A very large expanse of the sea

Written by: Tahereh Mafi

‘A touching story’.


Shirin is used to moving and having to start a new life at school. The 9/11 attacks had a major impact on her life. Nasty words and slurs are constantly being fired at her. Nobody wants to have anything to do with her, simply because of her religion, origin and the hijab she wears. At school, she meets Ocean James, a handsome boy who is genuinely interested in her. Shirin doesn’t know how to respond to him.


I had very high expectations for this book. After the Touching-Juliette series, I was very curious about this book because this is a completely different genre than what I’m used to from Tahereh Mafi. However, this book was a bit disappointing. I find the concept quite simple; a ‘different’ girl who falls in love with the handsome boy.

Tahereh Mafi has managed to spread a well-written message. It is terrible what Shirin has to deal with. Mafi really portrayed Shirin as a girl who shuts herself off from the world and how much this affects her. Mafi shows that everyone can have a mean streak but that this shouldn’t be considered normal behaviour.


This is a beautiful book about a very large expanse of sea between Shirin and the world. A book with a very good message.

Product information
Written by: Tahereh Mafi
Pages: 304
Publisher: Harper Collins
ISBN: 9780062866561
Interested? Buy here!

1 thought on “A very large expanse of the sea”

  1. You actually make it seem so easy with your presentation but
    I find this matter to be actually something that I think I
    would never understand. It seems too complicated and extremely broad for me.
    I am looking forward for your next post, I’ll try to get the
    hang of it!

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