Author: R. J. Palacio
Release Date: February 2012
Published By: Knopf Books
Goodreads Rating: 4.40 stars
Review: Auggie Pullman was born with a facial deformity worse than anything you can imagine that prevented him from attending mainstream school - until now. He's entering fifth grade at Beecher Prep, which would be hard enough for any new student, but especially him. On the inside, he's really just an ordinary eleven-year-old kid, but will the other students learn to finally see that?
As you can probably tell from any book with a unique summary like that, WONDER was at once new and heart-breaking. I've never really read a book with such a hard concept as this one had, so it was amazing to see what the author was able to do with such a difficult topic. And of course, the results absolutely tore you apart emotionally.
In particular, I really appreciated the fact that the author chose to use multiple perspectives to tell this story. The voices used ranged from Auggie, his sister, his friend, and a couple others, and although I sometimes dislike the use of so many varied point of views, it actually worked well here. Each new perspective shed a completely different light on the book, and added rather than detracted from the overall experience.
The one aspect I didn't like as much, however, was just how convenient and perfect the ending was. This is a book about a very hard topic, and I would have expected it to be a little darker than how it actually was. I mean, don't get me wrong, I can appreciate a good, uplifting story, but this was just too candy-sweet. I would expect more of a bittersweet ending, or at least something a little bit more realistic.
All in all, WONDER was a beautifully heart-breaking novel with a wonderful cast of characters that provided great new perspectives to the story. I only wish that the book itself was a little more realistic in terms of how it ended. However, although this book had an eleven-year-old protagonist, it truly is a story for everyone and I recommend it to any fans of contemporary.