BOOK REVIEW: And The Mountains Echoed – by Khaled Hosseini

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Title: And The Mountains Echoed
Author: Khaled Hosseini
Genre: Historical Fiction, Contemporary
First published: May 21st 2013
Finished reading: October 16th 2015
Pages: 421
Rating 3qqq

“It’s a funny thing… but people mostly have it backward. They think they live by what they want. But really, what guides them is what they’re afraid of. What they don’t want.”

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And The Mountains Echoed has been on my TBR pile longer than any other book. I loved Khaled Hosseini‘s other books A Thousand Splendid Suns and The Kite Runner, so I’m still not sure why it took me this long to finally pick this one up… But what I can say is that I didn’t enjoy And The Mountains Echoed as much as the other two titles. I felt there were simply too many different storylines and settings for it to form something cohesive, and I actually had difficulties keeping track of the different characters at points. The general idea of following a family that has been separated over time is really interesting. I enjoyed the descriptions of the different locations and cultures that are involved in the story and Khaled Hosseini is able to describe the human relationships perfectly as always. Still, like I said before, seen as a whole it almost felt like an information and character overload. Leaving out the whole storyline set in Greece would probably have helped keeping the overall story a bit more simple… Something that probably would have made me enjoy this read a whole lot better. Still, it’s an interesting enough read to recommend if you enjoy the genre.

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Back in 1952 Abdullah and his sister Pari live with their father and stepmother in a small village in Afghanistan. Their father is constantly struggling to find work to provide for his family, and one day he sees no other option than sell one of his children. Abdullah will do anything for his little sister and is almost like a father to her. When they cross the desert together with their father to Kabul, they don’t know they are about to be separated from each other… Something that will mark Abdullah for the rest of his life and will affect little Pari in ways she will only understand when she is older. Their lives have been torn apart; will they be able to find each other again one day? Where in the world will life take them, and how will their choices affect their future?

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And The Mountains Echoed is by no means a bad read and actually quite interesting and well written. Still, I cannot forget that I was feeling disappointed by this read. I have loved Khaled Hosseini‘s other books and this one simply isn’t up to the same standard. It’s good, with interesting prose and characters, but the book as a whole felt a bit chaotic and I think it would have been better to leave out part of the characters (the Greek storyline for example). If you like the genre, you will probably enjoy this read; just don’t make the same mistake that I did and compare And The Mountains Echoed to his other books…

WWW Wednesdays #61 – October 21st

wwwwednesdaysWWW WEDNESDAYS is hosted by Sam at Taking On A World Of Words and is all about answering the three questions below.

  • WHAT ARE YOU CURRENTLY READING?

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I am currently reading two titles I have been wanting to start for a while now: The Murder Complex by Lindsay Cummings and Outlander by Diana Gabaldon. The first is a really fast and entertaining read so far, so I will most likely finish it first and then continue with Outlander. I’m not too far into that one yet, but so far things are looking promising!

  • WHAT DID YOU RECENTLY FINISH READING?

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Four finished books this weeks, which is not bad at all considering I didn’t have that much time to read.
* The first is The Girl Of Fire And Thorns by Rae Carson; a title I picked up because I was in the mood for a good fantasy read. I really enjoyed this one!
* I then finally finished And The Mountains Echoed by Khaled Hosseini, completing my two TBR challenges. Yay! I didn’t enjoy this one as much as his other work though…
* Next up is Anna Dressed In Blood by Kendare Blake, which I LOVED! It’s such a creepy and perfect Halloween read! I’m going to read the sequel ASAP.
* The last one is On The Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta, a read that starts out really confusing and I’m still not completely sure what to think of it.

  • WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU’LL READ NEXT?

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The first book I will pick up when I finish The Murder Complex will be my only pending ARC Ochoco Reach by Jim Stewart. After that, I will probably try to finally read The Infinite Sea by Rick Yancey… Although I might give in and start yet another series first with Bad Girls Don’t Die by Katie Alender since I’m trying to read a bunch of creepy books for Halloween. The last one, The Valentine Circle by Reinaldo DelValle, is still my latest TBR jar pick I will most likely put on hold until I’ve finished most books on my October TBR.

