A Very Large Expanse of Sea
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.

A Very Large Expanse of Sea Details

TitleA Very Large Expanse of Sea
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseOct 16th, 2018
PublisherHarperTeen
ISBN-139780062866561
Rating
GenreContemporary, Young Adult

A Very Large Expanse of Sea Review

  • Christine Riccio
    January 1, 1970
    This was fantastic.
  • Sabaa Tahir
    January 1, 1970
    One of the best contemporary books I've ever read, and hands-down the best YA on what it means to be a Muslim American post 9/11. Tahereh Mafi pulls no punches, spares no feelings and tells the absolute truth and it is beautiful, rare and heartbreaking. If there's one book you read this year, make it this one.
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  • Hailey (HaileyinBookland)
    January 1, 1970
    4.5*
  • Whitney Atkinson
    January 1, 1970
    I don't think I've read a book in one sitting since high school. But here I am at 8 AM, staring at the acknowledgments page of my eARC. Wow. I’m not even exaggerating when I say that probably 50% of this ebook’s text is highlighted. From powerful moments to funny, relatable moments to important moments to cute moments, I was glued onto the pages. I haven’t lived a life anywhere near Shirin’s, but being in her head made sense. I understood her fears and I sympathized for her so much. I was rootin I don't think I've read a book in one sitting since high school. But here I am at 8 AM, staring at the acknowledgments page of my eARC. Wow. I’m not even exaggerating when I say that probably 50% of this ebook’s text is highlighted. From powerful moments to funny, relatable moments to important moments to cute moments, I was glued onto the pages. I haven’t lived a life anywhere near Shirin’s, but being in her head made sense. I understood her fears and I sympathized for her so much. I was rooting for her the entire book, and her transformation and self-actualization was such an engrossing journey. This is a once in a lifetime book. Whatever small writing or plot issues I have with it makes up in the fact that I haven’t read anything as important and singularly eye-opening as this before. Its unparalleled honesty had me throwing my fist in the air during some scenes and wiping away tears in others. It’s a stand-out book of 2018. I'll update with detailed thoughts closer to the book's release but I can't wait for the cover reveal of this, and Muslim reviewers and teens deserve to get their hands on this. It's such a vital story for the YA community written so honestly and captivatingly.May 2018my craving for this book is so palpable that my chest aches. i'm so ready for it but at the same time, i'm so, so not. either way, if this book isn't a #1 nyt bestseller then i'm gonna personally scream its name from the rooftops, mark my words.
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  • Hamad
    January 1, 1970
    This review and other non-spoilery reviews can be found @The Book PrescriptionActual Rating: 3.5 stars“I was stuck in another small town, trapped in another universe populated by the kind of people who’d only ever seen faces like mine on their evening news, and I hated it.🌟 I should start this review by making one point very clear: I am an Arab Muslim Palestinian guy, so I do understand this book more than most readers will.🌟 I like that Tahereh is trying all different kid of things like MG and This review and other non-spoilery reviews can be found @The Book PrescriptionActual Rating: 3.5 stars“I was stuck in another small town, trapped in another universe populated by the kind of people who’d only ever seen faces like mine on their evening news, and I hated it.🌟 I should start this review by making one point very clear: I am an Arab Muslim Palestinian guy, so I do understand this book more than most readers will.🌟 I like that Tahereh is trying all different kid of things like MG and contemporary. I was disappointed by Restore me as many of you know but this book was totally different and it restored my faith in Tahereh’s writing.🌟 Speaking of which, the writing is different from the Shatter me series, while there it was whimsical and poetic, here it was normal with a tone that is fitting for a contemporary. I think this may be a good book for those who did not like the shatter me series and are willing to give Tahereh a second chance.🌟 Also the story is discussing very important subjects and I think it will be quite popular as THUG did. (But I expect a little bit less popularity). It talks about Islam and xenophobia mainly, which I will get back to later in this review.🌟 Also, Tahereh made this personal by including break-dancing and sports and high school stuff. Now the reviews have been mostly positive but I need to shed light on some things that bothered me.🌟 While the book started with the sensitive topics and I thought it was great, it quickly veered toward a romance which in my opinion was not needed. Or at least, should not have been the focus of the story, the romance should have been used to move the plot forward instead of becoming sort of the plot.🌟 The Break-dancing part: I really love destorying the stereotype about Muslim Girls and that they can’t do (and actually be good) at anything they want to as Music and sports and writing ..etc. I just wish there was more focus on this and more showing instead of telling. We have Shirin who was an amateur at break-dancing and then trained and became good and there was not much showing us that because Shirin was pre-occupied with the love interest as mentioned earlier. I need to mention Navid and the other guys who were so funny and protective of Shirin and made the story better.🌟 Now to the spicy part that annoyed me a bit and made the final saying in my rating. The Islam part!When you want to write a book like this then you have to be very objective and to put personal ideals and thoughts apart. There are some things that are open to discussion in Islam and are personal preferences and some things are simply not.To explain further: no one can discuss if praying in Islam is a must or not because it clearly is. But a man shaking a woman’s hand is debatable, Personally I do shake hands and don’t mind while some other guys prefer not to and to each his own.Why I am saying this? Because there were some inaccuracies and they may give a false ideas to those who are looking for answers. It does not matter where and when you were born (As some readers may say it is due to Tahereh being raised up in the west) some things are not acceptable and Shirin clearly did them and even defended her choices.🌟 Summary: This book which is like a semi-Autobiography discussed serious subjects. It had a modern and light voice to it and was easy to read. It could have been better with improved Islam Rep, more break-dancing and less romance. Still a good book that I can recommend to people.🌟 Prescription: To those who find the synopsis intriguing but will not take everything in this for granted.BR this with Noura of ARCs
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  • Em
    January 1, 1970
    So this book is about the post-9/11 life of a Muslim Hijabi teen who starts her own breakdancing crew and falls in love, and it also tackles issues of islamophobia, racism and xenophobia?Wow. I didn’t know I was crying on the 16th of October but I guess I can fit it into the schedule!
