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Unsatisfying in terms of serious literature Happily Ever After: After five short weeks of therapy and being with her family, Ms. Millay hastily wraps up Emilia's healing process. Emilia returns to Josh's garage and the two broken but hopeful characters slowly help to mend each other at the end. Which brings me to Passionate pursuits, and finding fulfillment when they're lost. I thought this is what the book was going to be about, but nope.

Fundamentally, Nastya is rescued by a boy, no matter how hard the author tries to massage the narrative to say that she isn't. Well, to Ms. Millay's credit, Nastya is also partly rescued by Drew's family, and in the end, her own. What had broken Emilia was losing her identity and having the thing she loved playing the piano competitively ripped away from her. She was on a quest to find a way to matter again to herself, and I wanted that to come from her --to come from discovering that she could channel her passion into another area, and find fulfillment despite her loss.

Sure, it's great she discovers that her family is there for her. I wanted the ending to be more ambiguous: if Emilia tells us there's a chance that as they get healthier, she and Josh might grow apart, I want to be left with that wonder and that worry. I don't want an epilogue that says, "Gotcha! They lived happily ever after! I wanted to see her baking, talking again, living with her family, and getting therapy. Yes, that's exactly what happens for five weeks, but that's not long enough before she's back in Josh's garage.

In fact, we learn that--in a moment of unexpected magical realism--she saw Josh's garage when she died, the way Josh's grandfather saw the red brick house and swing of his future bride when his heart briefly stopped after a construction accident. This isn't a joke on Emilia's part, since the reader remembers the odd reaction she had to seeing Josh's garage on her first run she had seen this place before; she knew she must return to see it again.

As retroactively "meet cute" as this is, it severely damages the growth of the main character, to have it preordained that Josh was the love of her life, the person who would save her. Drew wonders aloud why the boy who beat Emilia nearly to death didn't rape her, because she's so beautiful.

Sea of Tranquility

Does this really not make sense to him? What sort of caveman rock has he been living under? Meanwhile, Josh doesn't disabuse him of the notion that rape is violence, not sex, and is unrelated to how beautiful the victim is. In YA, you can't have a good guy Drew talk about rape incorrectly to another good guy Josh and not somehow impart the important point that rape has nothing to do with looks or the victim and everything to do with violence and the perpetrator. As I mentioned, Nastya is saved by Josh in the end, even though the author tries to make you think she isn't.

The author provides an "excuse" for Aidan's attack on Emilia he thought she was someone else--his brother's ex-girlfriend, whom he blamed for his brother's suicide, and he had a psychotic break. Why does Ms.

Chapter Analysis of The Sea of Tranquility

Millay do this? By not allowing the attack to be a senseless act, by trying to humanize a boy who beat a girl nearly to death, by adding this information without showing anything about the boy's psychological state over the last three years do people have psychotic breaks and then go on to win art contests, with no apparent therapy? Millay veers too close to squicky territory. Although the boy turns himself in and will be sentenced, we're left with this queer feeling that there is something "forgivable" in what he did.

Kevin Leonard tries to rape Nastya and there are no repercussions.

Book Review – The Sea Of Tranquility by Katja Millay

Instead, Ms. That's Kevin's punishment? Red Herrings and lost threads : I think a lot of the red herrings and lost threads come from the way Ms. Millay uses objects and people as plot devices. When they've served their purpose they disappear.

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Thus, the gift of the camera and Nastya's brief interest in photography could have led to a new hobby for her, but then the camera disappears and we realize it was just a device to give us one moment of reconciliation with her mom. And there's even a piano in Josh's house! But no, we only see that she can now frost cakes without her hand stuttering. Which in turn led me to believe that maybe her talent at baking would allow that to become her passion, replacing the piano. I envisioned her opening a bakery or catering baked goods as Mrs.

Leighton sort of suggested by the end of the book Emilia is eighteen and no one in this book has talked about college, after all. But no, baking is just a cute thing she does, and a device to allow her to interact with mothers who might otherwise think she's just a silent, scantily-clad, glaring teenager. Another lost thread: why is Nastya uncomfortable with loud rooms and loud environments?

When we finally learn her secret, there's no link there. Also, why did Nastya collect names? The main character who hides information from the reader. I don't mind when a narrator doesn't tell me something because she doesn't know it herself. I don't mind unraveling the mystery of what happened to her alongside her. But it's sort of an irritating commercial trick to have a knowledgable main character dangle the promise of learning The Big Secret as a way to keep me reading.

The not-talking decision. What is the point of this?

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Aren't there plenty of children who are survivors of horror who refuse to talk about what they've been through? It's too flimsy to attribute Nastya's vow of silence to the fact that she knows she's a bad liar, and she knew she'd have to tell her family everything, but she wasn't ready.

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  6. Even now I still think about it. 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. 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.

    The Sea of Tranquility - Her Fine Eyes

    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! The end. One of my absolute favorites!! I completely loved the characters in this story and I too adore Drew!! I definitely liked this book. I just thought he was interesting. Also I did totally fall for Josh, and I wanted things to work out for Nastya. This book blew me away! Great characters, great story, great writing. Glad you loved it too! Glad you finally read it! This book was so good, so intense and also got me out of a reading slump.

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    Especially when I come across a glowing review…. 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. And, it has the most incredible ending sentence EVER. This actually won an Alex Award this year, which are given to adult books with teen appeal. 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!

    I listen to the audio book for this one. 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. But yay for you loving it, too!

    The Sea of Tranquility - BOOK TALK

    Wow, this sounds so amazing. I love it when that happens. 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.