The Kite Runner
by Khaled Hosseini
Release date (UK): September 5th 2011
Summary: 1970's Afghanistan: Twelve-year-old Amir is desperate to win the local kite-fighting tournament and his loyal friend Hassan promises to help him. But neither of the boys can foresee what will happen to Hassan that afternoon, an event that is to shatter their lives. After the Russians invade and the family is forced to flee to America, Amir realises that one day he must return to an Afghanistan under Taliban rule to find one thing his new world cannot grant him: redemption.I'm not the biggest fan of graphic novels, usually I find them too vague and seeing as I'm a bookworm, I like it when the story is told in detail...but this one? It was amazing.
Since its publication in 2003, nearly 7 million readers have discovered The Kite Runner. Through Khaled Hosseini's brilliant writing, a previously unknown part of the world was brought to vivid life for readers. Now, in this beautifully illustrated graphic novel adaptation, Hosseini brings his compelling story to a new generation of readers.
I've heard a lot of people mention The Kite Runner before but I never read it, I'm not quite sure why but I wish I had read it sooner because the story is really one of the most heartbreaking stories I've ever read. After reading the graphic novel, I watched the movie (also awesome) and ordered the actual novel, as well as Khaled Hosseini's other book, A Thousand Splendid Suns, because if it has even half the heart that The Kite Runner does then it's a book worth reading.
The story made me cry a whole bunch of times and I want to go into detail about that but it would spoil the plot and I don't want to do that, so I'll just say this: it definitely makes the top ten books that can make me cry list...it was shocking and painful and the ending was perfect, just the right amount of sad and happy and it felt so real.
The characters were what made the story brilliant (and one thing I do love about graphic novels is that we are shown the characters - what they look like, their expressions, little snapshots of their story). Hassan is one of my favourite fictional characters ever, probably, he was such a genuinely good person and he suffered so much but he was fiercely loyal and had such a good heart - my heart broke for him like a hundred times over while reading the story. The other characters were great too, but he was my favourite.
One of the brilliant things about this book is that the love in the story isn't really romantic love and most of my favourite books have romance in them...for this one to make my favourites list without that, it's quite an achievement. It's about friendship and family and it's told beautifully and painfully. And that's all I can think to say about the story. I really recommend reading it (the book or the graphic novel - I intend to read both, the graphic novel made me want to read the full novel).