A story of two young boys, forming a friendship filled with unforgettable memories, going through a line of troubles, facing adventures, and valuing a tethered, unbreakable bond towards one another. This is a tale that yearns to be heard by many people out there that tells an array of tragedies, terror, and war happening in Afghanistan in the late 1970s, when the Russians have come to attack that made such difference to the country itself.
This book, though. I honestly don’t even know where to start. I have such mixed feelings about it, I love it, but also at some point sometimes pissed about it being told in such a long format of pages. So with no further ado, let’s jump into what I really think about the whole entire thing down below.
I especially think the descriptions being inserted in this book were so vivid, it was as if reading it would make me literally see and feel everything all at once. From the setting, the atmosphere, and the people who were right there in the picture, which really isn’t a bad thing at all. Unless of course, if you find yourself reading paragraph by paragraph, minding it to have become too distinct for you. I sometimes find it really bothering how Khaled depicted this whole story, adding it with a ton of additional background to it which I find really unnecessary?
Other than it being extremely three-dimensional, I often find the writing of this book to become very insightful. As there were several things that the book mentioned regarding the country of Afghanistan, and its diverse culture being a fine added element to this story being brought out to the table for the readers to see. It showed very much everything there is to know reading an Afghanistan person’s personal life and the issues he were facing, which added so much contrast to the diversity being presented in this novel, and made me understand a lot of which that happened during that period of time in the country of Afghan.
“There are a lot of children in Afghanistan, but little childhood.”
The plot twists were at a very high superior yet complex level where you will have zero clue of what was going to happen on the very next chapter, and that it kept you guessing the whole time reading it. I enjoyed the twists and turns in this story, it really helped me to continue on reading it until finally reaching its very end.
Let’s not even begin with the character developments in this novel, because Khaled had done such a great job of giving each of them a certain ration of growth throughout the course of each phase throughout the story. I was blown away by the fact that the characters developed so well with a very reasonable pace, and at the end was well wrapped up so firmly. Even if I sometimes find the book to be super character based, it still had managed to showcase the things that surrounded the characters for the readers to pick along as well, like the setting of where they were, and the reason why they were being placed in a situation like that in the first place. Everything was well composed to the point where you completely understand what the main idea of this book was while casually reading it.
“And that’s the thing about people who mean everything they say. They think everyone else does too.”
So to wrap this up, I would like to give this book a 4/5 stars for its major diversity element being thrown off throughout the entire story, also for it being a wide eye-opener based off of a real thing that has really happened in real-life history. I have personally learned and absorbed so much after reading this book, and would highly recommend you guys towards picking it up as well if you are especially interested in historical fiction regarding the country Afghanistan, as we do not get a lot of authors writing about it in Y/A, so it’s super refreshing to see such matters being discussed and spread across for readers out there to enjoy through a perspective in literature.
from a writer who’s been reading a little too much lately,
Hey! Always a pleasure to see myself writing here again. Do note that I have been reading this book for an English class I currently am taking in school, and that this review was set to be an assignment to fill up my final oral test grade in my report card. Huge shoutout to Mam Ella for recommending this book to us! It was a very genuine reading experience that should personally stick with me for quite some time c: I hope we’ll get to do more exciting things like this during our next learning semester, you rock! 😉