found that a bit strange, but they’re just trying to appeal to a wider audience? Like ‘this book isn’t just for teens’ or something? Seemed silly since I alway think of New Adult books as being in college, not high school. Ehh, who knows. If it means more people are swayed into reading it, I won’t complain!

  3. Emilie (@emiliebookworld) says:

    I LOVED this book SO much when I read it last year! Even now I still think about it. There’s just so much to love about this story, no matter how heartbreaking it was at times.

    And I totally agree about Drew. The more I got to know him as I read, the more I just loved him (much to my surprise, at first). He just leaped off the page and felt like a real person and I could go on forever about him.

    Everyone just NEEDS to read this book.

  4. This book was amazing. Definitely one of my favs. I saw you were reading it and I was hoping you would love it as much as I did. πŸ™‚

    And oh my gosh that ending. I think it has the most perfect ending ever in a book. Now I feel like a need to re read it! *happy sigh*


  6. One of my absolute favorites!! I’m so glad you enjoyed it. I completely loved the characters in this story and I too adore Drew!!

    So happy you loved!

  7. I definitely liked this book. I didn’t LOVE it, but I think that just boils down to my personal reading preferences. You know, the character that I was most fascinated with was Drew (was he Josh’s friend/cousin). I just thought he was interesting. Also I did totally fall for Josh, and I wanted things to work out for Nastya.

  8. This book blew me away! Great characters, great story, great writing. Glad you loved it too! (And it seems more like YA to me πŸ™‚

  9. I don’t remember all the details about this book – at some times I don’t even remember the characters’ names – but I remember just how beautiful the book was, how much it touched my soul (yes, it really did). I feel like it’s truly a hidden gem of a book, not one that got tons of hype but every person I know who has read it has talked about how special it was to them. Glad you finally read it!

  10. THIS BOOK, my friend, THIS BOOK.

    It gutted me too.


    Oh my god.

    I am having flashback feels right now.

    Josh + Nastya forever!

  11. This book was so good, so intense and also got me out of a reading slump. I don’t often finish something and want to go back and read it all over, but this one, I kinda do. Especially when I come across a glowing review…. there needs to be a designated reread month in the blogging world or something, so I’d find motivation to reread gems like this!

  12. I read this book when it first came out and since then have not only re-read it twice but also LISTENED to it in audio twice. I kept talking about it so much, my husband read it; and has also since read it twice and listened to it twice. It is my GO TO book as a gift as well as an introduction to audio books. I have gifted it any number of times. It is, to me, one of the best books I have EVER read and I’m an old fart of 67. TSOT is brilliantly crafted by someone who’s mind is light years more evolved than mine will ever be; the characters are so valid and substantial, the storyline is believable (especially in light of today’s violence), the emotions expressed and delivered by Josh, Nastya and all the other characters are so beautifully drawn that we find ourselves completely involved in them. And, it has the most incredible ending sentence EVER.

  13. This actually won an Alex Award this year, which are given to adult books with teen appeal. I was surprised that this wasn’t straight-up YA, too.

  14. “…every plot line felt significant, the writing was excellent, every minor character added so much and the emotions that tie it all together are rooted deep..not something superficial.” – I’m very glad to hear this. I feel a bit foolish for not having read this book yet (despite the fact that it has been waiting patiently for quite a long time on my Kindle)!

    Lovely review!

  15. I listen to the audio book for this one. It’s definitely in the my list of best books ever; the characters are incredible and the writing is a gem. I hope that we get a book with Drew’s story πŸ™‚

  16. I read this book at the very beginning of the year, and I still haven’t reviewed it because I LOVED IT THAT MUCH. I feel like I can’t even put my thoughts into words. I read a Kindle copy, and then totally went out and bought the paperback the day I finished it. I just HAD to have it on my shelves – like you said. I’m hoping I finally find a way to talk about how amazing this one is soon. But yay for you loving it, too!

  17. Wow, this sounds so amazing. I’m so glad you loved it so much. I love it when that happens.

  18. Jaime Lester says:

    This book absolutely stunned me. It blew me away. I connected so deeply with every single character in this story. I laughed and I cried and I got angry, I was scared…. I felt this book so deeply. I feel books often, but the depth of the feeling that I felt for this story is a rarity. Katja Millay is a superb storyteller, an excellent writer. She is truly stunning. I cannot wait to read another story by this author. I want more and more people to know about this story, to read it and to fall in love with it like you and me and so many others have.

  19. TSOT is such an amazing book. One of my few 5 star reads πŸ™‚

  20. YAY JAMIEEEEEE. This book. It killed me. It wrecked me. And I loved it. I totally felt the ache right after I finished it and I just gobbled it up. So glad you loved it!!

    • I was seriously so surprised with just how PERFECT that book was and how intensely I felt everything. I needed a book like that. THANK YOU BOOK GODS FOR DELIVERING!

  21. I just bought this the other day because I know people rave about it. I’m glad you loved it and now I must read it if the book was this awesome.

    Thanks for the great review!

  22. I’m seriously happy for you that you enjoyed The Sea of Tranquility, Jamie! I liked it as well, though I didn’t quite fall in love with it like you did. But I did like how complex and interesting the characters (especially Nastya) were, and I had a big soft spot for both Drew and Josh πŸ™‚

  23. simonet H. says:

    Great review! I haven’t read this yet but its on my TBR.

  24. You make this sound so good!! I am definitely going to check this one out. And I’m very glad your reading slump has ended! I’m toying with one now myself, so I’m looking for that perfect book to blow it open.

  25. Ok–you convinced me to start digging through my overloaded Kindle and find my copy of this book that I, too, have been neglecting FOR NO REASON AT ALL. Because I love that it blew your reading slump to smithereens–I’ve been there recently and I know what a relief it is to find that book to break you out of your funk πŸ™‚

  26. I have heard/read good raves about this book. Maybe it’s time I pick this up.