Review: A Very Large Expanse of Sea


Title: A Very Large Expanse of Sea
Author: Tahereh Mafi
Genre: Young Adult
Publisher: HarperTeen
Source: Publisher
Release Date: October 16, 2018
Rating: ★★★★


Goodreads Synopsis:

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.


I liked this story.

I thought that 9/11 would play a bigger role in the story. The terrorist attack set the scene for the racism that Shirin experienced, but it wasn’t really part of the story.

I liked that being Muslim wasn’t the only part of Shirin that was prominent in the story. Though people around her only saw her hijab when they looked at her, she was just like any girl. She liked music and she fell in love. She fought with her brother and didn’t agree with her parents. These aspects of her personality are universal, and didn’t have anything to do with her being Muslim.

I loved the romance in the story. It was slow and apprehensive, but it was real. However, I didn’t like the ending. It was abrupt and it wasn’t what I was expecting at all. I still liked the rest of the story.

What to read next:

  • Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi


  • When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon


Have you read A Very Large Expanse of Sea? What did you think of it?

TBR Thursday – October 18

TBR Thursday is a weekly meme hosted by Kimberly Faye Reads, where you post a title from your shelf or e-reader and find out what others think about it.

My pick this week is P.S. I Still Love You (To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before #2) by Jenny Han.



Goodreads Synopsis:

Lara Jean didn’t expect to really fall for Peter.
She and Peter were just pretending. Except suddenly they weren’t. Now Lara Jean is more confused than ever.
When another boy from her past returns to her life, Lara Jean’s feelings for him return too. Can a girl be in love with two boys at once?

In this charming and heartfelt sequel to the New York Timesbestseller To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before, we see first love through the eyes of the unforgettable Lara Jean. Love is never easy, but maybe that’s part of what makes it so amazing.

Have you read this book? What did you think of it?

Review: The Demon of River Heights (Nancy Drew: Girl Detective Graphic Novels #1)


Title: The Demon of River Heights (Nancy Drew: Girl Detective Graphic Novels #1)
Author: Stefan Petrucha
Genre: Young Adult, Graphic Novel
Publisher: HarperTeen
Source: Library
Release Date: April 1, 2005
Rating: ★★★★


Goodreads Synopsis:

Everyone’s favorite girl detective makes her dazzling graphic novel debut!
An all-new series of full-color Nancy Drew graphic novels, with all-new comics stories based on the series by Carolyn Keene, starts right here!  Join Nancy, along with Bess and George, as they search for missing student filmmakers and discover the deadly secret behind the local urban legend known as “The Demon of River Heights.”  Ages 8 to 12.


I’ve always loved Nancy Drew. I have my mom’s copies of the books from when she was a kid, and I still play the games. I was excited to read this graphic novel!

It was a pretty good story. I read some bad reviews of this book before I read it, so I didn’t expect much. However, I enjoyed the story. The characters were very familiar. Bess, George, and Nancy had to solve a mystery together. Meanwhile, Deirdre Shannon was getting in the way. The only character I didn’t see was Ned, and I hope to see him in later comics.

The graphics weren’t the best. They were flat and one dimensional most of the time. Later in the story, some panels had more depth. The background was blurry so the people in the forefront stood out more. That made it look three dimensional.

I enjoyed this book, and I look forward to reading the next one.

What to read next:

  • Writ in Stone (Nancy Drew: Girl Detective Graphic Novels #2) by Stefan Petrucha


  • Sleepover Sleuth (Nancy Drew and the Clue Crew #1) by Carolyn Keene


Have you read The Demon of River Heights? What did you think of it?


‘Waiting on’ Wednesday – October 17

This is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine. In this post we highlight a book that’s highly anticipated.

The book that I’m waiting on this Wednesday is Archenemies (Renegades #2) by Marissa Meyer.


Goodreads Synopsis:

The Renegades Trilogy continues, in this fiercely awaited second installment after the New York Times-bestselling Renegades by Marissa Meyer, author of the Lunar Chronicles.

Time is running out.
Together, they can save the world.
But they each other’s worst nightmare.

In Renegades, Nova and Adrian (aka Insomnia and Sketch) fought the battle of their lives against the Anarchist known as the Detonator. It was a short-lived victory.

The Anarchists still have a secret weapon, one that Nova believes will protect her. The Renegades also have a strategy for overpowering the Anarchists, but both Nova and Adrian understand that it could mean the end of Gatlon City – and the world – as they know it.

What books are you waiting on this week?

