Books · Reviews

Spoiler-free mini-reviews: Pride, A Very Large Expanse of Sea and A Heart in a Body in the World

Hello friends and fellow book lovers! For this week’s post, I decided that I wanted to do a review. At first, I was going to review only one of these books but since I finished them in basically the same week, I decided to do mini-reviews. If you saw my November TBR, then you’ll know that this was inspired by a Top 5 Tuesday post and honestly, I’m so glad because I enjoyed each of these books.

Similar to my other reviews, I’m going to talk about 2 things I liked and one thing that I think could be improved upon. Of course, I’m not going to talk at length about the books but I just wanted to get that out there.

Without further ado, let’s get into my spoiler-free mini-reviews of Pride by Ibi Zoboi, A Very Large Expanse of Sea by Tahereh Mafi and A Heart in a Body in the World by Deb Caletti. 


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Zuri Benitez has pride. Brooklyn pride, family pride, and pride in her Afro-Latino roots. But pride might not be enough to save her rapidly gentrifying neighborhood from becoming unrecognizable.

When the wealthy Darcy family moves in across the street, Zuri wants nothing to do with their two teenage sons, even as her older sister, Janae, starts to fall for the charming Ainsley. She especially can’t stand the judgmental and arrogant Darius. Yet as Zuri and Darius are forced to find common ground, their initial dislike shifts into an unexpected understanding.

But with four wild sisters pulling her in different directions, cute boy Warren vying for her attention, and college applications hovering on the horizon, Zuri fights to find her place in Bushwick’s changing landscape, or lose it all.

In a timely update of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, critically acclaimed author Ibi Zoboi skillfully balances cultural identity, class, and gentrification against the heady magic of first love in her vibrant reimagining of this beloved classic.

Surprisingly, I didn’t read this one first but I wanted to talk about it first. I first heard about Pride in 2018 but just didn’t have to will pick it up until I saw my old post. I saw that my library had it available without a wait so I figured what better time than now?

For 2 things I liked, I really enjoyed Zoboi’s take on Jane Austen’s story because it was a lot more modern and featured a lot more diversity than the original story. I also enjoyed how quick of a read it was and I think part of that was due to Zoboi’s writing style. If anything, it makes me more inclined to pick up her books.

As for the 1 thing I didn’t like, I think that the book could have been a bit longer and the story would be better developed. I guess I thought that the book as a whole could use a bit more substance. Regardless, it was still a good read and I would recommend if you’re looking for a different take on Pride and Prejudice4/5 stars. 

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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.

Before I get into my review of this one, I wanted to say that I’ve never read anything by Tahereh Mafi so I didn’t have any preconceived notions about this book. With that being said, I’m glad that this was my first taste of her books and that I started out with this one versus her Shatter Me series.

For 2 things I enjoyed, I really loved Shirin as a character. I thought she was relatable and was someone I actively rooted for. She was likable but yet didn’t have a problem, standing her ground. Additionally, I loved the romance she has with Ocean and although it played out differently than I thought, it was still sweet.

As for what could be improved upon, I think this book also suffered from being entirely too short. Maybe I’m just used to reading longer books or reading more romance-heavy books but this book felt like it needed a few more chapters. I would have loved Shirin’s character explored in more depth, her relationship with her family and with Ocean. It was another good read for me, though. 4/5 stars.

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Then…Annabelle’s life wasn’t perfect, but it was full—full of friends, family, love. And a boy…whose attention Anabelle found flattering and unsettling all at once. Until that attention intensified.

Now…Annabelle is running. Running from the pain and the tragedy from the past year. With only Grandpa Ed and the journal she fills with words she can’t speak out loud, Anabelle runs from Seattle to Washington, DC, and toward a destination, she doesn’t understand but is determined to reach. With every beat of her heart, every stride of her feet, Anabelle steps closer to healing—and the strength she discovers within herself to let love and hope back into her life.

Annabelle’s journey is the ultimate testament to the human heart, and how it goes on after being broken.

The last book I read is probably the most underrated book of them all. I heard a few booktubers talk about it but it mostly flew under the radar. However, I was eager to pick it up and wow, did this book blow me away.

For the 2 things I liked, I really loved the plot of this novel as it followed Annabelle on her journey as she’s running from Seattle to Washington D.C. The plot of this was unlike anything I’ve ever read before and it was a unique experience in that regard. I also enjoyed watching Annabelle’s character development throughout the novel. Watching how she deals with things and watching how this experience shapes her was just unfathomable.

As for the thing that can be improved upon, I didn’t love the writing style of this. I’ve never read anything by Deb Caletti so I didn’t want to expect. For some reason, I just didn’t mesh with her writing style and it sort of hindered my reading experience. I only wish that it would have flowed more smoothly and thus been a quicker read.

Regardless, I thought A Heart in A Body in the World was an incredibly powerful read and one that I honestly don’t know I would’ve picked up on my own. 4.5/5 stars


Those are my mini-reviews of PrideA Very Large Expanse of Sea and A Heart in A Body in the World. I’m happy to say that I enjoyed all of them even though none of them were 5-stars reads. Either way, it was nice to finally get these off my conscience, I guess 😛

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3 thoughts on “Spoiler-free mini-reviews: Pride, A Very Large Expanse of Sea and A Heart in a Body in the World

  1. AHHHH!! Pride! I SAW IT YESTERDAY ON AMAZON! Its proudly sitting in my cart now! ❤️🤣🤣 I didnt buy it right away hecause I wanted to read a couple of reviews first and DAMNNN!! I AM SOOO GLAD THAT YOURS IS THE FIRST ONE I READ BECAUSE NOW I AM IMPATIENT TO READ THIS ONE ASAPPP!!!! 😍😍😍😍😍

    And A Heart in the Body of a World?!? ARE YOU KIDDING ME WITH THAT TITLE?!? WHO CAN RESIST IT?!?! 😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍 Add to it the fact that the cover is absolutely fucking GORGEOUS!!! 😍😍😍

    AHHHH!! I LOVED THIS POST SO SOOOOO VERYYYY MUCHHHH Rebeccaa!! SOO MUCHHH!! 😍😍😍😍

    Liked by 1 person

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