A Very Large Expanse of Sea

A Very Large Expanse of Sea

by Tahereh Mafi

Hardcover

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Overview

From the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the Shatter Me series comes a powerful, heartrending contemporary novel about fear, first love, and the devastating impact of prejudice.

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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780062866561
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 10/16/2018
Pages: 320
Sales rank: 11,052
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.20(h) x 1.20(d)
Age Range: 13 - 17 Years

About the Author

Tahereh Mafi is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the Shatter Me series, Furthermore, and Whichwood. She can usually be found overcaffeinated and stuck in a book. You can find her online just about anywhere @TaherehMafi or on her website, www.taherehbooks.com.

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A Very Large Expanse of Sea (Signed Book) 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 9 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Must Read, The BEST Book I read in a very long time. Long review to come
Anonymous 6 months ago
This heartbreaking story of the coming of age of a Muslim teen girl, Shirin who deals with racism, xenophobia daily. Shirin meets a boy named Ocean at her school and become great friends all the while learning to breakdance. This beautifully written story opened my eyes to the hatred going on in this world today and how a young Muslim teen deals with it.
Take_Me_AwayPH More than 1 year ago
I was a little hesitant to read this because I've tried several times (and in several different ways) to read her fantasy series and I couldn't get through it. I always thought she had beautiful writing, but it was just too flowery for me to be in a fantasy novel. And that's exactly why it worked so well for me in a contemporary setting. Shirin is continuously stereotyped by strangers and her peers and is tired of having to defend herself and the fact that she chooses to wear her hijab. She pushes everyone away and drowns her unhappiness in break dancing. But then she meets Ocean, who actually seems to be interested in her. In more ways than she's used to. Will she let him in or will she treat him just as everyone treats her? Ok, so of course I have to talk about the writing style. I wasn't sure I wanted to read this at first, because I was not a fan of here debut series. Same reason I didn't read her MG series. The language was just much for me. But when I read contemps I seem to like the language best when it's over the top. And as it turns out, this time it really worked for me. I found myself sucked into the pages and not wanting to stop reading this beautiful, heartbreaking story. And I highlighted so much of it. At least half the first chapter and by then I was only 5% in! I found myself reading this everywhere, as I got ready for work, as I was brushing my teeth, anywhere I could really. I don't remember a time I was that engrossed in a book. As for the characters, I had so many feelings for everyone in this book. (Some better than others lol) To a certain extent, I felt what Shirin was going through. I didn't fully understand her situation, but I know my own feelings when I go in a store and the police officer follows me around the entire store because I have my hood on to hide my swollen face after just getting my teeth pulled. I can also relate to being a woman of color and I felt so sad that all of these things were happening to her. And as a reader, I felt so helpless. Like I could do nothing to help her, when all I really wanted was to make the entire book pay. Another thing I loved about Shirin, was the fact that she went through so much growth. She acknowledged her own faults and knew that she needed to do better. It takes a very strong person to do that after the type of things she'd been through. As for Ocean, he was incredibly sweet and I was so happy that she found someone like him.They balanced each other out and I was happy that at some point Shirin got to be happy. Even if only for a brief time. Ocean has definitely earned a spot as one of my favorite characters ever. As for the plot, I do wish there had been a better timeline. Things in this book were passing so quickly (although it could also have been because I was reading it so quickly) and at times it felt like it cut off right in the middle of a part where things could have developed more. The jumps just felt a little weird and unnatural at times. I know I've liked a book based on all the reactions I've had about it. I found myself having to write in a journal, get on Goodreads and talk it out with my husband. I was talking about this book everywhere whenever I wasn't reading it and I was stunned. It's been a long time since I've highlighted so many passages in a book. And I don't think I've ever cried so much in a contemporary romance while reading a book that wasn't about someone that was sick or dying. I cried real tears several
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Awsome
18876111 More than 1 year ago
*Disclaimer: I can not speak about the experiences of the main character of this book. Please seek out own voices reviews. *CW: Islamophobia This is such an important book and one that needs to be read. I thought that the characters were well developed, and I enjoyed the story very much.
JillJemmett More than 1 year ago