WWW Wednesdays #60 – October 14th

wwwwednesdaysWWW WEDNESDAYS is hosted by Sam at Taking On A World Of Words and is all about answering the three questions below.

  • WHAT ARE YOU CURRENTLY READING?

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I finally did it: I started reading the book that has been on my TBR pile the longest! And The Mountains Echoed is just as good as Khaled Hosseini‘s other books so far, so I’m still not sure why it took me this long to finally pick it up. I’ve also started reading On The Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta… I’m not that far into the story yet, but it is yet another title I have been wanting to read for a while now.

  • WHAT DID YOU RECENTLY FINISH READING?

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I managed to finish no less than six titles since last week, so I’m pretty much a happy camper. Most of them were on my original October TBR so it looks like I might actually complete the list!
* Somehow I have never read a graphic novel before, but Through The Woods by Emily Carroll was hauntingly beautiful and the perfect introduction to the genre.
* My next read was The Time Keeper by Mitch Albom, a truly inspirational read about how we have become obsessed with time over the centuries.
* I then read Firebolt by Adrienne Woods, an ARC and fantasy story about dragons I absolutely loved. I will have to continue the series soon since the ending was a mayor cliffhanger!
* I was in the mood for a good crime story, so I picked up The Night She Disappeared by April Henry up next. It was a quick and entertaining read and just what I was looking for.
* I managed to finish The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern next. I really enjoyed this read and the descriptions and prose are more than beautiful. The odd pace did prevent me from finishing this read quickly though.
* The last book on the list was the only one I was slightly disappointed by this week: My Name Is Memory by Ann Brashares.

  • WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU’LL READ NEXT?

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As soon as I finish And The Mountains Echoed, I wil start reading Outlander by Diana Gabaldon. I have been wanting to start this series for ages now and I’m really looking forward to read it. I should read The Infinite Sea by Rick Yancey first though since I have been starting way too many new series without reading sequels… And I have a new ARC, Ochoco Reach by Jim Stewart, pending as well. The last one, The Valentine Circle by Reinaldo DelValle, is my latest TBR jar pick I will most likely put on hold until I’ve finished most books on my October TBR.

WWW Wednesdays #58 – September 30th

wwwwednesdaysWWW WEDNESDAYS is hosted by Sam at Taking On A World Of Words and is all about answering the three questions below.

  • WHAT ARE YOU CURRENTLY READING?

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I’ve started both my current reads yesterday evening… The first is an ARC: Americosis Vol. 2 by Haydn Wilks. Since it’s a short story I will most likely finish it later today. The second is The Kill Order by James Dashner. I’m not exactly a big fan of the rest of the series (especially the last book was a mayor disappointment), but since people keep saying this one is actually better than the main series I decided to start it anyway. So far it’s quite a fast read.

  • WHAT DID YOU RECENTLY FINISH READING?

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I actually finished Queen Of Shadows by Sarah J. Maas before my failed trip, but I decided to count it anyway. I loved this fourth book of the Throne Of Glass series and I will be waiting impatiently for the next book… Although I’m grateful the ending wasn’t the mayor cliffhanger I was expecting. The Winner’s Curse by Marie Rutkoski turned out to be a disappointment though. It had a really slow pace and I had the feeling the story could have been told with less pages. Most of the plot was quite cliche or at least predictable and I’m not sure I like the characters or prose for that matter. More of my complaints in the full review…

  • WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU’LL READ NEXT?

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I have Firebolt by Adrienne Woods, an ARC, lined up as one of my next reads. I might read And The Mountains Echoed by Khaled Hosseini or Vanishing Girls by Lauren Oliver first though, depending on what genre I’m in the mood for when I finish my current reads. The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern is my newest TBR jar pick; a title I have been wanting to read for ages now and can’t wait to start soon!