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  • Kai
    January 1, 1970
    I'd never name a book "a very large" anything.
  • Korrina (OwlCrate)
    January 1, 1970
    4.5 stars rounding up to 5. This book was really intense, raw and honest. I really felt how personal of a story this was for the author to write, and am grateful that she is putting this book out into the world.
  • Alana • thebookishchick
    January 1, 1970
    This book was EVERYTHING. I posted a mini review on my blog, you can check it out HERE!I thought I understood white privilege but this book.. THIS BOOK checked my ass real quick. I don’t even have words. Please just do yourself a favor and add it to your TBR immediately. Full review to come closer to release date!———————UMMM I REALLY NEED THIS YOU GUYS.#OwnVoicesForTheWinTahereh, darling, you are SLAYING 2018. What did we do to deserve you?
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  • Emma
    January 1, 1970
    My favorite read of the year so far. so raw, emotional, and hopeful
  • alexandra
    January 1, 1970
    i'm emo and I WISH THERE WAS MORE
  • Noura Khalid (theperksofbeingnoura)
    January 1, 1970
    Actual Rating: 3.5Buddy Read with HamadThank you Harper Collins for providing me with a review copy in exchange for an honest review. “It gives the bullies all the power. It would mean they’d succeeded at making me feel like who I was and what I believed in was something to be ashamed of.” Tahereh Mafi has had a special place in my heart ever since the Shatter Me series. When I heard about this book coming out I was so over the moon. A story about the life of a Muslim girl a year after 9/11. I’m Actual Rating: 3.5Buddy Read with HamadThank you Harper Collins for providing me with a review copy in exchange for an honest review. “It gives the bullies all the power. It would mean they’d succeeded at making me feel like who I was and what I believed in was something to be ashamed of.” Tahereh Mafi has had a special place in my heart ever since the Shatter Me series. When I heard about this book coming out I was so over the moon. A story about the life of a Muslim girl a year after 9/11. I’m going to probably pour my heart and soul into this review.Islamophobia has always been something that scared me. I’ve always been afraid of what others might think about me. I live in a country where I can wear my Hijab (Headscarf) and live comfortably. Where I’m not questioned about why I’m wearing that scarf around my head. I can wear what makes me happy, and It’s completely my choice. I’ve been to only one country where people seemed racist towards me, and although it wasnt a nice feeling, it was nothing compared to what others have been through.I quite enjoyed the book. The beginning was more explaining Shirin’s life so far. Including the many times she moved schools and what her life was like with the fact that she wore the Hijab. The comments that people made towards her hurt. I couldn’t fathom being in her place and being called names like that. I highly doubt I’d be able to stay as strong as she was in this book. What I noticed most is the fact that all the hate that she was so used to getting just made her angry. Constantly. She wouldn’t so much as give anyone a chance. This upset me a little bit. She closed herself off because she was so used to the usual questions and assumptions. And she spent a lot of her school life alone.I loved the idea of the breakdancing! I just wish there was more focus on it in the book. It was considered Shirin’s distraction. Whenever school life got too hard there was always breakdancing to go back to. I would have loved to read more about it. I loved that it proved that even if a girl wears a Hijab it doesn’t stop her from pursuing something that she is passionate about.I loved Shirin’s brother, Navid and his friends. I loved how involved her brother was in her life. That he included her in his activities even if most of them were with his friends. He didn’t feel embarrassed about having her around. He stood up for her a lot of the time. His friends included.One thing that I didn’t find necessary was the romantic relationship. I wasn’t interested in it at all. Ocean was great and everything but I just wasn’t invested (I did like his name though) I spent a while thinking that the book was an actual autobiography. It wasn’t one exactly. Was more of a contemporary type story (Sammira understood my predicament 😂) The Islam rep was a bit strange and off for me. Everything was so different than the way I was raised and used to. It was still a really great read though. I loved that there was someone I could sort of relate to. Someone else who experienced a similar situation. Someone that knew what it was like to be discriminated against.I definitely do not regret reading this. I’m still super happy I got to read this early. I just really want to see what other readers think about this book.|| Blog || Instagram ||
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  • Brianna
    January 1, 1970
    This is a critical story that I hope not only makes an impact on YA literature, but also on society in general. It's the type of book that I would recommend a thousand times over. It’s one that I desperately want everyone to read, to learn from, and I’m so thankful Tahereh Mafi shared it with us.A Very Large Expanse of Sea has all the aspects of your average YA contemporary, but what makes it so unique, and important, is this: the insight on what is means to be a Muslim American living in a post This is a critical story that I hope not only makes an impact on YA literature, but also on society in general. It's the type of book that I would recommend a thousand times over. It’s one that I desperately want everyone to read, to learn from, and I’m so thankful Tahereh Mafi shared it with us.A Very Large Expanse of Sea has all the aspects of your average YA contemporary, but what makes it so unique, and important, is this: the insight on what is means to be a Muslim American living in a post 9/11 world. We follow a teenager as she navigates the typical aspects of high school, from the friend and family dynamics, to schoolwork, to romance, while also experiencing brutal racism in her day to day life. This story