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Book Review: ‘ A Very Large Expanse of Sea’ by Tahereh Mafi’

Title: A Very Large Expanse of Sea

Author: Tahereh Mafi

Length: 297 pages

Publisher: Harper Collins

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

I saw this book on another blog and the premise sounded so interesting to me, I decided to pick up my own copy.

It’s the year after 9/11, and Shirin has just started at yet another new high school. It’s a difficult time, but especially so for a sixteen-year-old Muslim girl who wears a hijab. Shirin is never surprised by how horrible people can be. She hides away, drowning her frustrations in music and spending her afternoons break-dancing with her brother. But then Shirin meets Ocean James. He’s the first person in forever who really seems to want to get to know her – and it terrifies her. He’s not like everyone else – but Shirin has had her guard up against the world for so long that she’s not sure she’ll ever be able to let it down…

‘If the decision you’ve made has bought you closer to humanity, then you’ve done the right thing.’

WHAT A BOOK. I mean seriously, what a book. I absolutely adored this story. It was wonderful. I’ve had it on my TBR pile for a while and now I’m questioning why I waited so long to read it.

The love story. It was beautiful. Although at first I thought it was going to be a bit rushed, it wasn’t. It was a beautiful slow-burn. The chemistry between Shirin and Ocean flew off the page. The obstacles they had to face were heartbreaking.

I think that if you go into this book with an open heart and mind, you’ll truly learn a lot from this story. It was so hard to read the racism Shirin has to endure. Honestly it broke my heart. When the picture of her gets taken without her hijab on, I squirmed, I cried. It was just horrible. But it’s what makes this book so important.

What was wonderful about this book, was Shirin opening up as it goes along. Watching her fall in love was a delight, yet I could feel her fear. To watch her find her passion with breaking-dancing was so enjoyable. Shirin was funny, tough, real. This books tackles stereotypes head on and destroys them.

‘A very large expanse of sea’ was such a quick read, I couldn’t put the book down. I can’t recommend this book enough. Do yourself a favour and read it.

Until the next review

JTH

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