A Very Large Expanse of Sea

A Very Large Expanse of Sea

Book - 2018
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Longlisted for the National Book Award for Young People's Literature!

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.

Publisher: New York, NY : Harper, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers, [2018]
Edition: First edition
ISBN: 9780062866561
0062866567
Branch Call Number: FICTION (TEEN) Mafi, Tahereh
Characteristics: 310 pages ; 22 cm

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WoodneathTaylor
Jan 17, 2019

is an eye-opening story about the realities of what it's like to grow up Muslim in the United States, especially if you wear the hijab. I really enjoyed Shirin's character: she's strong, witty, and intelligent and just as flawed and complex as any other teen. I do genuinely hope Netflix or Hulu picks this up for a film, especially for the break-dancing scenes.

OPL_AutumnH Aug 08, 2018

One of my favorite reads of 2018 so far. I loved Shirin. You cannot help but sympathize with the tough demeanor she presents - the way people let their fear turn to prejudice and hatred made me so angry. Bonus points for wonderful Muslim American representation and break dancing!

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JCLEmilyD Dec 28, 2018

"...you sacrificed my comfort just to make yourself seem progressive. You put me in that shitty situation because you thought it would be shocking and exciting." (p.123-124)

JCLEmilyD Dec 27, 2018

"People struggled to believe this, because people struggled to believe women in general. It was one of the greatest frustrations of my life."

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