I liked this story. I thought that 9/11 would play a bigger role in the story. The terrorist attack set the scene for the racism that Shirin experienced, but it wasn’t really part of the story. I liked that being Muslim wasn’t the only part of Shirin that was prominent in the story. Though people around her only saw her hijab when they looked at her, she was just like any girl. She liked music and she fell in love. She fought with her brother and didn’t agree with her parents. These aspects of her personality are universal, and didn’t have anything to do with her being Muslim. I loved the romance in the story. It was slow and apprehensive, but it was real. However, I didn’t like the ending. It was abrupt and it wasn’t what I was expecting at all. I still liked the rest of the story. I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Books_She_Reads More than 1 year ago
*Originally posted to my blog, {Books She Reads)* A Very Large Expanse of Sea is the most important young adult book of 2018. I have lost count of the number of times I have started, deleted, and restarted this review. Everything I come up with seems to fall short of the praise this book deserves. I still don’t think this review is enough, but here it is. Tahereh Mafi is tremendously talented. She writes with a confident elegance that is raw, smart and thought-provoking. In A Very Large Expanse of Sea, Mafi provides necessary and timely food for one’s morality, bringing forth a truth that many American-Muslim women face. A reality that many choose to dismiss. Shirin wears an armor that keeps strangers at a distance. She has dealt with far more physical assault, harassment, heartache, and discrimination than any person should ever have to endure. She’d rather be alone than have to worry about the true intentions of anyone who speaks to her. It’s easier to be solitary than to be vulnerable to someone else; history has taught her this painful lesson more than once. Then Ocean shows up. He is determined to get to know Shirin, even if she’s understandably skeptical to let him. A Very Large Expanse of Sea explores the reluctant but hopeful heart of a young woman who wants the opportunity to experience high school like any other peer. She yearns to be seen for the person she is beyond her hijab. She is smart, passionate about music, and can breakdance, but no one can look beyond the piece of cloth she wears upon her head. Assumptions are made, discriminations are spoken, and “harmless” pranks that are anything but harmless are executed. I am angered and heartbroken from reading Shirin’s story. To know that Mafi herself has/does deal with similar situations, that members of my community might have to deal with similar situations. Mafi has openly shared that A Very Large Expanse of Sea is the most personal book she has written. I wish she didn’t have any of these experiences to share, but I am forever thankful that she chose to share them with us. Shirin’s story of racism, prejudice, and religious discrimination is unapologetically honest in the most necessary way.
Aditi-ATWAMB More than 1 year ago
THIS BOOK WAS REAL AND BEAUTIFUL AND BROUGHT TO LIVE RACISM AND BIGOTRY THROUGH THE SHARP EYES OF AN AMERICAN-MUSLIM TEENAGER AND HOLY GOD. I finished it DAYS AGO and I’m still reeling at the message, the beautiful characters, their stories and just all the HOPE that made A Very Large Expanse of Sea. Basically, I’m in love. Things I ADORED about this book: 1. It took me a little time to warm up to the characters in A Very Large Expanse of Sea. The beginning of the book itself was a little stiff, and I was scared that I wouldn’t enjoy this book as much as I hoped. This was also my first book by Tahereh Mafi, and I was a little nervous about whether her contemporary writing would be as good as I’d heard her fantasy books were. 2. But, as what happens with all good books, I decided to read just a few more pages, and then, without thinking about it, I’d read a few more chapters and within half the day, I’d finished more that three quarters of this MARVELOUS book and I regret NOTHING. 3. There were so many beautiful things about this book (that cover included) but most of all, I loved Shirin, the main character. I see how some people might find her jaded, but to me, she was just real. I understood her through Tahereh’s writing, through her actions and I LOVED her strength, determination, and REASONING in wearing the hijab despite everything she went through. 4. I also LOVED Shirin and her brother, Navid’s relationship. WE DON’T SEE ENOUGH GOOD BROTHER-SISTER FRIENDSHIPS in YA, unless one of them is dead and the other mourning and Shirin and Navid were the ABSOLUTE BEST. 5. Ocean was probably the whole reason I found the book stiff in the beginning. I knew I would grow to love Shirin and Navid, but Ocean was just strange. He eventually became better, and I love that he was never influenced by ‘public opinion,’ and I ended up liking him too. A Very Large Expanse of Sea is a magical piece of literature, fictitious and yet, so real. Tahereh Mafi’s writing made me think and feel and this book has become one of my all-time favourites.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
DNF'd 50%. Skimmed the rest of the book and read sections that enraged me. I will get hate for this, and I don't care. I am so tired of reading books marketed as "Muslim rep" that showcase characters disrespecting and running from their faiths. That is not Muslim rep. Look, I definitely believe the blatant, disgusting racism/Islamaphobia/xenophobia the main character (Shirin) faces in this book. And I totally get that Muslim experiences vary across the board. We are not a monolith. But as an American Muslim myself, I just could not get behind Shirin. She is so crass and unbelievably disrespectful (as are her harassers, but that's beside the point).