Thursday, October 24, 2019

Book Review: A Very Large Expanse of Sea by Tahereh Mafi

Book: A Very Large Expanse of Sea by Tahereh Mafi
Genre: YA Contemporary
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ 

I was at once both leery and intrigued by this book. I worried it might be a bit too agenda-y and try to shove lessons to be learned in our faces.

But, while it did teach us something, it was done in a very palatable way. And I ended up loving it.

Based on a year in the author's own life, this is about a girl who is dealing with being a Muslin girl in high school, the year after 9/11. She is angry. Very very angry. At lots of things, and not just how she is treated by people, both at school and not.

When she gets paired up with a dude for science lab, she is curious about him, but figures his curiosity about her is just like everyone else's and doesn't really mean anything.

As it turns out, they click and become friends and then more. In so doing, it helps her to look at the world a little differently, and when she realizes his life isn't as perfect as she thinks it is, she starts to look a little more outside herself instead of focusing always on her own pain and anger.

There's a quote at the every end of the book that I wish I'd written down before I turned it back to the library, but the gist of it is what I just said above... that in all the anger she has with dealing with all the injustices, she realizes that it's her attitude and her choice with how she reacts to all that. And that she can choose to be happy over angry. That other people have their own things and that everyone is all the same and that her prejudice against people is just as bad as their prejudice against her. Or something like that... whatever it was, it was good and I inwardly cheered.

Anyway. All that deep stuff aside, the romance is AWESOME! Perfectly swoony. I loved it. I loved the writing (as I've come to expect from this author) and the way she handled this subject. It hit me just right instead in preachy or self-pity-ish... which I very much appreciated. Thank you!

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