Top critical review
594 of 726 people found this helpful
I /wanted/ to give it a better rating...
on June 11, 2012
...but I couldn't. Here, I'll explain why.
First Sentence: I know I'm not an ordinary ten-year-old kid.
How I Acquired the Book: Borrowed from my town's library.
The Review: When I first read the synopsis of this book, my thoughts instantly turned to a friend of mine who had a facial anomaly, just like the main character, August, in this book. So I was excited to read it, to get a glimpse of what my friend's life could be like.
In that aspect, it did not disappoint. Auggie's voice is brilliant, and you can tell R.J. Palacio definitely spends a lot of time around kids. Auggie sounds just like my friend when he was in fifth grade, and is highly believable. It is this that makes the book so heartwarming and realistic. A book full of Auggie would be great.
But this book is /not/ entirely full of Auggie. The first and last 80 pages or so of it are AMAZING, definitely the best parts, because they're told from Auggie's point of view. But the rest of the book is told from different characters' points of view, like Auggie's friends and family. This just does not work. Each character gets 20 to 50 pages, and as I just was getting used to and liking their voice, BAM, the point of view changed again. In the middle of the book I found myself scanning the book to get to Auggie's part more quickly. Not only that, but the plot is lost in these parts, and these supporting characters are not well-developed.
That said, I completely respect and admire Ms. Palacio for doing something so ambitious. It may have not been the best it could be, but Wonder has absolutely raised my awareness and sympathy of people like Auggie. While this novel doesn't deserve a standing ovation, I will be waiting to see if Ms. Palacio's next novel deserves one.
-reviewed by a teenager. (I apologize for any teenagery and/or snarky comments in this review, if they have offended you. I understand they can be very annoying, just like teenagers themselves. In any case, thanks for dealing with them and thanks for reading this review.)