Started on: 14.April.2015
Finished on: 17.April.2015
Finished on: 17.April.2015
Title : Wonder
Author : R.J. Palacio
Author : R.J. Palacio
Publisher : Corgi
Pages : 315 pages
Year of Publication : 2013
Pages : 315 pages
Year of Publication : 2013
Price : $9.15 (www.bookdepository.com/)
"My name is August. I won't describe what I look like. Whatever you're thinking, it's probably worse."
The universe wasn't kind to August Pullman when he was born with Mandibulofacial Dysostosis—an extremely rare disorder which causes abnormalities to his facial features. At a very young age, August had gone through a lot of surgeries due to his condition—and so he was home schooled since then. But suddenly his mother brings up the topic of starting going to school that August dreaded so much. It's something that he's not used to; and of course he's also afraid of what the other students would think of him when they see his face.
"What’s cool about really little kids is that they don’t say stuff to try to hurt your feelings, even though sometimes they do say stuff that hurts your feelings. But they don’t actually know what they’re saying. Big kids, though: they know what they’re saying. And that is definitely not fun for me."Before school starts, August and his mom went to see Mr. Tushman—the middle school director. It turns out, Mr. Tushman have called several students to give August a tour of the school. Those students are Jack Will, Julian, and Charlotte. Mr. Tushman promised that they are good kids who will be friendly to August—but that doesn't turn out to be completely true. And so August begins his days at school as a fifth grader. He faced a lot of different things that will change him in ways he never thought of before. In the end, August's life might also give a small (or significant) change to the people around him.
"But I really believe, and Daddy really believes, that there are more good people on this earth than bad people, and the good people watch out for each other and take care of each other."
|image source: here. edited by me.|
"The things we do outlast our mortality. The things we do are like monuments that people build to honor heroes after they've died. They're like the pyramids that the Egyptians built to honor the pharaohs. Only instead of being made of stone, they're made out of the memories people have of you."I'm really glad because this book really lives up to the hype surrounding it, because my expectation was very high when I started. Reading this book felt like a journey for me. It felt like I was there with August throughout his days as a fifth grader—seeing all the ups and downs in his life. What I like best about this book is how R.J. Palacio decided to write the story not only from August's point of view, but also from the people around him. The POVs includes Olivia (August's older sister), Summer and Jack Will (August's friends), Justin (Olivia's boyfriend), and also Miranda (Olivia's ex-best friend). This allows the reader to not only understand August's feelings but also the people around him—and that every single one of them are also facing a problem in their own lives. Even though there's not much conflict going on in the story, I enjoyed it extremely well especially because of R.J. Palacio's beautiful writing. She was able to make me feel engaged to the characters emotionally and kind of made me feel like I was inside the story. This simple story of a young kid is exceptionally heartwarming; and the ending totally made me cry. Tears just naturally streamed down my face during the last few pages—but know that those are happy tears, not sad ones.
"She kissed me all over my face. She kissed my eyes that came down too far. She kissed my cheeks that looked punched in. She kissed my tortoise mouth.She said soft words that I know were meant to help me, but words can't change my face."
Now let's talk about the characters in this book, starting with our main character August. I adored August from the very first chapter when he introduced himself. And as the story goes, I grow to love him even more. What I love the most about August is that he can casually make a joke about his condition. He's a very funny kid and I love that he has such a good heart. Even though it might take some time getting used to August's face, in the end people always enjoyed his company. And that's why people should not judge other people from the way they look—which I know is hard to do in the society these days. August's feelings poured out in this book and that made me feel the same heartache as he do. I felt how it hurts so bad when he was stabbed in the back by a friend, but I also feel genuinely happy when life gets a little bit better for him. Honestly, I just want to give August a big big hug and tell him that he's a great kid.
"It just feels so weird," I said, "to not have people talking to you, pretending you don't even exist."
Auggie started smiling.
"Ya think?" he said sarcastically. "Welcome to my world!"
Moving on, next I'll talk about August's friends: Jack Will and Summer. Summer is a very kind person to begin with, so it wasn't a struggle for her to be friends with August. However, it wasn't quite as easy with Jack Will. I won't spoil what happened between Jack Will and August—but I think their friendship is very adorable!
