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