is told in such a honest and raw way. There’s funny moments, and sweet moments, but also heartwrenching ones as it brings attention to the harsh reality of xenophobia in our society.One of my favorite aspects of this story is that Shirin, our main character and narrator, is very much a reflection of Tahereh Mafi herself (who is quite honestly one of my favorite people on this planet). It was incredible to read a character that you know is so personal to her. Shirin’s interests, her love of breakdancing and for writing and fashion, all came from Mafi. She put so much of her own self in to this novel and you can truly feel just how much of her heart was in it. It made the entire book it that much more authentic and honest.However, Shirin’s character arc itself was what made this story so powerful. Over the course of the book, she gradually transformed as she learned more about herself and those around her. It was astonishing to watch how her reaction to the hatred shifted and she began to began to feel more at peace. Shirin’s character development was extremely well done and definitely what I loved the most about this book.There was also the romance, which was sweet, but I do have to say I felt a bit conflicted about how it all played out. The thing is, I adored the male lead (and even his odd name), Ocean. I liked that he was shy, kind, and didn't have flat personality. The dynamic between he and Shirin was well done. However, as the book went on, it seemed like the romance sort of took over. It felt like it started becoming more about their relationship than anything else, which didn’t sit well with me. Other than that though, I do think the romance was generally a positive addition to the overall story.Every single one of us can learn from this book and feel it's impact in one way or another, but more than anything, I am so grateful that Muslim teenagers specifically will have this story in their lives. Even with strides being made for diversity in YA literature, it's still not common enough for their voices and stories to be represented like this. I hope that this book inspires a change. I hope that it only continues to pave the pathway for more proper representation in the future.Please support this book and give it all the love it deserves. This one, in all honesty, has the power to make an enormous impact.ARC provided by HarperTeen via Edelweiss. This review was originally posted on my blog.————————————————————9/19/18: An eye-opening and critically important story that touches on the harsh reality of xenophobia in our world. I’m beyond thankful that Tahereh Mafi wrote this and shared it with us. Full RTC
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  • Jessi ♡
    January 1, 1970
    I'm not coherent enough to tell y'all how good, funny and important this book is. So i'm gonna wait. But holy shit, this is a book you need to buy. *********“I always knew I had to write this book. This is my story, the story I've been writing in my head for years. When I first started pursuing publication, I think I really wanted to establish myself as an author first, an author who could write anything. I didn't want my identity to be tied to my struggle. People of color are more than just our I'm not coherent enough to tell y'all how good, funny and important this book is. So i'm gonna wait. But holy shit, this is a book you need to buy. *********“I always knew I had to write this book. This is my story, the story I've been writing in my head for years. When I first started pursuing publication, I think I really wanted to establish myself as an author first, an author who could write anything. I didn't want my identity to be tied to my struggle. People of color are more than just our struggle, we also laugh, we also love, we also have complex, fulfilling lives.”i cannot wait to read this
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  • Jackie
    January 1, 1970
    an #ownvoices story about a hijab-wearing Muslim American teen after the events of 9/11?? it also features an interracial relationship and tackles bigotry and Islamophobia?? I'M SO READY FOR THIS.I LOVE MY MUM TAHEREH
  • Tashie
    January 1, 1970
    *ARC reviewi wish it was possible to give a book more than five stars, because this book absolutely deserves it. i haven't felt this specific way about a book in a long, long time and my heart is absolutely swelling with affection for these characters and for this story. i also haven't felt this represented on the page in... possibly forever. as a muslim american teenager, i saw where shirin was coming from during many scenes in this story and could see myself in her shoes and it made everything *ARC reviewi wish it was possible to give a book more than five stars, because this book absolutely deserves it. i haven't felt this specific way about a book in a long, long time and my heart is absolutely swelling with affection for these characters and for this story. i also haven't felt this represented on the page in... possibly forever. as a muslim american teenager, i saw where shirin was coming from during many scenes in this story and could see myself in her shoes and it made everything so much more raw. i felt every part of this book in my heart, and i wish i could say more but i don't want to post any spoilers until the book comes out.just know that this book deserves all the praise in the world, and maybe part of that is me being biased because of my personal connection to the story, but i think this is such an important book for everyone to read regardless of that. it discusses islamophobia post-9/11, and just in general, provides insight to what many muslims have experienced/still experience, not only in terms of prejudice but their daily lives. obviously no one's experience is the same, but there are some things that are universal, and tahereh captured those feelings and thoughts so, so well on the page. this book is remarkable and i think may have just changed my life in a way i don't know how to put into words. tahereh mafi has outdone herself once again.2/22/18as a muslim american teen, I just want to say how important this book is to me. I know it isn’t out yet, but it already means the entire world to me and has my entire heart. thank you, tahereh.
