REVIEW: Wonder By R.J Palacio

24 June 2012

I recently did my first ever review for Chicklish so I though I'd post it here as I got some very nice comments. :)


“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?"

“Don’t Judge A Book Boy By Its Cover Face.”

I read this book on the plane, flying through the air bound for my long-awaited holiday in the warm sun. Scrunched up on my seat, I ate up the pages as the plane jetted through azure blue skies and fluffy, candyfloss clouds. It was warm, but curled up around my book I suddenly felt cold all over as I read about Auggie’s strength and courage in the face of a hardship very few people face at such a young age. As my eyes fell on the last word I closed my eyes against the world around me and reflected on what I had just read. It was as if Auggie’s life had sparkled around me during my visit into his thoughts and feelings, unfolding and enveloping me like a blanket.

Throughout, different feelings of Love. Sadness. Joy. Bravery. Courage. Determination. Admiration washed through me. It felt as if my emotions were holding me in an iron grip and forcing me to feel every bit of Auggie’s plight and react to it. But I cherished every second of it.

Halloween is Auggie's favourite holiday, because he can wear a mask. August Pullman, or Auggie to his family and friends, is an ordinary kid in most ways. He was born with facial deformities, and despite countless surgeries, he still looks different on the outside. On the inside, where few people are allowed, he is funny and smart and so so brave. Auggie embarks on a journey much scarier than any surgery - the 5th grade.

Auggie...Wow. I was blown away by the strength of his fortitude and dedication as he battled against the problems at school and at home, with family and friends. You just can’t help longing to scoop him up out of the pages and giving him a great big hug. Told in first person we really get an insight into what it would have been like living a life with a deformed face, having to bare the fact that children become scared and run off screaming as soon as they see your face. The story is told from different points of view, so the reader not only gets to see inside Auggie’s mind, but that of his sisters, his friends, and even someone who sees his situation from afar. I loved the fact that there was not a single part told by any adult – not even his parents. This gives it a special quality where the book is told by children, for children so we can relate to every word that is said. This also forms a strong bond between the characters and the reader.

All the characters were equally amazing. Via: determined to help her brother in any way she can, a strong outer shell shielding her brother from any horrible experiences but crushed on the inside. A wavering flame determined not to be blown out by the trials she is facing at school. Her new school. Just like Auggie – but less of a fuss around her as everybody is concentrating on her brother. Summer: the girl who dared to go and make friends with the Freak. The Loner. I loved Summer, she was so kind and caring and never broke the strong link of friendship between her and Auggie, unlike Jack who bowed down under the pressure of Auggie’s enemy and cut him out of his life, breaking Auggie’s heart in the process. Via’s boyfriend only has a small chapter in the book but it was a powerful one. He meets Auggie for the first time and is as always shocked by what he sees. Even though he is not related to Auggie in any way he feels protective over him, just like Via and his kind personality emanates from him as he acts on the spur of a moment and tries to nip Auggie’s bullying in the bud.

One of the most powerful parts of the book was not how loudly the other kids made fun of Auggie; it was how QUIET they were. It’s horrible to be called names, but it's even worse to be ignored. The kids at school had a secret game called The Plague, which was compared to the Cheese Touch. No one could touch Auggie without getting The Plague. The thing is; all the kids thought he didn't know... how could he not? This is bullying that no one sees coming. It's hard to identify, and even harder to stop, but it hurts the worst.

I dare you to read it without shedding a single tear; or showing a single sad look in your eyes.

WONDER has stuck with me since I read it. Simple. Special. Spectacular. It gives us an insight into the life of Auggie through his thoughts, actions and feelings. It will be inevitable that your heart strings get pulled but Auggie shows us that even in the worst situations, there is always something good. A diamond in a dung heap.That’s what Auggie showed me.That you should never give up hope and you should always be brave and fight; never admit defeat. So thank you, R.J Palacio, for a truly WONDERful book. It is now one of my firm favourites.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

What did you think of this book?
Don't Forget To Smile!! :D xx


4 comments:

  1. Oh I'm so glad you liked this book. It's actually already on my TBB list and I can't wait to get now <3
    xoxo, Mariam @Book-A-Holic

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  2. ooh! I really want to read this! My school librarian told me about it, but it's out at the moment :(

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  3. Hi Jasmine! I said I'd read it and I did, haha :)
    Amazing review, your writing is beautiful. I love how you described soaring through the sky. :)
    I adored this book, I have literally lent it out to nearly everyone I know. It is impossible not to love August! :D xx

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  4. This book is really inspirational and it made me cry. I recommended it once to a friend of mine and she really liked it!

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