A Very Large Expanse of Sea by Tahereh Mafi
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
It's one year after 9/11 and it's a troubling time, especially for Shirin - a 16-year-old, Muslim girl who wears the hijab and faces daily torment from her peers. It's no surprise to Shirin that people are essentially horrible to her, what does surprise her is the boy who takes time to talk to her and get to know her. When sparks fly between Shirin and Ocean, all hell breaks loose in their school and community.
Mafi's story is full of the clutter of teen life compounded by the turbulence that blatant prejudice adds to the mix. Shirin's voice honestly expresses the anger, confusion, and frustration she experiences as she deals with the racial slurs, physical violence, and general harassment she faces because of her religion and identity.
An eye-opening read for anyone who thinks that being different is easy.
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