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For Whom the Bell Tolls
Ernest Hemingway
Tad Williams
Sorcerer & Gentleman
Elizabeth Willey
Toll the Hounds: Book Eight of The Malazan Book of the Fallen
Steven Erikson
The Almond Tree - Michelle Cohen Corasanti I won this book from Goodreads First Reads.

This story follows Ichmad Hamid, a boy trapped in the middle of war between the Palestinians and Israelis. Unbelievably smart, he uses his knowledge to escape the hardships of his village while battling the hate from those around him.

From the first chapter I had chills. It was raw and real, and the story itself was a powerful portrayal of what we normally only see on TV.

However, I feel the writing didn't give the story justice. Things happened so quickly, I barely had the chance to get to know any of the characters, and as a result they fell flat. There were even characters that appeared to be fairly important and then were never mentioned again. I wish the book had been longer or the time span more condensed, as well as it being more focused on character development and the hate, love and forgiveness of the theme it centers around rather than getting from point A to point B.

It was a beautiful story, but could have been better.