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  • Sana
    January 1, 1970
    Feels strange to have read the book first and then seen the cover... I don't even know what I was expecting it to look like but I like that it's white and really, I feel like this totally fits and hides all the heartache well-----'It never stops hurting. It only gets easier to recover.'*I have highlighted more than of this half of this book, I have a hundred thoughts, I am completely floored and I need a minute or a year to process everything. Like this book really highlights so well what it's l Feels strange to have read the book first and then seen the cover... I don't even know what I was expecting it to look like but I like that it's white and really, I feel like this totally fits and hides all the heartache well-----'It never stops hurting. It only gets easier to recover.'*I have highlighted more than of this half of this book, I have a hundred thoughts, I am completely floored and I need a minute or a year to process everything. Like this book really highlights so well what it's like and how it feels to be a Muslim woman in the world today. It doesn't only check the racists and the haters but also Muslims themselves judging other Muslims and forgetting that no one is a saint, that there's no such thing as practicing pure Islam and that we're all stumbling along the same path.Yet what it does best is point out microaggressions that somehow turn into macroaggressions and full-on racism and what's left in the wake of them. It shows the effects, the aftermath and the self-actualization that probably wouldn't have happened for Shirin if not for Ocean. It shows what it does to a person to get the brunt of hate day in and day out.'I was so raw from repeated exposure to cruelty that now even the most minor abrasions left a mark. The checkout lady at the grocery store would be rude to me and her simple unkindness would unnerve me for the rest of the day because I never knew—I had no way of knowing— Are you racist? Or are you just having a bad day?I could no longer distinguish people from monsters. I looked out at the world around me and no longer saw nuance. I saw nothing but the potential for pain and the subsequent need to protect myself, constantly. Damn, I thought. This really was exhausting.'*And then it shows what happens to people who choose to side with such people only to also find themselves at the front-end of such hate especially in a narrow-minded community like Shirin's'I tried to tell him that the bigots and the racists had always been there, and he said he'd honestly never seen them like this, that he never thought they could be like this, and I said yes, I know. I said that's how privilege works.'*Shirin is this angry asshole who's 100% done with everything. Her source of strengths are her brother with whom she has a great dynamic, intense love for breakdancing that I couldn't get enough reading about and parents that are as Asian as they come. I have so much love for their family dynamics and how the little white lies about praying (heh) and all the things about Ramadan being too relatable LOL.All I have to say right now is A Very Large Expanse of Sea is a narrative that hasn't been done this well in all the own voices books that at least I've read so far. It's written so beautifully and simply and still manages to swallow you whole, chew you to the bone and spit you out cold. 10/10 would recommend the heartacheP.S. Can you tell that I really tried to hold back on the quotes? I really did. Also, I'm pretty sure I have a hole in my chest after reading this and you will, too.Favorite quotes: 'Part of me felt a little like I'd died. But here, in the silent explosion of my heart, was a quiet that felt familiar.'*'So many times, I thought, I'd tried to draw a line in the sand, and I was never strong enough to keep it there.'*(I promise I'll try and write a proper review when it's time to post one and pretty sure I'm gonna reread it by then, too. I mean, I haven't even said much about Ocean which is probably a crime and needs to be rectified as soon as possible)*Quotes taken from the eARC and may change upon publication--------'I always knew I had to write this book. This is my story, the story I've been writing in my head for years. When I first started pursuing publication, I think I really wanted to establish myself as an author first, an author who could write anything. I didn't want to shove myself into another box; I wanted to have the freedom to write fantasy novels and paranormal romances and science fiction and whatever I wanted, because I'm a person with diverse interests. I don't only think about being Muslim and Middle Eastern all day every day. I didn't want my identity to be tied to my struggle. People of color are more than just our struggle, we also laugh, we also love, we also have complex, fulfilling lives. That was important for me.'Yeah, I'm gonna read this because of that answer alone.Source
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  • ilsa ➹
    January 1, 1970
    “Baba,” I said.“Hmm?” He turned a page.“How do you know if you’ve done the right thing?” you better believe that as soon as I opened this package this morning to find this gorgeous ARC, I began reading it and only stopped to live to tweet my reactions and then finished 3 hours later. yes hello, this was absolute awesomeness and I'm still in denial that I have this book in my hands and I read it WOW. I've never read a book that dealt with Islamaphobia and wearing the hijab so well. Shirin's th “Baba,” I said.“Hmm?” He turned a page.