This book was the introduction to my first book club meeting and it definitely got me thinking and took me away from my usual young adult fiction!

After Sitara witnesses an unimaginable tragedy, her life is turned completely around. I gave this book a four out of five because I really enjoyed Hashimi’s writing. This book is set in Afghanistan and it portrays a country that looks very different than the country we know today. Getting more of a history on Afghanistan was very interesting and eye opening. The beginning was set during a time before the powerful regimes we know today and it was refreshing and a beautiful way to portray a country that is now synonymous with war.

The book is broken up into two sections and the first section felt evenly paced and gives the reader a very in depth background of Sitara’s early childhood. Once the story shifts over to the second section I felt like certain parts were overlooked and not included that should’ve been included and some parts lingered on parts of her life that didn’t feel significant to the story as a whole. Sitara who is later known as Aryana, is put into foster care and that part felt sort of out of place from the rest of the book. It felt rushed and felt like the author was adding it to include more heartbreak to Aryana’s already tragic story.

My rating for this book mainly comes from the pacing and having too much time spent on parts that didn’t seem to fit with the rest of the book. Overall, I think it was a beautifully written story and in parts it felt like an autobiography. Even though aspects of the story were true, it was actually a historical fiction. Aryana’s family and the characters were fictional. The characters felt so real and came to life through Hashimi’s beautiful writing.

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