I can't say I ever truly had any intention in reading this despite the fact that I really enjoyed The Kite Runner. I don't typically like reading realistic modern fiction because I find it depressing no matter how wonderful the story. However I found out that my mom had ordered it months ago and never touched it, so I took it and finally read it myself. Despite the depressing nature of the book I did really enjoy it and it managed to reach me in a way that most novels don't. Khaled uses the same technique he used in The Kite Runner so the 'feel' is the same, the writing remains as wonderful and flowing as it was in his previous book as well. Also like the Kite Runner there is a deep underlying sadness to the plot that you simply can't help but feel as you read through it. The two main characters, Mariam and Laila, are wonderful and in their own ways strong. Mariam's story was one that I found extremely sad as it progressed, but I found Khalid's ability to capture how she was feeling perfect. There are the small things that she does that really connect her to you and you realize that even though you've probably never been in the same situation that you've felt that same frustration or that same hope. Laila's story isn't a happy one either but it brings in the hope for a better life. The relationship between these two was very realistic and believable. They didn't immediately rush to support one another but they also didn't remain utterly stone faced about the other either. This was really a heartbreaking book but it's also one that's a true eye opener to the cruelty that lies in other places.This book really provokes emotions and pulled me into the story, to the point where I read it in two days and nearly cried numerous times. To me this is a book worth reading, it is by no means a light read and it will probably cause you to think and feel for the people who have really gone through situations such as these. It does contain abuse in multiple ways so if you don't want to read about such things this isn't for you, this is by no means an easy read. I really enjoy Khaled's writing and if he has written anything else I plan to find it and if not I'll be on the look out for if he does again.