Wonder by R.J. Palacio

Wonder

 Wonder

 

This book did it again; this book left me in a complete sobbing mess.
Thank goodness I was at home vegging out on my couch while reading this rather than stuck in the middle seat on the airplane which was what happened the last time.

 

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?

R. J. Palacio has written a spare, warm, uplifting story that will have readers laughing one minute and wiping away tears the next. With wonderfully realistic family interactions (flawed, but loving), lively school scenes, and short chapters, Wonder is accessible to readers of all levels.


 

As I mentioned earlier in my #WeekendReads post, this was the second time I’ve read this book. Although I knew I would enjoy this reread as much as I did the last time, little did I imagine that I would literally gobble up this book so quickly. I got through the remaining 70% in almost one sitting. Once I picked it up, I just couldn’t put it down.
It was a pure delight to read this book. I enjoyed this book IMMENSELY and I loved it so much.

This story is told in multiple perspectives; we follow this epic story from mainly Auggie’s POV and those of his family member, friends and some other characters appear in this book.
I vaguely remembered that, but I thought it was in dual perspectives and was pleasantly surprised that there are even more.
To be perfectly honest, I wasn’t quite sold on that; I didn’t find it absolutely necessary to follow some of the characters’ viewpoints. That being said though, I must admit that their perspectives did serve well to help us better understand what was behind the story such as their true feelings or reservations and it definitely adds more depth to the story.
It might come across a bit spoilery, but I personally loved Via’s side of the story. Her emotional shift toward August and her family that she experiences after spending weeks at her Grandma’s place and especially since she started high school was brilliantly depicted. While you’re in the thick of something or a situation which may not be considered ‘normal’ from a conventional point of view, you’re kind of used to it and you take it for granted because it is the ‘world’ that you exist in. But once you get away from it – however short it may be – you start looking at it in a different way when you get back to it; as though being away from it opened the door that leads to a different world you have never known. I totally understand her feelings. I would feel exactly the same way if I were in her shoes. Let’s be real; we all probably would more or less. 

Although I knew the story line, I was quite surprised by how raw it felt with this reread; everything in this book, like, the dialogues between characters came directly into me and I found it tough to get through at times.
Although this is basically a middle-grade book written for children, I was deeply impressed with how complex this book actually is. This is definitely not your average children’s book; this touches on some heavy yet important issues such as bullying, discrimination, prejudice.

I got so emotional with all the mean stuff that Auggie goes through in his early days at middle school. I, as a reader, was once again reminded that how prejudiced we can be against those who we see DON’T BELONG to our group/society. We can brush them off or even expel them just because they’re ‘different’ from us. We could even go far as to put them in a box and label them as ‘misfits’  It’s even worse when it’s done by us adult than done by little kids because, in Auggie’s words, ‘they don’t actually know what they’re saying.’

They(little kids) don’s say stuff to try to hurt your feelings, even though sometimes they do say stuff that hurts your feelings. But they don’t actually know what they’re saying. Big kids, though: they know what they’re saying.

I can only imagine how difficult it must have been for Auggie to go through all this. It’s too much to take for a mere 10-year old boy, but I was deeply moved and enthralled by the strong bond of Auggie’s family. Whenever Auggie needs help, they are all there for him; they embrace him and stand by him with all their might. So do Jack and Summer, and some other kids in class. It was really captivating and therapeutic to read how the shift in the dynamics surfaces and how Auggie starts to gain popularity in the latter part of the book. I couldn’t help but laugh out loud at that point.

All the characters are well-fleshed out and so vibrant. My personal favorite is actually Via. I adore Auggie of course, but I like the ‘big sisterly’ piece of advice that she throws at Auggie after Halloween. She is smart, understanding, sensitive and warm at heart. I basically loved all the characters appeared in this book except ‘the jerk,’ Julian. I can’t tell you enough how irritated and infuriated I was.
Like I mentioned, the shift in the character dynamics is brilliant. I felt like I was vindicated if that makes any sense.

The writing is quite straightforward, brisk and strong. Since the main bulk of the story is narrated by Auggie, the diction is quite casual and easy to follow.
In addition to that, I was also impressed by this story being partially narrated in multiple formats: IM and Facebook etc, etc.
I know it’s a format that often appears in YA, but I didn’t even know the same goes for middle grade books. I quite enjoyed that.


There are actually still a lot of things I think I need to cover and I want to talk about, but I’ll leave them to you readers to find out. Just grab the book and read it. You’ll be touched by how beautifully and wonderfully crafted this story is.

This book inspired me in every possible way; so insightful, so enlightening and beautiful.
There is hardly any issue in this book. This is definitely a 5 star book for me.
I simply LOVE IT.

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