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Five Reasons To Read A Very Large Expanse of Sea by Tahereh Mafi

This month, the book club that I have been taking part in with Alex and Rachel have been reading A Very Large Expanse of Sea. All of us enjoyed the book although I did have some problems it that is for another post. In this one, I would like to explore why you should read A Very Large Expanse of Sea. So let's get started...

Number 5: The Romance

Although I wasn't a massive fan of the romance at the beginning, Ocean and Shirin's romance really blossoms throughout the book. It is complex and they have ups and downs like any teen romance would. There is also a need for romance and it is just really nice and cute for the most part. The romance also is effective in the text and messaging format which makes the book even better.

Number 4: The Complex Characters

I think that I do really love Shirin as a character. You definitely see her develop throughout the book and I think that Mafi does a great job overall. Also, I think that Ocean is a really great character too. They both have problems in their lives and have to deal with it throughout the book. Also, I loved the links to Shirin's culture and her brothers were also really good characters and added to the story.

Number 3: YA and Hobbies
I remember seeing a video a couple of years ago that was basically that we need more hobbies in books and although we do see this to some extent, it's not often. This book does feature a hobby: break dancing. I have to say that like many others reading the book I don't have much knowledge on the subject so it was nice to learn more about this as a dance form and for a character to do something in their time except reading. (I am definitely not dissing reading guys.)

Number 2: The Writing

After reading the Shatter Me series I did enjoy Mafi's writing but it was a little flowery and poetic. AVLEOS is different. It has straight-talking characters and it fits the straight to the point writing and Shirin's character which was great. It was also easy to read and explores and develops Shirin as a character.

Number 1: How the book deals with xenophobia


Being a book that deals with a Muslim character after 9/11, the book was always going to deal with this. Mafi also has personal links to the subject so this makes the book deeply personal and raw. I felt for Shirin the whole story and the ideas that are explored are so powerful. It was addressing these issues head-on and I really loved this part. The way she dealt with this made her a great character and this was great to read about. 

A Very Large Expanse of Sea

Here is a summary of the book...

It’s 2002, a year after 9/11. It’s an extremely turbulent time politically, but especially so for someone like Shirin, a sixteen-year-old Muslim girl who’s tired of being stereotyped.

Shirin is never surprised by how horrible people can be. She’s tired of the rude stares, the degrading comments—even the physical violence—she endures as a result of her race, her religion, and the hijab she wears every day. So she’s built up protective walls and refuses to let anyone close enough to hurt her. Instead, she drowns her frustrations in music and spends her afternoons break-dancing with her brother.

But then she meets Ocean James. He’s the first person in forever who really seems to want to get to know Shirin. It terrifies her—they seem to come from two irreconcilable worlds—and Shirin has had her guard up for so long that she’s not sure she’ll ever be able to let it down.

Check out the other members of The Three Hallows here:








Have you read A Very Large Expanse of Sea? Let me know in the comments below. 

See you soon,

Amy

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