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Review: The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini

in a sentence: An emotional roller coaster though one mans betrayal of a remarkable friendship, and his struggle of making it right again.

Hassan and Amir are two childhood friends in 1960s Afghanistan. While it is clear that they share a certain bond, the depth of that bond runs deeper than either realizes. Amir is a bit of a brat, and often finds ways to "test" Hassan's loyalty...only to be flooded with guilt afterwards. If only Amir had been as loyal and loving when the neighborhood bully had his hands on Hassan...

I was initially wary with the length of this novel, but found that I couldn't put it down once I started! The historical elements of Afghanistan, the cultural snippits, and the social inequalities are all handled in a very conversational way. And of course, the story - oh man. Tearjerking loyalty, unspeakable foes, vying for the love of his Baba, secrets, lies...whew! While Amir moves on with his life, it is clear that he is always thinking of Hassan, just below the surface.

This read like a memoir, and felt like I was watching a movie. It was so vividly visual without making it seem so, and the characters and emotions - while raw - are incredibly (and sometimes shamefully) easy to relate to. This had all the elements of a good solid drama, with the intense emotion of a memoir - I loved it.

Favorite Quote: "For you, a thousand times over" - could that BE more tearjerking?

Fix Er Up: how nothing went untainted for Amir (the marriage, only to have no children of his own) ... a little over the top for me, or maybe I was just hoping for something untainted to happen at some point in his life.

Title: The Kite Runner
Author: Khaled Hosseini
Genre: Drama, Historical Fiction, Friendship

Review: Mr. Darcy's Diary by Amanda Grange

In a sentence: A creative peek into that surface-surly Mr. Darcy's mind from Jane Austen's novel, Pride and Prejudice.

As a "P&P" fan, I loved this. I thought the creativity that Grange used with what he was thinking during the tale was interesting and true to what was most likely in Jane Austen's mind while writing the novel. Without being mushy-gushy, there is definitely an undertone of a romantic in this man, and it comes through in his diary. You don't necessarily have need to read P&P to get the gist of the happenings...but it would help. We find out more about Georgiana his sister, that despicable Wickham, and that woman you love to hate - Caroline Bingley.

While the style of writing wasn't necessarily the same as Austen's, it was ok. This was a fun read, and an interesting take on the events in P&P. The diary format is fun, and makes it a quick read as well. A borderline romance and historical fiction make for a quaint and worthwhile read - nothing outstanding here, but enjoyable none the less.

Favorite Quote: (when Elizabeth prompts for how Mr. Darcy fell in love with her) "I cannot fix on the hour, or the spot, or the look, or the words, which laid the foundation. It is too long ago. I was in the middle before I knew I had begun." (290) sighhh

Fix 'Er Up: if this had been written in a more "Austenian" style.

Title: Mr. Darcy's Diary
Author: Amanda Grange
Genre: Historical Fiction, Romance