“How do you know if you’ve done the right thing?” you better believe that as soon as I opened this package this morning to find this gorgeous ARC, I began reading it and only stopped to live to tweet my reactions and then finished 3 hours later. yes hello, this was absolute awesomeness and I'm still in denial that I have this book in my hands and I read it WOW. I've never read a book that dealt with Islamaphobia and wearing the hijab so well. Shirin's thought process of being so tired of people treating her like crap, of judging her is annoyingly relatable. Her experience of wearing her hijab is painful to read about as well. I honestly want to give Mafi and award for writing this story so honestly, so realistically. “But it never mattered what I said anymore. People talked over me, they talked for me, they discussed me without asking my opinion. I’d become a talking point, a statistic. I was no longer free to be only a teenager, only a human, only flesh and blood - no, I had to be more than that.I was an outrage. An uncomfortable topic of conversation” I really loved Shirin because she’s a really really REALLY well-developed character and I applaud Mafi for writing a character so well. Her character arc of thinking everyone is Islamophobia and assuming the worst of people to understanding that not everyone’s that bad and people don’t hate her THAT much (whilst also not dismissing people are pricks) was so well done.One thing that I think could be fixed in this book is how short it was, or really, how there wasn’t enough balance between plotlines. We get introduced to her high school, her family, her romance, her experience with Islamophobia, her breakdancing passion, her love for books, her intrigue in fashion, and finally her love interest, Ocean. And Shirin is such an interesting character with all these interests she has, her personality, a little bit mean and sharp but also quiet and scared and creative. She’s an incredible main character and so interesting to read about, but the romance took over a little too much for the other parts of her personality and story to shine.For example, at the beginning of the book, there’s so much breakdancing and the way Mafi describes it is MAGICAL and you could feel the passion just bleeding through the pages. But then about 150 pages in, the romance begins to take centre stage, and loads of other things just get left behind. They don’t disappear completely, which I’m really thankful about, but I really wanted them to still have some sort of spotlight in Shirin’s story which they didn’t get enough of. I did love Ocean and Shirn’s dynamic!! At the end it got a bit too much of “I’m sorry I love you” which I really didn’t like (I like sappy SOMETIMES but not when it gets TOO sappy) But when they were alone and the chemistry between them was ALIVE and THRIVING I think I had just stop reading to BREATHE. Their romance was so well-written and can I just say, I loved the aspect of Shirin being too scared to get close to Ocean because she’s worried about racism and Islamophobia - it was heartbreaking and poignant to read about. (also I lived for their text messages between each other)But as I said, the romance took up so much of the story, suddenly we didn’t get to see much of her breakdancing, or of her reading, or of her sewing clothes for herself, or her family, and I really loved all those aspects of the story and I wish they had been expanded on more. This is literally my main problem with the book. I feel like so much of Eid and Ramadan was rushed because of the love story taking place. I would love to see a whole chapter about what Shrin did on Eid and more stuff about fasting in Ramadan but just wasn't enough for me. Just the biggest problem is, I wanted MORE and a little less romance no matter how much I shipped it. “Most people aren't big fans of fasting for thirty days - each day from sunrise to sunset- but I loved it. I loved how it made me feel. It gave me a sharpness of heart and mind.” I love how when her English teacher questioned whether Shirin was in the right class because he thought she should be in EAL and she said: “my English is fucking perfect” and then got sent out. I loved it. I loved how realistic Shirin was when talking about she wanted to be more than the girl who wore that thing on her head. I loved a lot of this book, with my entire heart. “The exhaustion that accompanied my personal choice to wrap a piece of cloth around my hair every day. I was so tired of dealing with this crap” It’s funny too. I really think Mafi’s humor is just REALLY GOOD. And books are kinda hit or miss with jokes but I laughed at multiple points which were honestly great. (Shatter me series also has great banter) The writing was very different to Shatter Me, as in it’s very kinda dry? Like there was nothing special about it, and maybe it was just the ARC, but some of it it’s like “and then he told me this. And then this happened” and I was just very ??? about it. Maybe in the final copy, this will be improved. But also sometimes it’s really BEAUTIFUL and I loved certain lines!! “I wanted to catalog the moment, capture it in words and pictures.” I have to say the sibling relationship between Shirin and Nazid was really well written and just the best!! I hardly see any wonderful sibling relationships in books and this was just really refreshing to see. They have a nice understanding of each other and their dynamic is really well done.I think the Persian culture was so beautifully interwoven into the book and we really got to explore the culture though Shirin’s family life and it was really nice!! (it made me really hungry)There are some things I felt about the Muslim representation in this. Overall I loved it, but I realized I’m not going to relate to every book about Muslim main character, everyone’s different. I wish Islam had just been given that extra bit of page time, that extra bit of discussion, you know? Maybe Shirin’s internal thoughts about God or something (I feel like I’m asking for too much) but overall, it was really good and I think this quote is very appropriate here. “You don’t know shit about how I've lived or what I’ve been through or why I chose to wear hijab and it’s not your place to judge me or how I live my life. I get to be a fucking human being, okay? And you can go straight to hell” (okay tinyyy rant. I've kind of got used to books with muslim characters just dismissing the whole dating thing and certain rules and things like everyone's different but there's never any discussion and that's fine but i'm just a little bit tired, does that make sense. okay done)Shirin isn't exactly relatable to me, her story is so different to mine, this takes place after 9/11 and in America where bullying and bigots are a lot more present then right now in Britain for me. But this quote below is kinda of exactly me. I felt like I wrote it myself.“I’m sorry,” I said. “Was that mean? Everyone’s always telling me how mean I am, but I don’t really do it on purpose, I just wanted t-”“It’s always asshole this, bullshit that. I say to her, Shirin joon. Why are you so obsessed with shit? Why is everything shit? Her mum says this at Thanksgiving to Ocean about Shiring and IT MADE ME LAUGH because Shirin swears so much. Like, take a shot everytime someone says "shit" in this book.I think that's a good note to end this review on. I'm still unsure of my rating but I really enjoyed my time reading this book. I don't think it disappointed me. you can see my tweet reaction thread here: https://twitter.com/WhisperOfInk/stat...(i'm on private so request to follow me)
