Noura Khalid (theperksofbeingnoura)'s Reviews > A Very Large Expanse of Sea

A Very Large Expanse of Sea by Tahereh Mafi
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Actual Rating: 3.5

Buddy Read with Hamad

Thank 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.


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Reading Progress

June 23, 2018 – Shelved
June 23, 2018 – Shelved as: to-read
June 23, 2018 – Shelved as: contemporary
June 23, 2018 – Shelved as: young-adult
September 5, 2018 – Shelved as: arc
September 5, 2018 – Shelved as: 2018-releases
September 6, 2018 – Started Reading
September 6, 2018 –
page 30
9.38%
September 8, 2018 –
page 43
13.44%
September 8, 2018 –
page 144
45.0%
September 9, 2018 – Shelved as: 4-star-reads
September 9, 2018 – Shelved as: 2018-reading-challenge-list
September 9, 2018 – Finished Reading
December 5, 2018 – Shelved as: muslim-rep

Comments Showing 1-8 of 8 (8 new)

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Hamad Great review Noura!


Noura Khalid (theperksofbeingnoura) Hamad wrote: "Great review Noura!"

Thank you! :)


Mahnoor Ali I agree completely! I felt the romance was was very unnecessary and wasn't really up for it. I couldn't understand Ocean's appeal to her tbh nor her feelings. But I enjoyed the book nonetheless, her relationship with ocean showed a lot more things about her that we wouldn't get to know if it had been cut out completely so I liked that. Just like you, I was surprised at how Islam was portrayed here and how different it was from what I know. Love your review! I disagree with your point about her feeling angry though, as someone who has been discriminated against quite a lot, Shirin's outlook isn't such a foreign thing. But I'm glad to have read your perspective on things!


Noura Khalid (theperksofbeingnoura) Mahnoor wrote: "I agree completely! I felt the romance was was very unnecessary and wasn't really up for it. I couldn't understand Ocean's appeal to her tbh nor her feelings. But I enjoyed the book nonetheless, he..."

Thanks! The realtionship was a bit strange. I just didn't feel attached to the whole thing at all. And when I mentioned her being angry I meant that she got discriminated against so much that she assumed everyone would do it. I understand her being closed off from people, tbh I'd probably feel the same way too. Thanks for sharing your perspective! 😊


Mahnoor Ali Noura wrote: "Mahnoor wrote: "I agree completely! I felt the romance was was very unnecessary and wasn't really up for it. I couldn't understand Ocean's appeal to her tbh nor her feelings. But I enjoyed the book..."

I'm usually so on board with romance I don't even know, this relationship is the first one I've encountered that I didn't ship or care about (there are others but I have reasons for not shipping others) like whomst??? And yes I was talking about that angry yeah, it's sort of hard to NOT expect it you get me? either way I love your review! seems to be the only one I agree with over here haha


message 6: by Meg (new) - added it

Meg Omg I want a advance readers copy of this book


Noura Khalid (theperksofbeingnoura) Mahnoor wrote: "Noura wrote: "Mahnoor wrote: "I agree completely! I felt the romance was was very unnecessary and wasn't really up for it. I couldn't understand Ocean's appeal to her tbh nor her feelings. But I en..."

yup I got you 😁 I havent see everyone else reviews yet but I think I’ll check them out right now.


Noura Khalid (theperksofbeingnoura) Meg wrote: "Omg I want a advance readers copy of this book"

you can request on Edelweiss.plus


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