The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini
Genre: Dramatic/Realistic Fiction
Quote from the back: "'This powerful first novel...tells a story of fierce cruelty and fierce yet redeeming love. Both transform the life of Amir; Khaled Hosseini's privileged young narrator, who comes of age during the last peaceful days of the monarchy, just before his country's revolution and its invasion by Russian forces. But political events, even as dramatic as the ones that are presented in The Kite Runner, are only a part of this story. In The Kite Runner, Khaled Hosseini gives us a vivid and engaging story that reminds us how long his people have been struggling to triumph over the forces of violence-forces that continue to threaten them even today.'"
This was a beautifully written book and I was in tears several times throughout it. It was definitely not a 'light' read; there is a lot of violence and tragedy. But there is deep love and forgiveness and it opened up my eyes to the suffering people had to face during the rule of the Taliban in Afghanistan, how important love is between right and wrong, and that people's actions can affect their children.
I was frustrated with the main character, Amir, a lot in this novel, but he grows and changes at the end, which I believe is similar to real life, for no one's perfect. Other than that, the characters were mostly like able and I really loved learning about the Afghanistan culture. There are also many great motifs and lovely symbols throughout the novel (look at the title, hint, hint). I liked A Thousand Splendid Suns better, but I still loved this book and give it a 4 out of 5. I would recommend it for older high-school students and up.
What I learned: What a kite runner is, how dramatically life changed during the Taliban's rule in Afghanistan, especially in Kabul, and what a Hazara is.