Wonder by R.J. Palacio
[5 out of 5 Stars]
I read this book at the insistence of my younger brother and my mother, two people who have a completely different taste in books. That says a lot about Wonder.
Ever since middle school, I have really disliked books told through first-person. I felt as if it cheapened the story. Wonder demolished my previously held opinion about the point of view of a book. The plot is told beautifully through every single character in this story. Palacio switches the perspectives between many different characters and it works. I was not expecting to be so touched by Via’s perspective and am so glad her point of view was included in the book. The author manages to give each character an individual voice which is so refreshing.
My expectation for this book was a slightly heartwarming but otherwise dull story. I was so surprised when I started crying during Via’s portion of the book. The compassion shared between Auggie’s family felt so real to me. Love was such a pronounced theme in Wonder. Perseverance was also significant in a way that was real to the fifth grader in the book. Overcoming obstacles was important to every character and I enjoyed that, despite the book primarily being about Auggie, Palacio showed that everyone has struggles in real life.
The only thing that put me off about this book was Via’s boyfriend’s point of view. I suppose the fact that there was almost no punctuation was to show how Justin had a different style than other people but it was hard to follow conversations. With no quotation marks or commas, Justin’s perspective was really annoying. His point of view would have been appreciated by me if the author would have just written it like all of the characters. I do acknowledge, however, that Justin’s perspective was important because he offered an outsider’s view to Auggie’s condition.
Overall, this book was amazing. The only way I can describe it is like when you walk into your house on a really cold day and the temperature is suddenly forty degrees warmer. Wonder is a book I would recommend to anyone, whether they’re thirteen or eighty-three. I don’t usually enjoy reading books when the main character is younger than me, but this story made me rethink all of that.
Also, I’m so happy to say that Wonder is being made into a movie! You can watch the trailer here. It looks really good so far. Let me know down in the comments if you’re going to see it!