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  • Beatrice in Bookland
    January 1, 1970
    *I received an arc from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review*"The pain became a drumbeat; a rhythm I could write a song to. It was always there, stark and steady, rarely abating. I learned to drown out the sound during the day, but at night it screamed through the hole in my chest."This is a book that everyone should read. It shows how prejudices and stereotypes can affect people (without going to the extreme a la Thirteen reasons why style) and it tackles many important topics. It was als *I received an arc from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review*"The pain became a drumbeat; a rhythm I could write a song to. It was always there, stark and steady, rarely abating. I learned to drown out the sound during the day, but at night it screamed through the hole in my chest."This is a book that everyone should read. It shows how prejudices and stereotypes can affect people (without going to the extreme a la Thirteen reasons why style) and it tackles many important topics. It was also super interesting reading about a teenage girl wearing a hijab.I didn't give it five stars, tho. That's because I don't get why Tahereh chose that ending. She had so many available endings to chose from and imo she chose the most convenient one, the one where she didn't have to think too much about giving a decent ending to Shirin and Ocean. Plus, I can't stand Shirin's parents. Yes, they're loving parents and they love their children but so many of their choices didn't make sense to me. Like, you have two teenage children, you have a decent salary and yet you choose to move even more than once a year because you want to give them a bigger house, a better school etc. It doesn't take a genius to understand that you're just hurting your children by doing so. Children and teenagers need friends, a place to call home, and imo Shirin's parents took that away from them.I really liked the romance, tho. And that's saying something cause in order for me to ship two characters in a standalone novel, it takes some serious skills. But we're talking about Juliette and Warner's mom here, so I shouldn't be surprised. Everytime Ocean called Shirin baby, my heart melted. I did have some problems with Shirin and her attitude, but she goes through some very good character development so she managed to grow on me.
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  • Khadidja
    January 1, 1970
    WHAT TAHREH WHY ARE YOU DOING THIS TO ME
  • Isa Cantos (Crónicas de una Merodeadora)
    January 1, 1970
    ”The pain became a drumbeat; a rhythm I could write a song to. It was always there, stark and steady, rarely abating. I learned to drown out the sound during the day, but at night it screamed through the hole in my chest”. Spanish review at the end How… HOW can a book be so astoundingly beautiful and hurt so badly? This is Tahereh Mafi we’re talking about, so I’m not entirely surprised at how deeply each and every one of her words affected me, but still I was not prepared for what this book did ”The pain became a drumbeat; a rhythm I could write a song to. It was always there, stark and steady, rarely abating. I learned to drown out the sound during the day, but at night it screamed through the hole in my chest”. Spanish review at the end How… HOW can a book be so astoundingly beautiful and hurt so badly? This is Tahereh Mafi we’re talking about, so I’m not entirely surprised at how deeply each and every one of her words affected me, but still I was not prepared for what this book did to me.As the author herself lets us know at the beginning, this book is the most personal one she’s ever written. Not everything that happens in A Very Large Expanse of Sea happened to her, but it does involve a great deal of situations she had to go through. So, that being said, this book is set one year after the 9/11 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center. As expected the whole world is still in its toes and the fear and racism towards Muslim and immigrants it’s at its pike. The main character here is Shirin, a Muslim girl born in America who has always wore her hijab. She’s in her sixth (or so) high school and, because of the racism, intolerance and people being assholes, she’s built this thick barrier around herself. She’s taken enough insults and shit from the world already, so she’s decided to shut everyone out and try as hard as she can to not care. But it’s hard. And it hurts. But she can’t let the world know how deep her wound goes. Everything starts spiralling out out Shirin’s control when she meets Ocean, a boy who seems to not care at all about prejudices, people generalized fear and what others may think of him. And the worst part is: he likes her and she likes him. But History tells Shirin that nothing is going to work so she’s torn between enjoying the moment or protecting both her heart and Ocean’s from what’s going to be a messy relationship. A Very Large Expanse of Sea makes you go through a whole rainbow of emotions. First, you’re angry, then absolutely perplexed because of the extreme meanness and racism of some people, short after you