Reviews

The Kite Runner, by Khaled Hosseini

goodreadswithamila's review against another edition

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5.0

"For you, a thousand times over"

I have owned this book for nearly 10 years and I could not get myself to pick it up. I am disappointed in myself that it took 10 years of owning this book to read it. This book has tons of trigger warnings such as: extreme cruelty and violence, rape, murder, alcohol/drug use, and suicide attempt. This book made me feel all sorts of emotions, it was literally like a rollercoaster of emotions. But I feel like there is such a great message in it all. Tell the ones you love that you love them, and always be kind because you never know someones story. I don’t think any other book has made me cry as much as this one- this one takes the cake.

There is something I want to add that I normally do not in my reviews, and I’m only writing it because I saw it on a Goodreads review and truly it rubbed me the wrong way. A critic on Goodreads found the use of Farsi distracting, claiming that “no one speaks the way his characters speak” and going on to talk about that people don’t use half of one language with half of the other. As a Bosnian-American who is fluent in both Bosnian and English I can attest to the fact that yes, foreign speakers do in fact switch between languages in sentences, sometimes without even realizing. I do this often. This critic gave this book a 1 star rating (to each their own) but it was because they could not simply understand what it is to speak another language, to be a foreigner basically in both your birth country and the country you live in, and to have a hard time calling either country “home”. It’s the privilege that prevents people from actually understanding and enjoying this book. Yes, this is fictional but it does shed light into the atrocities that happen in Afghanistan that MANY other countries can relate to. I highly recommend everyone give this book an actual chance.

krida's review against another edition

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dark sad tense medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? It's complicated

4.0

For you a thousand times over. 

Khaled writes in a similar style present in his work. After having read 2 of his previous novels, I became acquainted with his pattern in writing. There are certain elements and emotions present in his writing that make you accustomed to what happens next. Always with Khaled it ends on a bittersweet note. Even when you've grown accustomed to his patterns it doesn't take away from the story. I enjoyed this thoroughly. However, I feel like this isn't the best (among the 3 I've read).

amber_lea84's review against another edition

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2.0

This is another one I'm reading because I bought a copy like 15 years ago and never read it.

This is a story about a boy named Amir betraying his extremely loyal best friend (Hassan) for his father's attention, and then doubling down and ruining Hassan's life during Hassan's darkest moment because he can't face what happened. Then feeling kind of bad about it his whole life, and very reluctantly doing the right thing decades later to kind of make up for it.

I have zero sympathy for the protagonist. I feel like he feels sorrier for himself than he does for Hassan. What he did is the worst thing you could do to someone you care about. He seems far more focused on how hard it's been for him having to live with the burden of what a shitty friend he is, than he is on how hard it's all been for Hassan. I'm so mad that at some point someone tells Amir he's been too hard on himself because it's like, HAS HE? To me he seems significantly less sorry than he should be.

I'm guessing that there's perhaps a heavy use of metaphor here (like is Hassan all that's good in Afghanistan and Assef all that's evil and is Amir supposed to be all the people who didn't stand up to the Taliban or were too young to do something? Maybe not exactly that, but I think you know what I'm saying) and maybe I'm taking things too much at face value, but ugh.

I feel like whatever this story was going for, it could have been done better. And all the attempts to pull on my heartstrings felt cheap. Like OF COURSE I felt bad for Hassan. He's a perfect victim. OF COURSE I hate Assef. He's literally a Hitler fanboy. OF COURSE I'm horrified by child rape because it's one of the worst things there is. And if I'm meant to feel bad for Amir or feel that he redeemed himself, fuck that.

theheartisayolk's review against another edition

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emotional sad medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

4.0

erinecarroll's review against another edition

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5.0

This novel was so powerful and thought provoking. It makes you think about everything we have here in America and not to take anything for granted.

Spoiler This novel was so well written that it almost seemed like a memoir. The author was so in touch with his characters, at times I really thought that it was nonfiction and that the author was Amir. The novel was so heart wrenching and really made me think. Here we are in America with all our fancy things and we don't have to worry about the things that Afghan children had to worry about or still worry about. It broke my heart how at the end of the book Sohrab was so afraid of going back to an orphanage and that the people there would hurt him that he would rather take his own life. There is a quote near the end of the book that says "There are a lot of children in Afghanistan, but little childhood." That part made me so sad thinking that innocent children are being subjected to things like sexual abuse and poverty. The part in the book where Amir describes Taliban ruled Afghanistan as a place that stones adulterers, rapes children, flogging women for wearing high heels, and massacring Hazaras made me sick to think that people really witnessed this on a day to day basis. Hosseini made me feel so connected to the characters that when Hassan was raped or when Baba, Ali, and Hassan died it made me feel like they were my family or like I knew them and their tragedy or deaths made it feel so real for me. I think that Hosseini did an amazing job with this book and really shows America or other privileged countries what goes on in the world.

daniellaare's review against another edition

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emotional sad

3.5

maria_valentine's review against another edition

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emotional sad tense medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? It's complicated
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

5.0

pitrakl's review against another edition

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4.0

I love how Hosseini creates characters that I connect with almost instantly, even if I have very little in common with them. At the same time, through the fiction you are able to learn about culture and history. I really enjoyed reading this book, although I did prefer A Thousand Splendid Suns. I found myself able to sympathize with the characters in that book a little bit more, and because they stayed in Afghanistan during the turmoil, it was also more insightful into the history.

sjade704's review against another edition

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4.0

This book is so good one of my favorite books. It starts out just a little slow but keep reading it truly is an amazing story.