Thursday, April 3, 2014

Wonder by R. J. Palacio...

Title- Wonder.
Author- R. J. Palacio.
Publish date- 2012.
Publisher- Random House. Imprint: The Bodley Head.


Review time...

(A Brief) Synopsis:
A boy is seen differently from others because of how he looks, even though he is just the same on the inside. Told from the perspective of August, the boy, and the people who care about him and live alongside him.

Image Credit: Random House AU.

What I thought:
When I opened this book, it wasn't to read it- just to see if I would actually like it when I did go to read it. There were other books I'd set my sights on... not a great frame of mind to be in when you're looking at a book, I've found.
I didn't think I would like it, either, but my rule is 20 pages (a rule I break often), and by the time I got to twenty... I hadn't even noticed. I was at 50 before I knew it, then 100... by the time I got to 170 I realised I'd be able to finish it in a day.

Wonder took me by surprise because I didn't think I'd be able to stand the voice that was telling the story, yet in the end I absolutely loved it.
In fact, when the story changed perspective (as it does multiple times throughout the book) all I wanted was August's voice back. And the great thing is? I grew to love each voice, each perspective and, so importantly, the originality that each carried. It never sounded as it each voice was written by the same person, and I loved- no. I adored that.

This is so many things all pulled into one- it's the story of a boy who doesn't want to be looked at as different; it's the story of the people around him and people who are the most vital to his life; it's a story containing beginnings, life, love, cruelty, dreams and wishes and desires. It's touching. It's beautiful. It's thought provoking. It's painful. It's moving. It's devastating. It made my mind whirr, and that is one of the best things, I think, a book can do.

There were things I didn't like, of course, but they were few- sometimes the characters, Auggie and the ones around him, just seemed like they were far too young- only 10, when they seemed so much older and had a level of cruelty placed upon them that was far too strong for what I imagine 10 year olds should experience or dole out- but I think, awfully, it may be acurate. Via, on the other hand, seemed far older than 15.
There was a section titled "Texts" where Auggie and a friend used text talk, and I just felt so strongly that he wouldn't half words or use any substitutes, and once there was a scene in which a cruel thing had been said and it was turned into an almost joke, thrown secretly at someone else, which I truly abhored.

I seem to be loving book designs at the moment and Wonder is no different- within and out, it's beautiful! I love, most of all, the white cover unde the blue dustcover, a simplification of the original. It's truly exquisite.

Rating: Almost Big Explosion MIND BLOWN but not quite.
This is the kind of book to share with others and to read over and over again- it's a very well told story, and a very important one, too.

Thank you to my local bookstore for this review copy!


  1. I love when a book reads itself and you aren't even paying attention to page numbers or how far you are! I should have read this when it came out because it sounds fantastic

    Mands @ The Bookish Manicurist

    1. p.s now following you via GFC & Bloglovin' :)

    2. Thank you, Amanda! I always forget to do that!

      I hope you end up reading Wonder- it's such a startlingly beautiful, makes-you-pause-from-how-changing-it-is book, I highly recommend.

  2. I've heard many good things about this book and keep meaning to give it a try myself! I'm glad to hear you were pleasantly surprised by it. It's always great when the different voices in a book work well, rather than just one particular one, so you can appreciate them all. I really need to get a move on with reading this :) Lovely review!

    1. Thank you, Sam- it's great to see you! I didn't expect you to be back to blogging for a while still! I hope you enjoy this when you get to it, also. (:

  3. Wonder sounds... wonderful and yes, thought provoking. (I've heard many great things about it too) Most of the time I like it when a book has multiple POVs so I'm actually looking forward to all the different perspectives. :) And I just can't wait to "meet" August. Beautiful review!!

    1. I kept being hesitant to use "wonder" or anything like that in the review, because it is the title after all! But I think I did, anyway. Thank you, Cayce, that's so nice.x

  4. I really would consider gifting this to people. It was a powerful little book full of "wonder" :)

    1. That's a great idea! Or give them a long list of all books they should read and let them pick. That's actually a fantastic gift idea!

  5. While I am worried about this ---> "...once there was a scene in which a cruel thing had been said and it was turned into an almost joke, thrown secretly at someone else, which I truly abhored."

    ... I am very, very excited for everything else Wonder has to offer! I'm honestly surprised that I haven't even come close to actually picking up this book, because I have been admiring it from afar for a long, long time. However, the principle of my school has fallen in love with the book and is actually offering students to borrow it from him, so I will definitely be reading it soon, especially because you described Wonder so beautifully. And I want to feel all those feels!

    "It made my mind whirr, and that is one of the best things, I think, a book can do." <-- Agreed.

    1. It's really only a momentary scene and doesn't get refrenced again (which also frustrated me), but it seemed to go against a huge part of the book for me, and I didn't like it.
      Still, I'm very excited you're planning to read Wonder and cannot wait to hear what you think about it! Please do let me know! xx

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