A Magical Piece of Literature // REVIEW: A Very Large Expanse of Sea by Tahereh Mafi

Title: A Very Large Expanse of Sea
Author: Tahereh Mafi
Publication Date: October 20th 2018
Publisher: Egmont UK
Part of a Series?: No, A Standalone
I Got A Copy Through: Penguin Random House India (THANK YOU!)
Buy Links: Amazon IN || Barnes and Noble || Wordery || Foyles || Waterstones || WHSmith || Books A Million || Chapters Indigo || Google Books || Infibeam
Blurb Description: 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. 

THIS BOOK WAS REAL AND BEAUTIFUL AND BROUGHT TO LIVE RACISM AND BIGOTRY THROUGH THE SHARP EYES OF AN AMERICAN-MUSLIM TEENAGER AND HOLY GOD. I finished it DAYS AGO and I’m still reeling at the message, the beautiful characters, their stories and just all the HOPE that made A Very Large Expanse of Sea.

Basically, I’m in love.

Things I ADORED about this book:

1.       It took me a little time to warm up to the characters in A Very Large Expanse of Sea. The beginning of the book itself was a little stiff, and I was scared that I wouldn’t enjoy this book as much as I hoped. This was also my first book by Tahereh Mafi, and I was a little nervous about whether her contemporary writing would be as good as I’d heard her fantasy books were.


2.       But, as what happens with all good books, I decided to read just a few more pages, and then, without
thinking about it, I’d read a few more chapters and within half the day, I’d finished more that three quarters of this MARVELOUS book and I regret NOTHING.

3.       There were so many beautiful things about this book (that cover included) but most of all, I loved Shirin, the main character. I see how some people might find her jaded, but to me, she was just real. I understood her through Tahereh’s writing, through her actions and I LOVED her strength, determination, and REASONING in wearing the hijab despite everything she went through.

4.       I also LOVED Shirin and her brother, Navid’s relationship. WE DON’T SEE ENOUGH GOOD BROTHER-SISTER FRIENDSHIPS in YA, unless one of them is dead and the other mourning and Shirin and Navid were the ABSOLUTE BEST.

5.       Ocean was probably the whole reason I found the book stiff in the beginning. I knew I would grow to love Shirin and Navid, but Ocean was just strange. He eventually became better, and I love that he was never influenced by ‘public opinion,’ and I ended up liking him too.

A Very Large Expanse of Sea is a magical piece of literature, fictitious and yet, so real. Tahereh Mafi’s writing made me think and feel and this book has become one of my all-time favourites.

Tahereh Mafi
Tahereh Mafi is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the Shatter Meseries. She was born in a small city somewhere in Connecticut and currently resides in Santa Monica, California with her husband, fellow author Ransom Riggs. She can usually be found over-caffeinated and stuck in a book. Shatter Me is her first series, with television rights optioned by ABC Signature Studios; Furthermore, her first middle grade novel, is on shelves now, and Whichwood, its darker companion, will be on shelves November 14, 2017.

Have you read any of Tahereh Mafi's books? What do you think of them?
Have you read A Very Large Expanse of Sea, or any other book like it?
What did you think of it/ them?
 

