[REVIEW] A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini

I haven’t been affected by a book like this for a long time, nor thought about one for this long after finishing it.  This story that spans 30 years between two generations is one of  brutality of women under different regimes in Afghanistan.  Mariam and Laila share their separate stories before they come together to help each other through the darkest part of their lives under the Taliban. This unrelenting story about sacrifice and hope is one that I will hold close forever.

I am so grateful to Khaled Hosseini for giving this insight into a land I know so little about, for within the story giving the cruel history which I can understand a little bit better now.  And he does it in a way that makes my heart ache for the destruction of these cities and lives of these women. His writing is seamless and really manages to somehow put me in a country and culture I’ve been so ignorant of.

This story was hard to read a lot of the time, I’m not going to lie.  Of course, I had heard that Hosseini’s novels were usually depressing, but as time went on, I kept waiting for a turnaround that felt like it would never come.  It was hard to read this novel, but Mariam and Laila gave me strength to keep going, as weird as it sounds.  They brought hope through their bond and the bond of the children that even through the worst of times was enough to keeping waiting for a light at the end of the tunnel. 

Hosseini understands somehow so clearly the extreme fears, and in this case not so extreme, of women.  He showed this through these two characters, and I will respect them forever.  Laila for her outspokenness and her desire for change and Mariam for her sacrifices and endurance of her life.  They are true heroes that I am so, so grateful for.

Khaled Hosseini is quickly becoming one of my favorite authors, and needless to say, I’ll be picking up his other books very soon.

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[REVIEW] I Am The Messenger by Markus Zusak

Markus Zusak’s I Am The Messenger is a truly unique tale of what happens when ordinary Ed Kennedy receives a card with just three addresses which spurs his journey as the messenger to those in need.  It is a touching novel that really makes you see just how connected all our stories are

I was wary going into the book.  I did not want to be disappointed after reading The Book Thief, and while the writing styles were the same, the narrative in this novel was refreshingly different and suited the story.  How Zusak could take all my favorite aspects of his writing but still make it wholly new to suit a different tale is a real testament to how his writing really puts the reader in the setting.

There was so much truth in the characters of Ed and his friends.  They were so believable as new adults struggling with their own way and backgrounds.  Each one was extremely interesting, especially with the way they tied into the story.

My favorite part of this novel was the premise.  It was such an inventive and completely unprecedented one, unlike anything I’ve ever read before.  The way Ed gets sucked into this adventure and completely absorbed by the mystery of it in turn captured my interest, making me want to keep reading.  Even the first scene captures you with its equal parts drama and humor.  It certainly sets the tone for the novel.  Every single story was important to the message as a whole, and I loved every one of them.  Each one had a role, and though seemingly unrelated to each other, came together in the end to make the message. 

The story is witty and poignant and sometimes emotional, and Zusak certainly does not disappoint for my second of his novels.

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