WWW Wednesdays #24 – January 28th

wwwwednesdays Originally featured at Should Be Reading and now hosted by Sam at Taking On A World Of Words, WWW WEDNESDAYS is still about answering the following three questions:

  • What are you currently reading?

andthemountainsechoedtuckerpeakI started Khaled Hosseini‘s newest novel And The Mountains Echoed the other day. This novel has been on my Goodreads list for ages and I thought it was about time to finally tackle it. I’ve had great experiences with his previous work and so far And The Mountains Echoed is living up to expectations. I’m also in the middle of Tucker Peak by Archer Mayor, a crime paperback that has been on my TBR shelf for too long… I’m about halfway done and so far it is ok. The pace is a bit slow and I don’t really like the characters, but is is good enough to continue reading.

  • What did you recently finish reading?

????????????????????????thehundredyearoldmanwhoclimbedoutofthewindowanddisappearedI have been away on vacation and I didn’t manage to read that many books, but I was still able to finish both Paper Towns by John Green and The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out Of The Window And Disappeared by Jonas Jonasson. While the prose and teenage dialogues in Paper Towns were great as usual, I wasn’t really able to connect to the characters. Also, I can fully understand the those who say that there are way too many similarities between the various books that John Green has written… I think I will take some time to ‘de-Green’ and put his other novels on hold for now. The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out Of The Window And Disappeared was simply brilliant and I have a feeling it will appear on my favorite 2015 reads list in the future…

  • What do you think you’ll read next?

underdarkskiesthesecretgardenI’m not sure yet, but it will probably be Under Dark Skies by A.J. Scudiere, a forensic mystery novel I have received for review and I’m looking forward to be reading. Either that one or The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett; the outcome of my latest attempt of using the TBR jar… I know I will read this classic at some point this year because it’s also part of the two TBR reading challenges I’m participating in, but I’m not sure if I’m in the mood to read it right now. Who knows?

Teaser Tuesdays #27 – January 27th: And The Mountains Echoed

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TEASER TUESDAYS is a weekly book meme originally featured at Should Be Reading. To participate, just open the book you are currently reading to a random page, and choose two ‘teaser’ sentences from somewhere on that page. (no spoilers!)

I decided to finally tackle the book that has been on my Goodreads TBR list the longest: And The Mountains Echoed by Khaled Hosseini. I don’t know why this title has been number one on my virtual TBR pile for so long, especially since I loved his previous work (The Kite Runner and A Thousand Splendid Suns) And although they say that And The Mountains Echoed cannot be compared to those two titles, I’m having high hopes for this one.

andthemountainsechoed“They say, Find a purpose in your life and live it. But, sometimes, it is only after you have lived that you recognize your life had a purpose, and likely one you never had in mind. And now that I had fulfulled mine, I felt aimless and adrift.”

 

What are you reading right now?

WWW Wednesdays #8 – August 13th

wwwwednesdays

Originally featured at Should Be Reading… WWW WEDNESDAYS is all about answering the following three questions:

  • What are you currently reading?

thenameofthewindI’m reading The Name Of The Wind by Patrick Rothfuss as part of the Dusting Off The Shelf Read-A-Thon… I haven’t read as many pages as I would have wanted to… An eye infection is keeping me from reading for long periods at a time, boo! Until now I’m loving the story though, and I’m glad I finally picked up my copy of this one. I hope to finish The Name Of The Wind before the read-a-thon ends!

 

  • What did you recently finish reading?

Itheknownworld finished The Known World by Edward P. Jones a few days ago, but haven’t had the time to write a review yet. The idea of the book is interesting; a story about different slaves and their owners in the US of the 19th century. It was a slow read though and the many different POV’s made it confusing sometimes to keep reading and understanding the bigger picture. Not one of the best books I’ve read, but still worth it if you like the historical fiction genre.

 

  • What do you think you’ll read next?

mountainsIt’s probably going to be And The Mountains Echoed by Khaled Hosseini… Although it depends on if I’m in the mood to read a ‘heavy’ book. I still have Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka on the read-a-thon list as well, which is a relatively short book, so depending on my readingspeed, I might choose the second one to see if I can finish another book before the challenge ends.