Hi friends! I hope you’ve all been well. It has been a while since I talked about a couple books I’ve read all at once and today, I thought I’d just do that with two books I’ve read recently and really, really enjoyed.
These books also arrived to my endless TBR thanks to some of my bloggers’ friends recommendations and I can’t thank them enough. Book bloggers have the best recommendations.
📝 Related blog post: 10 books bloggers made me read.
A Very Large Expanse of Sea, Tahereh Mafi
I love the Shatter Me series by this author so, so much and was eager to discover what she could do in the contemporary genre and…I wasn’t disappointed.
The biggest thanks to my friend Kat for her warm recommendation!
I ENJOYED... ❤️
- A Very Large Expanse of Sea was not an easy read, at all and yet, that’s one of the things I appreciated the most about it, somehow. It doesn’t shy away from showing us the casual racism, bullying, micro-aggressions happening to Shirin every single day and for that, I think that this book is such an important, necessary read, too.
- I immediately cared for Shirin, found myself hurting for her, wanting her to be okay. She was such an endearing main character.
- The romance had my heart just as well and, despite its pushs and pulls, its moments of frustration and times where I just wanted the characters to get together, I also found Shirin’s hesitations and the slow development of the relationship believable, from meeting to slowly, gradually falling in love, this made my soft marshmallow heart happy and melting overall okay.
- I loved the family! I loved how protective Navid, Shirin’s brother, was and how adorable, too. I also had such a great time with the rest of Shirin’s family, her parents were so so endearing.
- It was such a quick, engrossing read and, even if it felt so different from Tahereh’s poetic writing in her Shatter Me series, it still was really good and heartbreaking to read, too. It felt so personal.
I HAD A HARD TIME WITH…💔
- I’m a marshmallow and if everything was realistic, I somehow expected a little more from that ending, or something a little more concrete?
Such an important and such a good young adult contemporary, definitely recommending it if you’re looking for a powerful, yet soft book just as well. I loved it.
Final rating: 4 drops!
Trigger warnings: racism, bullying, islamophobia, xenophobia, violence, mention of a dead animal.
Diversity: Muslim cast of main characters, Iranian-American main characters, Lebanese character (Yusef), Bisexual side-character (Bijan), Indian side-character (Amna). Dyslexic main character (Navid). The main character wears the hijab.
Foolish Hearts, Emma Mills
I have been meaning to read Emma Mills’ books for a long time now and, I’m so glad I got into them, because I’ve been LOVING THEM a whole lot. Foolish Hearts is, I think, so far, my favorite.
The biggest thanks to everyone talking about Emma Mills (really), I’m just sad I can’t recall all of you.
I ENJOYED... ❤️
- THE FRIENDSHIPS! Emma Mills is officially one of the queens of friendships in YA books okay. I’m not making the rules.
- I just loved the friendship between Iris and Claudia, an unexpected friendship that developed over the course of the book and ughhhhhhhhh this was easily my favorite part of it all OKAY. They’re bonding over a boysband and if that didn’t speak to my heart then I don’t know what will ever. I adored this okay I could make this whole bullet-point review about them.
- Oh also the friendship is at the HEART of the book, before the romance so POINTS FOR THAT.
- Okay I’ll mention something else, so I can talk about the romance. Slow-burning and developing from friends to more, it was freaking adorable and I rooted for them and Gideon was just one soft and adorable, caring and one of the greatest love interests.
- Claudia really spoke to teenager-me. Not so popular at all, feeling not-so-interesting at all, just plain Regular Claudia. I don’t know, but I could feel myself really relating to her and I loved that about it, too.
- I couldn’t stop smiling while reading this book. I’m all for books giving me all the happy feels and this one will DEFINITELY make it on a potential upcoming list.
- The family vibes in this! Claudia’s parents were present (YAY!) and I loved seeing her relationship with her much older sister, soon-to-be-mom as they met on an online role-playing game and played together too. I loved this.
I HAD A HARD TIME WITH...💔
- I…. I honestly am having a hard time pinpointing what went really wrong in this book, because thing is… nothing did. I had a really, really fun time reading Foolish Hearts, yet somehow it didn’t quite hit the “wow” factor for me to rate it higher?
This was a sweet, soft, adorable contemporary that had me smiling from page one and, friends, I love these kind of books.
Final rating: 4 drops!
Trigger warnings: panic attacks.
Diversity: there is a f/f relationship between two side-characters.
Did you read any of these books? Did you enjoy them, or do you want to read them?
What are some YA contemporaries you’ve read and enjoyed lately? Let me know in comments!