Review - Wonder - R.J. Palacio

WonderTitle: Wonder
Author: R.J. Palacio
Genre: Middle-grade
Publication: February 14th 2012, Knopf
Pages: 315 pages
Source: Thank you so much to RandomStruik for sending me this amazing book in exchange for a honest review!
Rating: 5/5 Cupcakes!
I won't describe what I look like. Whatever you're thinking, it's probably worse.
August (Auggie) Pullman was born with a facial deformity that prevented him from going to a mainstream school—until now. He's about to start 5th grade at Beecher Prep, and if you've ever been the new kid then you know how hard that can be. The thing is Auggie's just an ordinary kid, with an extraordinary face. But can he convince his new classmates that he's just like them, despite appearances?
R. J. Palacio has written a spare, warm, uplifting story that will have readers laughing one minute and wiping away tears the next. With wonderfully realistic family interactions (flawed, but loving), lively school scenes, and short chapters, Wonder is accessible to readers of all levels.

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When I begun Wonder, I was expecting to enjoy it, I've heard amazing things about it and most people have loved it. What I wasn't expecting, was for Wonder to effect me in such a way. I wasn't expecting it to teach me about the good that humanity is capable of, the courage of some people and the way one little boy could win the hearts of so many. There are not many novels I give five cupcakes to, but this one of them. This book deserves an infinite amount of cupcakes, I loved this so much I don't think words will quite be able to describe.

Wonder is about ten year old August Pullman, a little boy born with a severe facial deformity. August has been protected from the outside world, home-schooled his whole life..until now, he is about to go to a normal school, fifth grade, and he knows it's going to be tough but he's determined try.

When he starts school, people stare. People talk. People laugh. People avoid him, as if he has a the plague. However, August is determined to ignore their stares and get the best out of his school experience. Through being kind, funny and loving, his classmates realise that it's truly not about the outside that counts, but the person within.

August, Auggie, as his friends and family call him, is just an incredible little boy. The amount of turmoil he has been through at such a young age and his positive attitude and shiny personality still remains. As you're reading Wonder you really feel for Auggie, I can't imagine going places and knowing that everywhere I go, people will be staring and whispering, I would be too scared to go out I suppose. But not Auggie, decides to go to school, he decides to live life to the fullest and he makes sure to keep a positive attitude the whole way. And yes, most of the time he's fine, he's funny, he laughs and jokes, but other times you can feel the deep longing he feels to have a normal face and blend in, you can see the pain he feels at times, and it just makes him all the more realistic.

I also love that the secondary characters had their own unique personalities, and that they were just as important as Auggie to the story. We get to see all the secondary characters' points of view, which made you see how some of the things that happened to them shaped who they are today.  Another thing you see, is how all of them, fall head-over-heels in love with Auggie's sweet disposition and loving nature.

There was Via, August's older sister. When Via described how it was living in Auggie's shadow you really see just how tough it's been for her too. She has never told her parents about any of her bad days, any of the times school was tough and time something bad happened, because, she says, nothing compares to the problems Auggie has to deal with. She is such an amazing person for casting her worries aside to focus on her little brother. Seeing the love and protection she felt towards him was heart-warming. And even though she really loved Auggie, there were still those days that she felt like she didn't want her new high school knowing about him, she wanted to keep him a secret, once again painting her in a realistic light.

Jack and Summer were the two kids that Auggie befriended, it was amazing seeing how they sacrificed their old friends and what people thought of them to be friends with Auggie. Jack and Summer were both great kids. Jack made some mistakes along the way but he always had good intentions and he was just a great, kind kid.

Summer was amazing, she is the person we should all strive to be. Her kindness, friendliness and love resonates through the story and she is an amazing role model, she just proves that we should be kind to everyone and anyone.

You will feel an emotional connection to every character, from Auggie right through to Daisy, their amazing dog.

Wonder produced immensely strong emotions in me. I was amazed at the cruelness people could be capable of, but then later on I was constantly being pleased and overjoyed at the goodness that people can actually show. Those last few chapters where Auggie wins the hearts of his classmates and they realise just how amazing he is, it quite frankly, had me in tears.

R.J. Palacio has a raw talent, her words and colourful, emotional, story pulls a reader in and comforts them, as if it were a warm blanket on a winter night. You won't want the story to end, you want to read about August and how he's attitude makes everyone adore him. You'll want to continue reading, you'll want to feel all those emotions, from heart-warming happiness to that sadness that contains hopefulness. You'll want to become a better person, be that one more person that makes the world a better place. You'll be laughing one minute and the things that August says, the next minute you'll be crying, be it from happiness or sadness, your heart will be giving the book and characters a standing ovation. A novel that everyone on this Earth should read.

I give it: 5/5 CUPCAKES!