The End to A Phenomenal Series // REVIEW: Kingdom Of Ash by Sarah J Maas

Title: Kingdom Of Ash (Throne of Glass #7)
Author: Sarah J Maas
Publication Date: October 23rd 2018
Publisher: Bloomsbury India
Part of a Series?: Yes, Book 7/7 of the Throne of Glass series
I Got A Copy Through: Enchantico and Bloomsbury India (THANK YOU!)
Buy Links: Amazon IN || Barnes and Noble || Wordery || Foyles || Waterstones || WHSmith || Books A Million || Chapters Indigo || Google Books || Infibeam
Blurb Description: Years in the making, Sarah J. Maas’s #1 New York Times bestselling Throne of Glass series draws to an epic, unforgettable conclusion. Aelin Galathynius’s journey from slave to king’s assassin to the queen of a once-great kingdom reaches its heart-rending finale as war erupts across her world. . .
Aelin has risked everything to save her people―but at a tremendous cost. Locked within an iron coffin by the Queen of the Fae, Aelin must draw upon her fiery will as she endures months of torture. Aware that yielding to Maeve will doom those she loves keeps her from breaking, though her resolve begins to unravel with each passing day…
With Aelin captured, Aedion and Lysandra remain the last line of defense to protect Terrasen from utter destruction. Yet they soon realize that the many allies they’ve gathered to battle Erawan’s hordes might not be enough to save them. Scattered across the continent and racing against time, Chaol, Manon, and Dorian are forced to forge their own paths to meet their fates. Hanging in the balance is any hope of salvation―and a better world.
And across the sea, his companions unwavering beside him, Rowan hunts to find his captured wife and queen―before she is lost to him forever.
As the threads of fate weave together at last, all must fight, if they are to have a chance at a future. Some bonds will grow even deeper, while others will be severed forever in the explosive final chapter of the Throne of Glass series. 
THIS IS A SPOILER-FREE REVIEW OF KINGDOM OF ASH

I started reading the Throne of Glass series almost three years ago. It might not seem like a long time, but I’ve grown up with each and every character in this book. I graduated high school while I read Heir of Fire, I said goodbye to my best friends as we split up for college while I was reading Queen of Shadows and I’m looking towards my last semester of college, and everything unknown, untried and untested that comes after as I finish Kingdom of Ash. I’ve grown with this series, and I’m both elated and sad that I’ve reached the end.

There were a lot of hopes I had for this book, and also a lot of wariness because I did NOT enjoy Sarah J Maas’ last finale, A Court of Wings and Ruin and basically reading Kingdom of Ash was an emotional and nerve-wracking, anxiety inducing experience because I JUST WANTED IT TO BE A GOOD BOOK, OKAY?

MY THOUGHTS:

1.       I TRIED not comparing Kingdom of Ash to A Court of Wings and Ruin, but IT JUST KEPT HAPPENING INSIDE MY HEAD. I have to say, in terms of the PLOT, this book took the cake. There was something of substance happening any every point, even though the first 200 or so pages could have been cut out and/ or condensed. There were multiple wars, happening across the continent, with different characters and it was INTERESTING, to say the least.

2.       ACOWAR, EVEN DURING THE WAR, WAS A LOVE STORY BETWEEN TWO PEOPLE, BUT KINGDOM OF ASH WAS THE LOVE STORY BETWEEN THE CHARACTERS AND THEIR DREAM OF A BETTER WORLD, AND IT WAS JUST A BETTER BOOK TO READ.

3.       Sarah J Maas’ writing, though, pretty much remained the same. There was a repetition of the same thing with different synonyms when she described an emotion or emotional experience. There were a lot of places where there periods were used that SHOULD HAVE BEEN commas, semi-colons or even hyphens being used and that’s to my UNTRAINED EYE.

4.       So, basically while the writing was mediocre, the PLOT INTRIGUED ME. Add that together with the fact that I’d been WAITING TO FINISH THIS SERIES, I managed to finish this 988-page monster in three days, and even shed a tear or two at a particular Yrene Towers scene and the king of magic she thought during that time.

5.       I WOULD ALSO LIKE TO START A PETITION STATING THAT AEDION ASHRYVER WAS THE REAL HERO OF THIS SERIES AND THAT HE DESERVED SO MUCH MORE THANKS.

Would I recommend this series? Yes! It has a lot of flaws, and it’s definitely not for younger teens, but the plot, twists and character development are absolutely phenomenal! 4 stars.

Sarah J. Maas
Sarah J. Maas is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the Throne of Glass series as well as the A Court of Thorns and Roses series.

Sarah lives in Bucks County, PA, and over the years, she has developed an unhealthy appreciation for Disney movies and bad pop music. She adores fairy tales and ballet, drinks too much tea, and watches an ungodly amount of TV. When she's not busy writing, she can be found exploring the historic and beautiful Pennsylvania countryside with her husband and canine companion.
Have you read the Throne of Glass series? What do you think of it?
Which series do you like better - A Court of Thorns and Roses or Throne of Glass?
I'd absolutely love to hear from you!