Another important person in August's life is Olivia (or will be often called Via in the book). When I read the first few chapters that was narrated by August, I was already curious as to how Via felt throughout everything that happened in their family. That's why I was so thrilled when R.J. Palacio decided to write Olivia's point of view in the book! Olivia expressed her thoughts on August; and how August has always been the center of their family—and that would mean less attention for her. I can totally sympathize with her situation / feelings; and I truly like how real her character is. Besides that, Olivia is also facing problems on her own since she started high school. So I think that's a good addition to the story.
"If every person in this room made it a rule that wherever you are, whenever you can, you will try to act a little kinder than is necessary - the world really would be a better place. And if you do this, if you act just a little kinder than is necessary, someone else, somewhere, someday, may recognize in you, in every single one of you, the face of God."
The last character that I'd like to talk about is Justin—Olivia's boyfriend. Even though it's quite annoying because his chapters doesn't have a capital letter and doesn't use quotation marks for dialogues, I really like his character in general. Unintentionally, Justin kind of turned the table for August and Jack Will at school by doing something that he thought was right. And one of Justin's thoughts in this book has become my favorite passage—I even had to read it twice to devour the meaning of it. I copied the quotes below when Justin pondered over August's situation ♥♥ It's such a beautiful passage.
"So doesn't that make the universe a giant lottery, then? You purchase a ticket when you're born. And it's all just random whether you get a good ticket or a bad ticket. It's all just luck. My head swirls on this, but then softer thoughts soothe, like a flatted third on a major chord.No, no, it's not all random, if it really was all random, the universe would abandon us completely. And the universe doesn't. It takes care of its most fragile creations in ways we can't see. Like with the parents who adore you blindly. And the big sister who feels guilty for being human over you. And a little gravelly-voiced kid whose friends have left him over you. And even a pink-haired girl who carries your picture in her wallet. Maybe it is a lottery, but the universe makes it all even out in the end. The universe takes care of all of its birds."
"You were wearing that helmet all the time. And the real, real, real, real truth is: I missed seeing your face, Auggie. I know you don't always love it, but you have to understand... I love it. I love this face of yours, Auggie, completely and passionately. And it kind of broke my heart that you were always covering it up."
"The best way to measure how much you've grown isn't by inches or the number of laps you can now run around the track, or even your grade point average-- though those things are important, to be sure. It's what you've done with your time, how you've chosen to spend your days, and whom you've touched this year. That, to me, is the greatest measure of success."
"Now that I look back, I don't know why I was so stressed about it all this time. Funny how sometimes you worry a lot about something and it turns out to be nothing."
Lastly, I'd like to say how I love love love this book so much! It's probably one of my best read in 2015 so far :') Reading this book is definitely an emotional ride; there are heartbreaking moments but there are happy and sweet ones too. Even though this is a middle grade book and the story revolves around children's lives, I think anyone can relate with it—one way or another. My favorite part of the book is probably the ending. Like I said earlier, it made me cry joyful tears. And it just warms up my heart in the nicest way possible. So if you haven't read this book, read it! Don't be afraid of the hype. Just go read it and feel all the feels! :) R.J. Palacio, when will you publish your next book? :))
"I wasn't even sure why I was getting this medal, really.No, that's not true. I knew why.It's like people you see sometimes, and you can't imagine what it would be like to be that person, whether it's somebody in a wheelchair or somebody who can't talk. Only, I know that I'm that person to other people, maybe to every single person in that whole auditorium.To me, though, I'm just me. An ordinary kid.
But hey, if they want to give me a medal for being me, that's okay. I'll take it. I didn't destroy a Death Star or anything like that, but I did just get through the fifth grade. And that's not easy, even if you're not me."
*Endnote: For those of you who still have questions like why Justin's chapters doesn't have a capital letter and quotation marks; or why R.J. Palacio doesn't write from August's parents point of view, etc, you can go to R.J. Palacio's website and go to the FAQ section to get all the answers. She even explained what inspired her to write this book in the first place :) It's very interesting to read if you already read the book ;)