get to a period fearful hope, then you’re ecstatic and fearless… but that doesn’t last long because right after that you’re thrown to a wall of anger and heartbreak again. it is just then, when you’ve gone through a rollercoaster of happiness, anger, hurt and love, that you get to a point where there’s bliss and healing and forgiveness. It’s a long ride. A painful one. A ride where you want to punch the book, but also hug it. Tahereh Mafi is a genius. She captures emotions on paper the way no one does. She makes you feel everything. Makes you feel the good and the bad. During the whole book you lose faith in humanity, but then you regain it thanks to Ocean, who’s a character so pure, strong and sympathetic that it really is a pleasure to read him. This book is not just a painful and beautiful story of fiction, it’s way more than that. A very large Expanse of Sea made me think really hard of my own prejudices and of my own ignorance regarding some topics. This book really, and I mean it, made me want to be a better person, to really understand people who are different from me not only because of their skin, but because of their religion and beliefs. Tahereh Mafi reminds us with this book that what makes people mean, dangerous or afraid is fear of the unknown. Also, through Shirin she shows us that when you’ve been constantly beaten down by society you learn to be tough and not let anyone know that you care, that their insults are tearing you apart… but that comes with a price no one should be force to pay. Read this book. I swear you won’t regret it. It’ll change your view on so many things and it will remind you that everyone is a human being no matter what and that everyone deserves respect. Diversity, respect, tolerance, peace of mind, everything’s important. And every little thing you do to defend those things makes a great difference in the world. ♦♦♦♦♦♦”El dolor se volvió el golpe de un tambor; un ritmo con el cual podría escribir una canción. Siempre estaba allí, constante e intenso, nunca disminuyendo. Aprendí a ahogar ese sonido durante el día, pero en la noche gritaba a través del hueco que había en mi pecho”.¿Cómo… CÓMO puede un libro ser tan increíblemente hermoso y a la vez doler tanto? Estamos hablando de Tahereh Mafi, así que no estoy completamente sorprendida con lo hondo que cada una de sus palabras me afectan, pero aún así no estaba preparada para lo que este libro hizo conmigo. Como la autora misma nos cuenta en el comienzo, este es el libro más personal que ha escrito nunca. No todo lo que sucede en A Very Large Expanse of Sea le sucedió a ella, pero sí que representa muchas situaciones por las que tuvo que atravesar. Así que, dicho esto, el libro se ubica un año después de los atentados terroristas del 9/11 en el World Trade Center. Como es de esperarse, el mundo aún está de puntillas y el miedo y el racismo hacia los inmigrantes musulmanes está en su punto más alto. El personaje principal aquí es Shirin, una chica musulmana que nació en Estados Unidos y que siempre ha usado su hijab. Ella está en su sexta secundaria y, por el racismo, la intolerancia y la gente siendo imbécil, ha decidido crear una gruesa barrera a su alrededor. Shirin ha recibido suficientes insultos y mierda del mundo en este punto, así que su solución ha sido rechazar a todas las personas e intentar que nada le importe. Pero es difícil. Y duele. Pero no puede dejar que el mundo sepa qué tan hondo la han herido. Ahora, todo empieza a salirse del control de Shirin cuando conoce a Ocean, un chico al que parece no importarle nada, ni los prejuicios, ni el miedo generalizado de la gente ni lo que nadie piense de él. Y la peor parte es que a él le gusta ella… y a ella él. Pero la Historia le dice a Shirin que nada de eso puede funcionar, así que se ve dividida entre disfrutar el momento o proteger tanto el corazón de Ocean como el de ella de lo que puede ser una relación muy caótica. A Very Large Expanse of Sea te hace pasar por un arcoíris completo de emociones. Primero, estás cabreada, luego absolutamente perpleja por lo malas y racistas que pueden llegar a ser algunas personas, poco después llegas a un periodo de esperanza con miedo, luego te sientes extática y con ganas de comerte al mundo… pero eso no dura mucho, pues justo después te tiran contra una pared de ira y desamor de nuevo. Y es ahí, después de que has pasado por una montaña rusa de felicidad, rabia, dolor y amor, cuando llegas a un punto en el que hay calma y perdón. Es un viaje largo. Y doloroso. Es un viaje en el que quieres golpear el libro y luego abrazarlo. Tahereh Mafi es una genio. Captura las emociones en el papel de una manera que nadie más lo hace. Logra que sientas todo. Hace que sientas lo bueno y lo malo. Durante todo el libro pierdes la fe en la humanidad, pero luego la recuperas gracias a Ocean, que es un personaje tan puro, fuerte y compasivo que es un verdadero placer leerlo. Este libro no es solamente una historia dolorosa y linda de ficción, es mucho más que eso. A Very Large Expanse of Sea me hizo pensar en mis propios prejuicios y mi propia ignorancia con respecto a algunos temas. Este libro, de verdad, y lo digo en serio, me hizo querer ser una mejor persona, intentar realmente entender a las personas que son diferentes a mí no solo por su color de piel, sino también por su religión y sus creencias. Tahereh Mafi nos recuerda con este libro que lo que hace a la gente mala, peligrosa y asustada es el miedo a lo desconocido. Además, a través de Shirin, nos muestra que cuando has sido golpeado constantemente por la sociedad aprendes a ser dura y a no dejar que nadie sepa que, en el fondo, todo te importa, que sus insultos te están destrozando… pero que eso viene con un precio que nadie debería verse forzado a pagar. Lean este libro. Les juro que no se van a arrepentir. Cambiará tu punto de vista en tantísimos temas y, además, te recordará que todos somos seres humanos sin importar absolutamente nada y que todos merecemos respeto. Diversidad, respeto, tolerancia, paz mental, todo es importante. Y cada pequeña cosa que hagas por defender estos ideales hace una gran diferencia en el mundo.
