07 March, 2012 | By: Rhee

Review: Wonder


Title: Wonder
Author: R.J. Palacio
Pages: 320
Published: 2012

Summary: I won't describe what I look like. Whatever you're thinking, it's probably worse.

August (Auggie) Pullman was born with a facial deformity that prevented him from going to a mainstream school—until now. He's about to start 5th grade at Beecher Prep, and if you've ever been the new kid then you know how hard that can be. The thing is Auggie's just an ordinary kid, with an extraordinary face. But can he convince his new classmates that he's just like them, despite appearances?

Review: Where do I even begin with a book that has quite possibly managed to change all of my feelings towards books just by reading it? When I requested Wonder from NetGalley, I thought that I was going to read it and end up enjoying it since the few people I know have given it good reviews. I never, ever expected that I was going to fall in love with this book the way that I did. Not only did Wonder give me the chance to reflect on the way that I think about certain aspects of life, but it also made me laugh and cry from happiness and sadness and all the -nesses in between.

Ten-year-old August has been through more in his life than half a dozen people and he’s still going strong. Suffering from a chromosome deficiency, he was born with severe facial disfiguration that twenty-seven surgeries hasn’t managed to fix. His parents finally decide that August should go to school, and enroll him in a private school where the principal has three other kids who’ve volunteered to help him adjust and watch out for him.

This book is definitely listed as one of my favourite reads of 2012. Probably the absolute favourite, right up there with The Fault in Our Stars by John Green. I stayed up until 6am to try and finish Wonder, and was so disappointed that sleep needed to take priority to reading. Reading about Auggie’s life through his point of view as well as others’ (his sister, Via, his best friend, Summer, his other best friend, Jack, Via’s beau, Justin, and Via’s best friend, Miranda) gave me the chance to fall in love with, not only the plot, but each and every character just because I got a chance to see how they interacted in the life of Auggie and his family.

My favourite person (but least favourite point of view, unfortunately) was Via’s boyfriend’s, Justin. While I really disliked the way that Justin’s part was written in the same aspect of David Levithan’s Will Grayson (worse, actually, because I wasn’t sure where the characters were speaking at some points) I really enjoyed the way that he had with words, and the feelings that he had for Oliva were the most beautiful in the world. I found myself wanting to cry a little bit when I reached the end of his part, when he said:

"olivia reminds me of a bird sometimes, how her feathers get all ruffled when she's mad. and when she's fragile like this, she's a little lost bird looking for its nest. so i give her my wings to hide under."

I know the focus of the story really isn’t about Via, but I really, really liked the way that her character was written. She was so understanding and protective of her brother, where most teenagers would have been somewhat selfish in that aspect. She never asked for anything, never tried to have her wants and needs taken care of first. She put everything aside for Auggie, and I found that to be the best part of the novel. Even though the focus of Wonder was on August, I found myself loving Via most when it came to the characterisations.

Speaking of August, that boy… He’s amazing. I can’t even begin to imagine going through twenty-seven surgeries and then being brave enough to go to school and try and be normal. Being two years younger than everyone else was enough for me to hate school, so I can’t even imagine what it must have been like for him. August is such a strong, wonderful boy, and while they mistreated him so much in the beginning of the novel, he grew, as did those who hurt him and those who helped him. I loved seeing the transformation when these kids realised that it wasn’t about how their friend looked; it was about who he was as a person.

Wonder is a book that will probably always live with me, and I can’t imagine a day where I’ll find myself completely forgetting that I’ve ever read it. It’s one of those books that touches your soul and makes you realise that there’s more to humanity than what’s on the surface. If you have this on your to-read list, or even if you don’t, stop what you’re doing and go pick it up, because I guarantee that by the time you’re done reading it, you’ll realise just how wonderful Wonder actually is.

Rating: ★★★★★ 5/5 Stars
           I'd give it a million stars and it still wouldn't be enough.

1 responses:

Mel - Thedailyprophecy. said...

This is the second review I read about this book and it really sounds like a wonderful book. Can't wait to read it!

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