Today in amazing books (and non-traditional reviews), I give you
The Sea of Tranquility by Katja Millay

From GoodreadsFormer 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. The Sea of Tranquility is a rich, intense, and brilliantly imagined story about a lonely boy, an emotionally fragile girl, and the miracle of second chances.

ranscendental – A contemporary story that manages to be beautifully surreal.
opeful – There’re ugly, ugly moments in this book, yet it is filled with promise.
E vocative – I felt these characters: their agony, their regret, their joy, their loss.

woonworthy – Josh. Drew. Even Asher. I fell fast and hard for the boys.
motional – All the feels… All. The. Feels.
uthenitc – These teens — their speech, behavior, style, and pain — so, so real.

pulent – In prose, in characters, in emotionality, in detail.
lirtateous – A serious story, but there’s still some fantastically frisky banter.

T empestuous – Unpredictable and mysterious, I couldn’t put this book down.
aw – This story shocked me. It hurt my heart deeply. But it left me content.
rresting – A writing style that’s bold and unapologetic — utterly affecting.
ames – Because they’re important, and so are their meanings.
Q uiet – In the best way. No explosions or magic. People, surviving and growing.
nforgettable – It’s been days since I finished reading, yet I’m still spellbound.
ntense – Every chapter, every scene, every page. Josh and Nastya… So intense.
ove – Slow to build, aching, full of sacrifice and eventual acceptance. Genuine.
maginative – Like no other book I’ve read, but a new favorite.
ingles – Shivers and goosebumps repeatedly, but especially at the end.
Y ummy – The boys, and Nastya’s treats.

If that’s not enough:

I live in a world without magic or miracles. A place where there are no clairvoyants or shapeshifters, no angels or superhuman boys to save you. A place where people die and music disintegrates and things suck.
Nastya – The Sea of Tranquility by Katja Millay

I don’t know how to say it – after all this time, I’m not even sure that I can – but I have to break her last rule, because if she knows nothing else, I need her to know this one thing. “I love you, Sunshine,” I tell her, before I lose my nerve. “And I don’t give a shit whether you want me to or not.”
Josh – The Sea of Tranquility by Katja Millay

I loved this book so much I want to share it. I’ll buy a paperback copy for one randomly chosen commenter. If you’d like to be considered eligible, please include your email address with your comment so I can get in touch with you if you win. The winner will be drawn tomorrow, Friday June 14th, at 6:00 pm PST. Good luck!

(A big thank you to Jessica Love and Sara McClung for recommending The Sea of Tranquility. You two suspected I’d love this book, and you were totally right!)

HUGE congratulations go out to Kim Aleman and Chandler Baker,  winners of The Bookanista Relaunch Giveaway of Awesome! Lucky, lucky! And don’t forget to check out what my fellow Bookanistas are recommending today:

Lenore Appelhans  wonders at ALL YOU NEVER WANTED by Adele Griffin

Shari Arnold loves SOMETHING LIKE NORMAL by Trish Doller

Tracy Banghart embraces IMPOSTOR by Susanne Winnacker

Shelli Johannes-Wells  delights in Cory Doctorow’s

Nikki Katz gets the shivers for 3:59 by Gretchen McNeil

Stasia Ward KehoeCarolina Valdez Miller & Debra Driza 
sing out for the cover of THE SOUND OF LETTING GO

Jessica Love raves about ROAD TO TATER HILL by Edith M. Hemingway

Tell me: What’s the last contemporary YA novel you read and loved?