Monday, 25 January 2016

Book Review: Wonder by RJ Palacio

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.

My Review:
Auggie was born different from everyone else and regards himself as ugly. He is used to the staring and whispering although the mean comments still hurt. Now after years of homeschooling, his mother wants to send him to a mainstream school, with all the challenges that will present for him.

For me, this wasn't actually a bad book. It was well written and it focuses on the whole family and how they respond to Auggie starting school for the first time-their hopes and fears, and wondering if they are doing the right thing. Auggie learns how to deal with the unwanted attention and is able to make a few friends. I liked his character. He is the right mix of accepting his lot in life yet hoping for a bit more and wishing he could be like everything else. And you want him to be accepted. And maybe to punch Julian a few times. I liked his friends, who accept him for who he is and can even joke with him about how he looks.

However the book is pretty slow and there is not a great deal happening as Auggie goes from misfit to friend status. It is very repetitive, telling the reader every time someone stared at him, which happens every few paragraphs, and that became pretty boring as the chapters progressed. I had just hoped that I would be more gripped by his story but I just didn't feel that it was going anywhere fast.

Like I said, a decent book but just not my thing after all.
star rating photo: Two Star Rating 2stars.png

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