Thursday 15 March 2012

Review: Wonder by R. J. Palacio

Auggie is a 10-year-old boy who loves Star Wars, his dog Daisy, being tucked in by his parents at night, his big sister Via, and Halloween. He hates going out in public, because when people see him, they do a double-take at best, and are incredibly nasty at worst. You see, Auggie was born with an extremely rare set of conditions that caused innumerable health problems and a facial deformity that leads others to compare his looks to a burns victim, Darth Sidious, an orc and E.T., amongst other nasties.

Auggie has to face his fear of the outside world and learn to deal with it, while teaching the outside world a thing or two on dealing with him, when he goes to school for the first time in his life. As anyone whos ever been to school can tell you, it can be a bitch of a place filled with kids who are super cruel. Auggie doesnt have it easy, thats for sure, and my heart just broke for him in several places. But his kindness, sensitivity, wisdom and especially his self-deprecating sense of humour see him through and make him a delight to spend time with.

But this isnt just Auggies story. Its split into multiple parts, each told from a different point of view, and this insight into how others see Auggie – and themselves, in relation to him – is fascinating, and gives the story a depth it perhaps wouldnt have reached otherwise. My one gripe is that I wish there was more distinction between the characters voices; there is one part where punctuation (or lack thereof) is used to indicate a unique voice, but overall I didnt notice a major difference between the voices of Auggie, his older sister Via, his best friends Jack and Summer, and so on. That niggle aside, they were all intriguing, well-built characters and I did value seeing things from their perspectives.

What I liked most about Wonder was the way it tackled a subject that isnt often covered in books (at least the ones I come across). It was a refreshing, heart-warming read that will definitely make you cry – but will make you smile even more.

Rating: 4/5

Fine Print
Published: March 2012, Random House
Get It: Book Depository


  1. Now I'm curious about the character who writes without punctuation... I've heard so many good things about Wonder, this just reaffirms that it's one I need to read :)

  2. Great review Belle, I wasn't that fussed about this book if I'm honest.
    It was OK, but I was expecting it to affect me a lot more than it did. I'm a bit nervous to post my review for it!
    I'm glad you liked this one. I agree with the voices sounding the same... I had issue with that too!

    1. Thansk Jo. Don't be nervous - it's great to see different viewpoints! :)

  3. This sounds so cute! Pretty cover too! x

  4. I received this as a RAK last week and I'm really looking forward to reading it. It's staring at me from the TBR shelf just begging me to pick it up...

    I hadn't heard that one of the 'voices' doesn't use punctuation though. I get the feeling that's going to irritate me a little...

    1. It is a bit irritating at first - I had to check to see how long it would go on for, coz if it was too long it would have driven me nuts. Thankfully, it's only one small section.