Surprisingly wonderful debut novel

The Sea of Tranquility: A Novel - Katja Millay

There were things about this book that, at first, I didn't like as I was reading.  I felt like the beggining of the book was bogged down in teenage angst and overly dramatic inner dialogue from the two main characters Nastya and Josh.  Both of them had some serious issues that they were dealing with that we as readers don't get to know about right away.  The dramatic and, at most times, depressing undercurrents to the story had me feeling like my chest was being weighed down with heavy stones as I read. It was so uncomfortable at times,(in the first 40% or so this is especially true) that I found myself putting my kindle down to do something else so that I didn't give into the temptation to slit my wrists (seriously folks, this one was super depressing for a while). 
The writing was the saving grace.  Had I started this book and not immediately fell into the flow of it and got wrapped up in the story and the mystery of Nastya and Josh's past I would probably have abandoned this one within the first chapter.  I was just so enthralled by the writing that I pressed on even when it got really unbearably heavy.  Katja Millay definitely has a gift, that is for sure.  I think that is why the sadness of the story really hit me hard, because her words make you feel every last ounce of it and yearn for more. 
And under all of that sadness, is a great story. It's a love story, revenge story, coming of age, and learning to live with the sometimes shitty hands we are dealt with story.  And, it is unbelievably good. The way everything is unfurled in layers was exactly the way the story needed to be told. Everything from Nastya's silence to the importance and meaning of each of the supporting characters made it feel like a good puzzle that, by the end of the book, all of the pieces had locked into place and it was beautiful.  Awesome 5 stars.