Review: A Very Large Expanse of Sea by Tahereh Mafi


Title: A Very Large Expanse of Sea

Author: Tahereh Mafi

Genre: Contemporary, Romance

Published: 16 October 2018

Publisher: HarperTeen

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.

First book that I read from Tahereh Mafi! 🎉 So bumped I finally got to read her book because I haven’t had the chance to read the popular Shatter Me series. So…. I am happy! 😍

Just a few pages into the book, I’m already loving the writing! The writing is so easy and so… light This is one of my favorite kind of writings. I just like it 🥰

Shirin is the main character who face a lot of challenges in her life. I feel her so much about bottling all her feelings to herself. It’s hard, it really is, but it’s getting easier to handle at the end of the day. Our heroine here is a strong girl. 💪🏼

Apart from racism, this book also have a fun side; the breakdancing! 🤸🏽‍♀️ I found myself enjoy reading about it but unfortunately, it isn’t much in here which makes me a bit sad. ☹️ I honestly like the breakdance crew so much! They have a weird first meeting ever in the house but once we get to know them—the brother’s friends, they’re good actually; funny, supporting and easy-going. Reminds me a lot of my guy friends back home. I was secretly hoping we’ll get a lot of scene with them but well, they’re not really the spotlight here, right? So I guess maybe not. Even the breakdancing scenes aren’t that much so perhaps it’ll be equal to their presences…?? 👀

Okay, let’s get to the ROMANCE. I actually have a mix feelings about it. That romance makes me blush so much, honestly!! So many internal screaming that my brain hurt and my face heated up a LOT. 😳😍 That Ocean guy. He’s so awkward and so cute at the same time?!! But also… there’s a part about Ocean that makes me just ‘meh’. It’s a typical one. Maybe because the twist is just… it’s one of those excessive storylines. Which, is getting boring.

Because before Shirin (and me of course) knows everything, I thought of Ocean as some kind of a shy guy??? Maybe he is but the idea of him being a…. well, that (sorry, friends I’m avoiding spoiler) It’s just… bleh. I’m not liking it. If Tahereh make him as a mysterious guy, that would be really nice. Because that’s how I think is perfect for his characterization, in my honest opinion.

And also, I don’t know what’s wrong with me but the longer the romance is, the cringe-ier I get 😫 I liked it at first, but the longer it gets, it’s just not for me anymore.


In addition, I don’t quite like the ending. It’s just so cliché and so… easy. Like fairytales.

However, I still enjoy reading this book. It’s actually a good book. Even though I’m a bit upset about certain parts, but it’s still a good read. I actually love it. 🥰 So you see me having a mix feelings about this, but I’m still going to give it 4 star rating! Heheee 😆💫

Want to read this book?

Amazon   •    Goodreads


3 thoughts on “Review: A Very Large Expanse of Sea by Tahereh Mafi

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