Friday, May 15, 2015

Book Review: The Julian Chapter: A Wonder Story by R.J. Palacio

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BOOK review
Started on: 26.April.2015
Finished on: 26.April.2015

Title : The Julian Chapter: A Wonder Story
Author : R.J. Palacio
Publisher : Knopf Books
Pages :  80 pages (e-book)
Year of Publication : 2014

Rating: 3.5/5
*for those who haven't read the book, this review may contain spoiler.
Review for Wonder by R.J. Palacio here. 
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"There's no rule book that tells you how to act in every given situation in life, you know? So what I always say is that it's always better to err on the side of kindness. That's the secret. If you don't know what to do, just be kind. You can't go wrong."
The Julian Chapter is written in Julian's perspective; the character who's known as the bully in the book called Wonder by R.J. Palacio. I'm pretty sure a lot of people who read Wonder are not really fond of Julian's character—obviously because he's a bully and mean to August Pullman, the main character in the book. In this extra chapter, R.J. Palacio took the reader inside Julian's mind to see why he acted the way he did to August? Because there are two sides to every coin, and I'm really intrigued to know what's the story behind this character.

"Before you were blaming the other boys for writing those notes. I'm starting to wonder if what they were saying is right! Don't you feel any remorse for what you've done?"
"I'm sorry the year didn't turn out to be a happy one for you, but I hope you take a little time to ask yourself why. Things that happen to us, even the bad stuff, can often teach us a little bit about ourselves."
When Mr. Tushman asked Jack Will, Charlotte, and Julian to take August around school, Julian was the only person who wasn't prepared for August's condition. In fact, meeting August brings back the nightmares that he haven't had in so long. In the past, Julian was traumatized by something terrifying and needed a psychiatrist to finally be able to get past it. Julian hated August for bringing back the nightmares he dreaded so much, and he started making everyone at school hate August. And despite the school's warning about Julian being a bully, Julian doesn't feel any kind of remorse for what he's done—especially since his mother always stood by him for whatever reason. But Julian finally came to a realization when his grandmother told him a story. A story that will change Julian's perspective and took a courageous decision to own up to his mistakes.

I'm amazed at how R.J. Palacio managed to warm my heart with such a short book (or novella). To be completely honest, I was a bit annoyed by Julian's demeanor at the beginning of the book. Even though he have reasons behind his actions, I think that doesn't justify what he did. Julian's mother was equally annoying—but of course I can understand the heart of a mother who only wants to protect her child. My favorite part about the novella is of course Grandmère's story, and how Grandmère can sympathize with what Julian's going through—because she did the exact same thing in the past. I think it's a really heartwarming way to make Julian realize that what he did was wrong and that it's never too late to become a better person. When the story ended, I felt relieved and happy to know that Julian will be okay even if he had to switch school. Below is one of my favorite passages from the book :))
"You are so young. The things you did, you know they were not right. But that does not mean you are not capable of doing right. It only means that you chose to do wrong. This is what I mean when I say you made a mistake It was the same with me....
But the good thing about life, Julian, is that we can fix our mistakes sometimes. We learn from them. We get better.... One mistake does not define you, Julian. Do you understand me? You must simply act better next time."

Not giving this novella a 5/5 doesn't mean I didn't like this book, in fact I really enjoyed it as an addition to the Wonder story; and I cannot get enough of R.J. Palacio's writing! She's a very talented writer and I cannot wait to see what she has to offer next :)) I learned a lot from such a short novella. Even though the story is written from the point of view of Julian, a 10-year-old, I think everyone needs to know that a mistake doesn't define us. We can always learn, we can always be a better person—no matter what age we're at.

"It was a kindness that I will never forget. It is always brave to be kind, but in those days, such kindnesses could cost you your life."
by.stefaniesugia♥ .
 

2 comments:

  1. kak, the julian chapter ini ada yang versi paperback gak? aku pingin banget beli nih hehe

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Setauku ngga ada sih; yang aku tau adanya buku Wonder yang ada bonus Julian Chapter di dalam buku yang sama :))

      Delete

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