Skip to main content

Book Review: A Very Large Expanse Of Sea by Tahereh Mafi

*I am reviewing this book which I was gifted for free by Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts are my own. *
A Very Large Expanse of Sea
Title: A Very Large Expanse Of Sea
Author: Tahereh Mafi
Publisher: Electric Monkey
Source: Netgalley
Rating: 3/5 stars
Book Summary:
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.

Book Review:

Like many people, I read the Shatter Me series in its heyday and although I was not the biggest fan, I still loved Tahereh Mafi's writing and wanted to read more by her. Enter A Very Large Expanse Of Sea. It had been getting lots of good reviews and the plot sounded right up my street so I decided to read it. I can safely say that I really enjoyed A Very Large Expanse of Sea and can't wait to see what Tahereh Mafi writes next. 

One of the reasons why I liked the book was obviously the writing. Mafi is such a great writer, her writing is lyrical and tells so much of the story itself. It flows so well and has Shirin's voice shine through. I think that it highlights Shirin as a character so much, with her sharp nature and she is often trying to protect herself. I think that this leads to a different main character that we often see in YA and I, therefore, thought that it was really well done. I do sometimes think that Shirin was a little bit cold at times and this did affect me to some extent. 

As well as Shirin I really enjoyed Ocean as a character and think that they complement each other really well. He was sensitive and compassionate and I think that their relationship helped Shirin and Ocean in their own separate ways which were nice. Their romance was also quite cute which is always nice for a YA book to have a good romance. 

I also think that Tahereh Mafi draws a really honest portrayal of what it was like to be a teenager after 9/11. This is something that Tahereh Mafi herself went through and can put on the page. I think that the issues are dealt with head-on and I respect her so much for writing about it. 

The Verdict:

A Very Large Expanse Of Sea is an honest and raw portrayal of what means to be a teenager in the 2000s. Tahereh Mafi is a great writer who will dominant YA for many years to come. 

Have you read A Very Large Expanse Of Sea? Did you like it? If not, do you want to? Let me know in the comments below. 


Popular posts from this blog

My Reading Tastes Are Changing

For the last couple of years, I feel like this has become a reoccurring blog post but I want to talk about it now because I think something is actually happening in my reading life. My reading tastes are changing. I've felt it for a while. I haven't really been drawn to YA titles that much anymore especially contemporary. Being busy in my time, I have been really selective in the books that I pick up so for me: the shorter, the better. And when picking up shorter books, the less likely they are to be YA. The more I am exposed to more books, the more I get to read books that I connect to Some of the books that I have picked up have really surprised me because of how much I ended up enjoying them. I think as I grow older, I am looking for different stories, different experiences and different perspectives. These don't just fit the YA mould. I also have been really into different genres like horror and the occasional thriller which have not read from before and I'm interes

Book Review: The Great Godden by Meg Rossoff

   * I am reviewing this book which I was gifted for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts are my own. * Title: The Great Godden  Author: Meg Rossoff Publisher: Bloomsbury  Source: NetGalley ( Bookshop UK |  Hive |  Goodreads  |  Storygraph ) Book Summary: Everyone talks about falling in love like it’s the most miraculous, life-changing thing in the world. Something happens, they say, and you know … That’s what happened when I met Kit Godden. I looked into his eyes and I knew. Only everyone else knew too. Everyone else felt exactly the same way. This is the story of one family, one dreamy summer – the summer when everything changes. In a holiday house by the sea, our watchful narrator sees everything, including many things they shouldn’t, as their brother and sisters, parents and older cousins fill hot days with wine and games and planning a wedding. Enter two brothers – irresistible, charming, languidly sexy Kit and surly, silent Hugo. Suddenly there’s

Favourite Graphic Novels & Manga of 2021

As I have read a lot of books this year, I always want to give graphic novels and manga their own celebration as they often get overlooked and do make up a lot of my reading. I also find that even though I read a lot of them, it takes a lot to convince me and make it a new favourite. So here are my best... Heartstopper Volume 4 by Alice Oseman  Like everyone on the internet, I too am a massive Heartstopper fan and Volume 4 is no different. I love the relationship of Nick and Charlie and the side characters also make the series. This one also explores the way that mental health can impact romance and it still does justice to the story and does not fall into cliches. I am eagerly anticipating the final volume but I don't want it to be over.  The Impending Blindness of Billie Scott by Zoe Thorogood One of the last graphic novels I read this year and the one that has the second amount of hype, The Impending Blindness of Billie Scott also leaves a lasting impression. I love a good Briti