Book review : Wonder by RJ Palacio

11387515I finally finished reading this book.  It took me a while because halfway through I got distracted by K-dramas.  But I picked it up again the other day and didn’t stop reading until I finished it.

I have two words to describe this book : heart breaking and heartwarming.

This is a story about friendship and family, and just how important those two things are.  I cried so much reading this, especially towards the end.  Sometimes they were tears of anger, sometimes sadness, and sometimes I cried just because there was nothing else I could do.  But by the end, I only had tears of joy running down my face. This book took me on an serious emotional journey.  It’s a very light read, but it’s one of those stories that will touch your heart and stay with you for a long long time.

The story focuses on a 10 year old boy named August Pullman.  He was born with a double dose of mutant gene, which left him with a disfigured face.  I quote:

“My name is August. I won’t describe what I look like. Whatever you’re thinking, its probably worse.”

Because of his condition, he had to undergo numerous reconstructive surgeries at a young age.  This left his parents no choice but to have him home schooled.  But as he grew older, August’s parents decided that it might be time for him to attend a regular school. The first day of school is terrifying for everyone, more so for someone with Auggie’s condition.  Naturally, people are intrigued and he gets a lot of stares on his first few days.  Some people are content with just pointing and whispering about him, but there are those who can’t handle his different appearance and pick on him because of it.  Fortunately, Auggie is a brave kid, and with the support of his family and a few good friends, he is able to face the challenges and obstacles that are thrown at him. The book takes us into the minds of August and his loved ones, and shows us what it was like for them during this time.  The book’s narrator changes a few times, which gives us an idea of what the people around August go through.  Normally I hate it when the POV changes, but it was very interesting in this case.

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I like that this book shows us that although the world can be a brutal and cruel place (not only for someone like August but also for the people around him) not every one is as bad as we think they are.  Sometimes acts of kindness appear when we least expect it. This is one of those books that will restore your faith in humanity.

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Honestly, I was a bit hesitant to read this book after learning what it was about.  Ashamed as I am to admit it, I’m the type of person who would rather turn a blind eye to the sad truths in life, rather than confront it.  I’m not good with dealing with difficult issues so I sometimes pretend that they don’t exist.  But this book was written so well, that even though it made my heart hurt at times, I just couldn’t stop reading it.

I would definitely give this book 5 out of 5 stars.  I love that it leaves us with the simple message that, despite our differences, we’re all pretty much alike inside.  It pushes us to see beyond the veil and discover a person’s true heart.  It shows us that Auggie’s an ordinary kid, packaged just a bit differently from some of us.  I also love how this book emphasizes the importance of family and friends.  If you have time, I highly suggest that pick up this book and give it a try.  It’s a very moving and uplifting story that everyone should read.

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