Review: Doctor Who: Sick Building


Title: Doctor Who: Sick Building
Author: Paul Magrs
Genre: Science Fiction
Publisher: BBC Books
Source: Library
Release Date: September 6, 2007
Rating: ★★★★


Goodreads Synopsis:

Tiermann’s World: a planet covered in wintry woods and roamed by sabre-toothed tigers and other savage beasts. The Doctor is here to warn Professor Tiermann, his wife and their son that a terrible danger is on its way. The Tiermanns live in luxury, in a fantastic, futuristic, fully-automated Dreamhome, under an impenetrable force shield. But that won’t protect them from the Voracious Craw. A gigantic and extremely hungry alien creature is heading remorselessly towards their home. When it gets there everything will be devoured. Can they get away in time? With the force shield cracking up, and the Dreamhome itself deciding who should or should not leave, things are looking desperate…


This is my first review of an audiobook! I have listened to a few audiobooks in the past when I had a long commute to school, but now I don’t have a commute so I haven’t been listening to them. I found these Doctor Who audiobooks on my library app, and they are nice and short, so I will be listening to and reviewing them!

The narrator was Will Thorp, and he was amazing! He did different voices for all of the different characters. His voice for the Doctor sounded exactly like David Tenant, who plays the Tenth Doctor in this book. I will definitely be looking for more books narrated by him.

I also liked how short this audiobook was. It was only 2 hours long, so I was able to listen to it two days, while I was driving around and doing errands. Sometimes, I lose interest and get distracted when audiobooks are too long. This story was short and succinct.

I loved this book! I’m looking forward to listening to more Doctor Who audiobooks.

What to read next:

  • Doctor Who: Wetworld by Mark Michalowski


  • Doctor Who: Wooden Heart by Martin Day


Have you read Doctor Who: Sick Building? What did you think of it?


Top Ten Tuesday – Bookstores/Libraries I’ve Visited

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme created by The Broke and the Bookish and it is now hosted by The Artsy Reader Girl. This week’s theme is Bookstores/Libraries I’ve Always Wanted to Visit, but I thought it would be easier to list the ones that I have visited. Here’s my list:

1. Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library (Toronto)


2. Toronto Reference Library (Toronto)


3. Indigo (Toronto)


4. Barnes and Noble (Buffalo)


5. British Library (London)


6. Waterstones (London)


7. Foyles (London)

new Waterloo.jpg

8. Book City (Toronto)


9. Ben McNally Books (Toronto)


10. Type Books (Toronto)



(All photos taken from Google)

Blog Tour Review: The Flight of Swans


Title: The Flight of Swans
Author: Sarah McGuire
Genre: Middle Grade, Fantasy
Publisher: Carolrhoda Books
Source: Thomas Allen & Son (book distributor)
Release Date:October 1, 2018
Rating: ★★★★


Goodreads Synopsis:

Based on the Brothers Grimm’s fairy tale Six Swans, The Flight of Swans follows Ryn’s journey to save her family and their kingdom.

Princess Andaryn’s six older brothers have always been her protectors–until her father takes a new Queen, a frightening, mysterious woman who enchants the men in the royal family. When Ryn’s attempt to break the enchantment fails, she makes a bitter bargain: the Queen will spare her brothers’ lives if Ryn remains silent for six years.

Ryn thinks she freed her brothers, but she never thought the Queen would turn her brothers into swans. She never thought she’d have to discover the secret to undoing the Queen’s spell while eluding the Otherworldly forces that hunt her. And she never thought she’d have to do it alone, without speaking a single word.

As months as years go by, Ryn learns there is more to courage than speech . . . and that she is stronger than the Queen could have ever imagined.


This is a great fairy tale story.

At first, I thought it was going to be a Snow White story because I’m not familiar with the Grimm tale called Six Swans. It started out like Snow White, because Ryn’s father married a woman who turned out to be an evil witch. I was immediately sympathetic toward Ryn’s situation. The way that her dad suddenly ignored her was so sad.

The story progressed slowly, but it became exciting toward the end. There was a lot of time spent alone in the woods, which was monotonous and slow. However, the story picked up with a change of scenery.

I really enjoyed this story. It’s a great fairytale.

What to read next:

  • Valiant by Sarah McGuire

  • Grounded: The Adventures of Rapunzel by Megan Morrison

About the Author:

Sarah McGuire is a nomadic math teacher who sailed around the world aboard a floating college campus. She writes fairy tale retellings and still hopes that one day she’ll open a wardrobe and stumble into another world. Coffee and chocolate are her rocket fuel. She wishes Florida had mountains, but she lives there anyway with her husband (who wrote this bio in less than three minutes!) and their family.

Follow Sarah:

Twitter  @fireplusalgebra (

The Flight of the Swans_Blog Tour Banner.jpg

Thank you to Thomas Allen & Son for letting me participate in this blog tour.