Wonder by R J Palacio is my first children's novel to review. In between books and while waiting for The Constant Princess by Philippa Gregory for our next Book Club discussion in March, Riya my 12 year old passed me her school Literature book to read. Being a Potterhead, she has been bugging me to read the entire Harry Potter series! I have been evading her citing housework and the fact that there are like 7 thick books to read, for a while now. So I couldn't escape this time :)
Wonder is a 2012 novel and has received many awards and recognition.
One of Time Magazine's
100 Best Young Adult Books
of all Time
An Entertainment Weekly
10 Great Kids' Books
A Parent Magazine's
Top 10 Book of the Year
Wonder is soon to be a major motion picture and is a #1 New York Times Bestseller.
August Pullman or Auggie as he is fondly called is born with a facial abnormality. Home schooled till 10, his mom decides to send him to a public school in Grade 5. He joins Breecher Prep School, New York with much reluctance. Being a new kid in a school is already hard. Imagine being a new kid with facial difference from the rest?? How can he convince his classmates and schoolmates that he is just like them inside, despite his E T like appearance?
It is a nice feel good book with a lot of lessons to be learnt. Told from the perspectives of Auggie, his sister Olivia, his good friends Jack, Summer and Olivia's best friend Miranda and split into 8 parts. Some quotes from the novel :
'Your deeds are your monuments. We should be remembered for the things we do. They are more important than what we look like or what we say' - Auggie in English class.
'Funny how sometimes you worry a lot about something and it turns out to be nothing' - Auggie when he gets a hearing aid.
'...You don't need your eyes to love, right? You just feel it inside you...Its just love, and no one forgets who they love.' - Auggie's sister Olivia when asked how do people recognize each other in heaven.
'Kinder than necessary...Because its not enough to be kind. One should be kinder than needed. Wherever you are, whenever you can, if you will try to act a little kinder than is necessary - the world would be a better place'. Mr Tushman, principal of Breecher Prep School giving his graduation speech.
Excellent for pre teens and even 8 - 10 year olds to read. I thought it was little youngish for a 12 -13 year old, though. Consisting of 310 pages in medium sized font, Wonder would make a lovely gift for your children, nieces or nephews.
R J Palacio is an American author living in New York. Her chance encounter one day with an extraordinary child in front of an ice cream store made her realize the time has come for her to write her first novel. Wonder is the product of that realization.
'Americans like pregnant women...it baffles me that these self-righteous, self-enthralled waddlers get special treatment. As if its so hard to spread your legs and let a man ejaculate between them.'
I chuckled when I read that. Witty. Hilarious. Thrilling. Reading Gone Girl - the 2012 New York Times #1 Bestseller from acclaimed author Gillian Flynn is the best thing I have done so far this year. I have watched the movie twice and I still wanted to read the novel knowing the ending fully well. What does this say about the movie?? The fact that I watched it twice and still got hooked enough to want to read the novel?? (I'll come to that later).
Gone Girl is a runaway hit thriller novel. Reviews of this bestseller has been done thousands of times online and in print. It has become so successful, that some believe that it has already achieved a cult novel in the thriller genre. I guess I am quite late to review this book but I just had to. It was a very very brilliantly written novel.
Gillian Flynn has written Dark Places and Sharp Objects earlier but none of them skyrocketed to global fame like Gone Girl. It packs a winning formula of intriguing, frightening and enchanting readers all at once.
The novel is about Nick Dunne whose wife Amy Elliot Dunne disappears on their 5th wedding anniversary in Missouri. The journey Nick and the detectives take to find the 'Gone Girl' is crazily twisted. Told through alternating voices, the day by day chilling discoveries tumble out the skeletons in the closet. Shocking, disbelieving.
Some interesting quotes from the book,
From Amy :
'I could build my days around charity committees and home decorations and gardening and volunteering, and I don't think there's anything wrong in building a life around those things. The most beautiful good things are done by women people scorn.' (Interesting)
He came home from work and kissed me full on the lips... I almost cried. I'd been so lonely. To be kissed on the lips by your husband is the most decadent thing.' (Arguable)
'Tampon commercial, detergent commercial, maxipad commercial, Windex commercial. You'd think all women do is clean and bleed' (Funny)
From Nick :
'She was gone, yet she was more present than anyone else' (profound)
I honestly didn't expect the ending. It was beyond my imagination. How could Ms Flynn come up with such twists, such turns in the story? With so many different baffling ideas? Where does she get her inspiration from? An amazing storyline. An equally amazing totally unexpected ending. Ms Flynn is a very gifted author. Gillian Flynn is now my current favourite author.
I was comparing Ms Flynn to Ms Rowling - author of the Harry Potter series. We have a potterhead at home -my 12 year old Riya- and we watch the movies often. We always discuss how Ms Rowling could have come up with such intelligent ideas for her series. Another truy gifted author.
Comprising 415 pages in very small print, I took 2 weeks to read the book which explains why this review is so late. Gillian Flynn's novels have been published in 40 languages worldwide.
The movie was released in 2015 and I believe it was the best movie adaptation I have seen so far. Directer by David Fincher ( the same director who directed The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo) and starring cool handsome Ben Affleck and beautiful blond Rosamund Pike. The ending of the movie was slighly different from that of the novel. But no change in story line. The soundtrack was equally amazing. Composed by Trent Reznor/Atticus Ross. I especially liked Sugar Storm.
I was blown away first by the movie, then by the music and then by the novel. Read it to love it.
Available at most bookstores for US$ 10.