A Very Large Expanse of Sea

by Tahereh Mafi

Harper, 2018

YA Contemporary Romance

Summary: This book is set relatively soon after the 9/11 attacks, Shirin and her family have moved again for her dad’s work and she isn’t interested in engaging socially with anyone. As a Muslim teenager who wears hijab, she faces a lot of prejudice. There are verbal and physical attacks. Ocean is on the basketball team and when they get paired in biology they start to get to know each other.

Likes: A bunch of Mafi’s strengths are on display. Shirin’s experience feels authentic. The angst is intense. Plus the book is funny. Shirin and Ocean can be so awkward. I like her relationship with her brother and all her hobbies. And there’s food.

Dislikes: So many people acting like garbage and it happens in real life too.

Overall I valued this book a lot plus it was entertaining. I want to read the other contemporary Mafi has written more recently.

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