Wonder | R J Palacio

Wednesday, 10 May 2017

I've actually had this book for a few years now and I remember trying to read it when I was doing my A levels and getting sidetracked and not finishing it. So this month I picked it up again and for the main part, enjoyed it quite a lot. 


Auggie wants to be an ordinary ten-year-old. He does ordinary things - eating ice cream, playing on his Xbox. He feels ordinary - inside. But ordinary kids don't make other ordinary kids run away screaming in playgrounds. Ordinary kids aren't stared at wherever they go.

Born with a terrible facial abnormality, Auggie has been home-schooled by his parents his whole life. Now, for the first time, he's being sent to a real school - and he's dreading it. All he wants is to be accepted - but can he convince his new classmates that he's just like them, underneath it all?


I thought this book was brave. And not for the reasons that you might at first think. It was written in many different points of view which I liked a lot because it projected the attention away from the main character that you had already gathered a basic opinion about, and delved into the thought processes of the people closest to him. I also thought it was a wonderful  and positive insight into living with a facial disfigurement. When I first started reading it I did think it could have given the reader a bit more of a description of the extent of Auggie's condition, but I now understand why that wasn't presented to us. I also think that the writing style was a little infantile, I first thought it was because it was being read from the point of view of a child, but the writing style didn't change when the chapters were presented from older people. There were also a multitude of spelling mistakes which was strange and if you're anything like me and struggle to become immersed because of grammar, you would have a pretty hard time reading this book.

Apart from that I think this book is okay, it does what it inventively wanted to do and gives the reader an empathetic view of the protagonist and then turns it onto the other characters in the story. I liked the plot a lot and favoured it's quite relaxed surroundings. Auggie lives in a nuclear family and I like that the love and support of his parents is highlighted a lot. I also like how the character of his sister is written and the struggle around giving one child all the attention, but she is still a lovable character. It's written with care and it is a book that fills you with hope and is something incredibly different, I haven't read a YA like this before. 

I'm also being told by Google and Twitter that they are making a film of this? This alarms me greatly. Because 1) I think it will ruin the book's aesthetic, some books aren't meant to be films and this is one of them and 2) Jacob Trembley is playing Auggie? The kid from Room. Who is no doubt an amazing actor, but surely if you're going to do a film about facial disfigurement, you use a facially disfigured actor. Someone who knows what it's like and who can identify with the main character. And also, the most important part; someone who can represent the FD community in an aware and respectable way. It's typical Hollywood all over again, making a film about a facially disfigured, olive skinned child and casting a 'facially normal' white child actor. It boils my blood, honestly when will they learn?! If this film does happen I probably will end up boycotting it until someone successfully convinces me it is a fair and accurate portrayal.

So, book; good, film; no, just no. I would encourage you to read Wonder though, despite its flaws I think it is a powerful and important read. Especially if you're into YA.

If you've read this book I would love to know your opinion. And also, what do you think of the film being made?  


  1. I’ve been super intrigued by this book, so it was lovely to hear your thoughts on it, you shared some interesting opinions. It sounds like something I would like to read, the story seems inspiring and I agree brave of the author to write. Your review made me want to pick it up! :-) xx

    Helen | Helen’s Fashion, Beauty & Lifestyle Blog

    1. Yeah it's a good read and very inspiring, not too sure about what the film will be like though. Thanks Helen!