Friday, March 27

R. J. Palacio - Wonder

“Kinder than is necessary. Because it's not enough to be kind. One should be kinder than needed.”

You can't blend in when you were born to stand out.

My name is August. I won't describe what I look like. Whatever you're thinking, it's probably worse.

August Pullman wants to be an ordinary ten-year-old. He does ordinary things. He eats ice cream. He plays on his Xbox. He feels ordinary - inside.

But Auggie is far from ordinary. Ordinary kids don't make other ordinary kids run away screaming in playgrounds. Ordinary kids don't get stared at wherever they go.

Born with a terrible facial abnormality, Auggie has been home-schooled by his parents his whole life, in an attempt to protect him from the cruelty of the outside world. Now, for the first time, he's being sent to a real school - and he's dreading it. All he wants is to be accepted - but can he convince his new classmates that he's just like them, underneath it all?

Narrated by Auggie and the people around him whose lives he touches forever, Wonder is a funny, frank, astonishingly moving debut to read in one sitting, pass on to others, and remember long after the final page.

Wonder is a book that everyone should read and I'm not saying this because I loved it so very much (which I did) but because it teaches important lessons to people about acceptance and kindness. Based on the age of the characters, and the message of the book it's an MG novel but despite this I recommend it to people of all ages.

I can guarantee that R. J. Palacio is one of the best writers out there and I'm so very sad because besides a few short stories of Wonder she doesn't have any more books. It was really easy to read this book, the story sucked me in completely and I wished it would never end. I'm sure everyone will find himself invested in Auggie's life and will be in love with the characters in no time.

Speaking of the characters, they were all relatable and truly well-made. The story is told by six people, including Auggie. Palacio made a great job of creating distinct personalities so I had no problem following who was who. The supporting characters were just as equally well made as the leading ones and I don't think there was one person I hated. Well, besides Julian's mom, who I'm sure is at fault for her son's behavior.

Auggie's family was my favorite thing in the book. They clearly loved each other to the moon and back and were the most amazing parents I've ever encountered with in any book. His mom and dad were not only sweet and caring but funny too and they didn't make the mistake of ever considering Auggie as a burden. Via, his sister, was a great addition to the story. I liked to read her point of view, she wasn't only a wonderful sister but a normal person too and she had her own problems, which included feeling invisible sometimes. 

I have to admit that I'm conflicted by the ending. This might just be me being overly critical but I didn't like how quickly everything changed, including Auggie. At the same time I feel like maybe this shift in everyone is part of the reason why Wonder was a 100% realistic. I mean people in real life change their minds and opinion out of the blue too. Anyhow, this is one of the best books I've read this year, and it goes straight to my '2015 favorites' and 'best of the best' shelves on GR. 

The story idea: 5/5
The realization of the story: 5/5
The characters: 5/5
The cover: 4/5
Enjoy factor: 5/5 

“It's like people you see sometimes, and you can't imagine what it would be like to be that person, whether it's somebody in a wheelchair or somebody who can't talk. Only, I know that I'm that person to other people, maybe to every single person in that whole auditorium. 
To me, though, I'm just me. An ordinary kid.”


  1. SO SO SO SO SO SO INCREDIBLY HAPPY YOU LOVE THIS, AND I'M WRITING IN CAPITAL LETTERS BECAUSE I'M GENUINELY SO EXCITED FOR THIS! I agree with your entire review. Wonder was my favourite book last year and one of my all time favourites. I was so invested in the story and yes, Palacio did an outstanding job. Some people say it was cliché and cheesy at the end but I think that made the story even more beautiful for me. The Graduation scene got me crying out of happiness and I loved that

    1. Haha, I don't think I've ever seen you write in capital letters. It might have been kind of a cliché but I don't think it was an any bigger cliché than other happy endings. Nor do I think that it was extremely cheesy, even less so because this is an MG book after all. The Graduation scene was very adorable and I was so, so happy for Auggie. I wish Palacio would write other books because she's so talented.

  2. I'm so glad you enjoyed this, because I did too! I thought all the character's personalities were wonderfully crafted as well. :)

  3. I LOVED Via's point of view. When it opens with her, and she's talking about how everyone loves Auggie b/c he's the sun, etc, and she's totally okay with that, because she loves him, too...I BAWLED. It was just the phrasing, and the sweet love & honesty in her voice. Ugh. I cried through that whole book. And I was on a plane, too, so it was public crying. Everyone needs to read this book. Great review~~~

    1. Via is one of the most awesome characters I've ever encountered with. I loved seeing Auggie through her eyes, she loved him so fiercely. Haha, I think this is a book that deserves public crying. :)

  4. I still haven't read this yet, but I swear I am going to soon!
    I'm so happy to hear that you enjoyed it. I love reading about family relationships so hopefully this will be a good one for me :)

    1. I'm looking forward to seeing your thoughts on this one! I'm sure you'll love it! :)


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