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  • Chelsea
    January 1, 1970
    I wondered, for the very first time, if maybe I was doing this whole thing wrong. If maybe I’d allowed myself to be blinded by my own anger to the exclusion of all else. If maybe, just maybe, I’d been so determined not to be stereotyped that I’d begun to stereotype everyone around me. Wow, I need to read more from this author. This was an excellent YA contemporary - one of the best of this year, without a doubt. 4 1/2 starsThere’s so many good things about this book. It’s about the way the worl I wondered, for the very first time, if maybe I was doing this whole thing wrong. If maybe I’d allowed myself to be blinded by my own anger to the exclusion of all else. If maybe, just maybe, I’d been so determined not to be stereotyped that I’d begun to stereotype everyone around me. Wow, I need to read more from this author. This was an excellent YA contemporary - one of the best of this year, without a doubt. 4 1/2 starsThere’s so many good things about this book. It’s about the way the world reacts to a Muslim teenager post-911 but it’s also about Shirin letting go of her anger and realizing that there are still good people in the world.Shirin might be one of my favorite leads in a contemporary novel. She’s abrasive and angry in the way that I typically only see male characters depicted. She isn’t afraid to stand up for herself and to tell everyone to fuck off when they deserve it and just...she’s such a refreshing character to read from.And I can’t believe I’m saying this, but I LOVE the romance here. Ocean??? What a guy. I love the role reversal here, where the male love interest is the more sensitive one and the female character is more closed off. Something about the way Mafi writes their dynamic is so swoonworthy and sweet. This is actually a pretty romance-heavy novel, but it completely works.The writing is lovely and fits the story perfectly. There are so many quotable moments - it’s truly an excellent coming of age story. I think it would make a great Netflix film, like To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before. I could no longer distinguish people from monsters.I looked out at the world around me and no longer saw nuance. I saw nothing but potential for pain and the subsequent need to protect myself, constantly. This book better get so much attention when it comes out. It deserves it.
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  • Jessie_Book_
    January 1, 1970
    I haven't read a book like this ever. Whenever I read a book about hard topics in a real way its almost always in adult literature. Not young adult. There are a few exceptions and this book is one of them. This book blew me away with every chapter. I wish that I had this book when I was younger. I wish I had more of this book now. I'm excited to see the impact that this will have on people who read it. Because I know I will definitely be making all my friends read this book. I can not sing my pr I haven't read a book like this ever. Whenever I read a book about hard topics in a real way its almost always in adult literature. Not young adult. There are a few exceptions and this book is one of them. This book blew me away with every chapter. I wish that I had this book when I was younger. I wish I had more of this book now. I'm excited to see the impact that this will have on people who read it. Because I know I will definitely be making all my friends read this book. I can not sing my praise about this book loud enough. Its a great story wrapped in amazing writing and topped of with a poignant message.
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  • TS
    January 1, 1970
    im really looking forward to the book but this cover looks like what a 4 year-old would design on snapchat if he took your phone and took a picture of a white canvas
  • alice (arctic books)
    January 1, 1970
    Of course it was perfect. Full RTC!
  • Helena at The Life of a Booknerd Addict ❤️
    January 1, 1970
    I GOT APPROVED!!!OMG, THANK YOU!!!THANK YOU!!! I CANT BELIEVE IT! IM GOING TO HUG IT AND LOVE IT FOREVER!
  • Sirreadsalot
    January 1, 1970
    Bitches... Guess who just got an arc?
  • Stacey
    January 1, 1970
    tahereh mafi is taking over 2018 i love her
  • ALEXA
    January 1, 1970
    Perspective. That’s what A VERY LARGE EXPANSE OF SEA offers its readers, and Tahereh Mafi really nails it with how she tells Shirin’s story. It’s a brief, but full glimpse of what life is like for a Muslim teen girl in the aftermath of 9/11. It was a honest, raw and just a really compelling read.
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  • Dana Al-Basha دانة الباشا
    January 1, 1970
    This seems to me like Tahereh Mafi's own story! I can't wait to read it! I had no idea Tahereh could break dance this surprised me and made her even more interesting especially that she could do it till this day! Bravo![Thursday, June 28, 2018] The new cover is here and it's gorgeous!!! so, SO thrilled to be able to share the cover for my fall novel, A VERY LARGE EXPANSE OF SEA, my first work of contemporary fiction and the most autobiographical novel i’ve ever written. 😍🎉 click the link in my b This seems to me like Tahereh Mafi's own story! I can't wait to read it! I had no idea Tahereh could break dance this surprised me and made her even more interesting especially that she could do it till this day! Bravo![Thursday, June 28, 2018] The new cover is here and it's gorgeous!!! so, SO thrilled to be able to share the cover for my fall novel, A VERY LARGE EXPANSE OF SEA, my first work of contemporary fiction and the most autobiographical novel i’ve ever written. 😍🎉 click the link in my bio to learn more about the book and to read the first chapter on @entertainmentweekly. (also: infinite thanks to @rodrigocorral_ for our beautiful cover! i’m such a huge fan of his work.)
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