I've read many incredible books in my lifetime. Many have left a lasting impression on me, some are just very satisfying reads, but only a chosen few are books I would consider "life-altering."
The Kite Runner is one of those books.
I went into this reading experience expecting to be bored to tears. I didn't know anything about the plot of The Kite Runner, but I did know- in all honesty- it was about a time and part of the world I have never read about before. This wasn't intentional, I had just never picked it up to read.
So when I finally did pick it up, I was hesitant to delve into it. I'm not an adventurous person when it comes to literature, and I'm always hesitant to try new plot lines and genres... But, boy am I glad I decided to venture outside of my reading comfort zone.
Amir is a privileged youth growing up in 1970s Kabul, Afghanistan. Hassan is Amir's polar opposite. He grew up poor, unprivileged, uneducated, and a Shi'a, as opposed to Amir, who is a Sunni. Despite their differences, they were born a year apart, grew up together, live on the same land, and are best friends.
All is well in Afghanistan, until there are signs of the blossoming of the Soviet-Afghan war.
In The Kite Runner, we follow Amir's life through war, poverty, escapism, love, loss, friendship, and ultimate sacrifices.
Sometimes when you read a book that is so well-talked about, you hesitate to read it, thinking in the end you'll be disappointed. I can't say that's exactly how I felt with The Kite Runner. I'm not even sure if I had any pre-conceived notions before actually going into this book, but I will tell you that there is a reason why this book is so talked about. It's a New York Times, international, award-winning bestseller for a very good reason. This book is exceptional. Mind-blowing. Beautiful. Melancholy. Frightening. Intimidating. The Kite Runner should be the bar aspiring authors devote their lives to reaching.
Khaled Hosseini paints such a powerful picture with The Kite Runner. He shows us the beauty of life growing up in Afghanistan, as well as the twisted dystopian truth that comes with growing up in a time of war.
In fact, typing about this stunning book is much easier than actually explaining why I love it so much, in person. When I try to speak about it, my throat closes up and tears fill my eyes.
I understand that this book does not appeal to everyone, and that's okay. Different books appeal to different people. But when fellow readers, or new readers ask me about some of the best books I've ever read, I will jump at the chance to suggest Khaled Hosseini's The Kite Runner.