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Monday, January 7, 2013

Book Review by Mel: The Sea of Tranquility by Katja Millay

They say there's a place you go when you die
Perhaps it's full of life, laughter, and loved ones
Perhaps there's no light, no laughter; only darkness
Perhaps it's a place you've never seen before
Or perhaps it's a place familiar to you...
You can't know unless you've survived death
Survived and come back;
But what if...what if upon returning to life
All you've discovered is that you're still dead?
Walking around aimlessly with no purpose
Walking around and simply just existing
What if existing is all you have?
What if the pain is too unbearable, to all consuming?
What if the mask you've put up is not only to protect yourself
But to protect others as well?

They say there's a place you go when you die
Perhaps it's full of life, laughter, and loved ones
Perhaps it's a place you've never seen before
Or perhaps it's a place familiar to you...
It's impossible to know what it means to come back
A survivor. Alive. Breathing. Living.
But although you've been revived again
Moving. Alive. Breathing.And living.
Who's to say you're still not actually dead?...MLD

It doesn't matter if you do everything right, if you dress the right way and act the right way and follow all the rules, because evil will find you anyway. Evil's resourceful that way. 

Nastya Kashinov. A beautiful, damaged, and shattered individual. She's dead; murdered in the figurative sense and has no intentions of ever resurfacing to the girl she once was. To keep her identity a mystery to others, she's moved to a city two hours away from where tragedy stuck and effectively ended her life. No one knows who this new girl is...All they know is that she wears clothes too tight, too short, always has her hair around her face, and a thick coat of "black shit" constantly rimming her eyes to hide anyone knowing or wanting to figure her out...Oh yes and Nastya? She doesn't speak. To anyone. Ever.

I haven't said a word to another living person in 452 days. 

...Although most stories have the one hero of the book, this one had two heroes. Heroes in their very own way...

Drew Leighton. The residential playboy of the school. One of the few who isn't afraid to flirt and charm the girl in school who doesn't speak. I loved Drew for many reasons. Although he comes off as just a charmer, he really does have a good heart. I found his constant shameless innuendos towards Nastya amusing to say the least...

I lifted my head I couldn't help but see him and his I-can-make-you-a-woman eyes and his I-know-what-you-look-like-under-your-clothes smirk 

Drew also happens to be best friends with the school outcast, Josh Bennett. A guy who's had a shit time at life, losing everyone he cares about at a young age and trying to make the best of it. He is surrounded by his own force field in which no one speaks to him or pays him any attention...

I wonder what it will take for her to pick up on the fact that she lives in the same world as everybody else, and in that world, people leave me the fuck alone. 

Josh's escape since he was a child has been building things. His shop class and lessons from his father have been his therapy throughout his life. His favorite place is working in his garage, if need be, to all hours of the night. He's sarcastic, dejected, and very much a loner...

While Josh's therapy is building, Nastya's is running; and one night her running in an unknown place and paying very little attention to her surroundings brings her to a house that is familiar to her, familiar in a way she can't possibly explain, but nonetheless it's there, ingrained in her, causing her to gravitate towards it. And the house she gravitates towards? Josh Bennett's. That first night showing up at his house unknowingly while he's working in the garage will have been the moment that changed both of their lives. Permanently...

What happens when you deem your self worth so low, you can't imagine that someone, anyone would want to hold you? Kiss you? Love you? What happens when you've diluted yourself into thinking and feeling that you want no one in this world to see you for who you really are? When people aren't allowed in? When you hide everything that is true about yourself? When you have secrets so incredibly dark, that it's all that surrounds you? Your thoughts? Your existence?...

Nastya was so many things, most of all fragile. In fearing life in general, she believes that she doesn't need love, nor does she want it. While she's lost sight of everything she is or can be, others see her for what they believe she could be. Wanting to help fix her, even if she doesn't want to be fixed...

"Wishes. You only get one with a cake, and even that you only get if you blow out all the candles, which is kind of shitty because it's your birthday and there shouldn't be a contingency on a wish."

There was so much to be said for Nastya's story. Trying to fully grasp the darkness that has consumed her, the situations that made me smile, the ones that made me gasp, and the ones that ultimately left me heart broken, was a feat. It was a journey that I became completely invested in and in going along on that journey with Nastya, Josh and Drew I felt like a part of the story and it was assuredly worth all of the emotions I felt throughout... It was stunningly touching, brilliantly written, emotionally scarring, and provokingly thoughtful. It is a 5 star read through and through...

No one knows what hand they will be dealt in life. Even if the hand you have been dealt is one that has shattered your entire being, and murdered your purpose in life, is it possible to move forward? Is it possible to smile again? To speak again? Could you ever learn to love or be loved? Would you be able to forgive those who had a hand in your misery? In the reason why you garner so much hatred? The Sea of Tranquilty told a story about a girl without a future who met a boy on the road to complete isolation and how paths cross for a reason. How fate can bring people in your life to help heal when you didn't think it was possible, when you didn't feel you needed it, and when you truly believed you didn't deserve it.

Even for the most broken of people, happiness is always deserved. Even for the lost souls who have no idea how to get back, happiness is deserved. When tragedy strikes, could you or would you be able to move forward? In getting to know, love and care for Nastya, Josh believed that one day, it could be possible...

"There's got to be a better story. Because we deserve one. Youdeserve one.".........And if my Sea of Tranquility were real, it would be this place, here....."Your garage." 

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