Books Magazine

A Very Large Expanse of Sea by @avrorakotova84

By Pamelascott

'This is a gorgeous book. It's tender and fierce, beautiful even as it depicts some ugly truths. The prose is passionate and honest, unsentimental and big-hearted. The very best books move you to reconsider the world around you and this is one of those. I truly loved it' - Nicola Yoon, bestselling author of Everything, Everything

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

Its 2002, a year after 9/11, and Shirin has just started at yet another new high school. It's an extremely turbulent time politically, but especially so for 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.

Shirin drowns her frustrations in music and spends her afternoon's 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 her. It terrifies her -they seem to come from two irreconcilable worlds - and Shirin has had her guard up against the world for so long that she's not sure she'll ever be able to let it down.

Perfect for fans of the Shatter Me series as well as Angie Thomas's The Hate U Give and Nicola Yoon's The Sun is Also A Star.


We always seemed to be moving, always for the better, always to make our lives better, whatever. ONE


(@EMTeenFiction, 18 October 2018, 297 pages, paperback, copy from @AmazonUK #AmazonVine)



I've heard of the author's Shatter Me series but have never read it. I liked the cover of this book and read a lot of YA fiction so this sounded right up my street. I enjoyed this book so much even though it's more of a love story than I usually read. This is a sweet YA love story that tackles much deeper issues than I expected including racism and bullying. Shirin is a great character, prickly, hard to get to know and defensive because her whole life she's experiences racism, prejudice and bullying. She's learned to put walls around herself that it's almost impossible to bring down. I liked Ocean as well. He comes across as a bit of a rebel and outsider at first so seems perfect for Shirin. The revelation that he's actually one of the popular students surprised me. He's more complicated that he first comes across. This is such a good book.

Very Large Expanse @avrorakotova84

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