A Very Large Expanse of Sea
It's 2002, a year after 9/11, and Shirin has just started at yet another new high school. It's an extremely turbulent time politically, but especially so for 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. Shirin 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 her. It terrifies her -they seem to come from two irreconcilable worlds - and Shirin has had her guard up against the world for so long that she's not sure she'll ever be able to let it down.