Hola! The Insider is hosting a blogpost by Shalini Baisiwala. She writes a book review in this post.

In her own words , she can be described as an interior designer by profession for whom, writing is a passion which coupled with travel-love blossomed into this blog where I love to just “do my thing”! Be it recipes, food events, travel jaunts, fiction dreaming or even meditative musings; all of it’s taken up quite passionately on my blog. I am a serious wine guzzler and love to chase butterflies in my free time. This post is part of the December bloghop #mymojo with Shalzmojo

 

Wonder Book review

“You can’t blend in, when you were born to stand out.”

I had been hearing superb reviews of this book titled Wonder which also got made into a movie starring my favourite Julia Roberts (I am still to watch it). This birthday a friend gifted me this book from my wish list and I couldn’t be happier about it.

Title: Wonder

Genre: Fiction

Publisher: Corgi

Author: R.J. Palacio

R.J. Palacio had a chance encounter with a very extraordinary child outside an ice cream store, a few years ago. That’s when she decided to take the plunge and write her very own book.

Synopsis:

August Pullman is a 10 year old boy whose entire world is about to be rocked. You see his parents have just informed him that he is being enrolled into regular school. He cannot even begin to fathom the implications of this dire act.

August suffers from a facial disorder by birth and after numerous surgeries; his face still doesn’t have any semblance to “normal”. So he considers himself a freak and often wears a helmet when stepping out of the house. He had been home schooled, up until now.

He agrees to go meet the principal and check out the school for himself  before deciding on anything. The Principal has recruited three children from his class-to-be who are introduced to him and take him around the school to show it all to him. All three are a varied character and leave certain impressions on August.

His joining school is not without much incident, as was to be expected but it’s the way August deals with each situation in his own special way, that makes this book such a wonderful read.

Lasting impression on me:

How has the author gotten into the psyche of a 10 year old with facial deformity is beyond me. But the way she has outlined the fears and anguish of this little boy, made me weep while reading the book.

School kids can be unforgiving and cruel. So imagine a 10 year old having to brave that with his physical deformity. He is so acutely aware of the stares and whispers that follow his tread everywhere he goes. No one wants to be his friend as they are either scared of him or repulsed by him. Either ways it’s a no win for him.

August is so so brave and much more mature than many adults around him. He manages to turn around a bleak situation in his favour without even meaning to.

I loved the character sketched of the mother and sister – quite contrasting to each other. But both valiantly stand loyal and steadfast to August and help me circumnavigate the school year with great aplomb. Their protectiveness comes in various guises but neither hampers August from following his own path.

The entire family finds strength in being there for August and treating his situation as odd but acceptable. This acceptance is what makes for a new normal in this story and I just loved the author’s take on it.

My rating:

A hearty 5 stars for this wonderfully warm book which is to be savoured slowly, over a few moons!

I hope you like my review of Wonder – you could also catch the movie based on this book which came out a while back. For other reviews done by me, you could head to my blog. One of my favourite ones that I will share here is

My Family & Other Animals by Gerald Durrell

PS: If you like reading, you might want to check out theInsider’s review of Aatish Taseer’s latest here. 

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11 thoughts on “#TheInsiderGP Book review by Shalini Baisiwala”

  1. Hi Shalini,

    Your review of this book has me very intrigued! I like a story where I can let loose and cry…

    I am sure to read My Family & Other Animals some time soon.

    Keep up the good work!

  2. I loved reading Wonder more so for the different characters’ perspectives in the narrative without which the story would have been one-dimensional. The perspective which touched me most was of August’s sister. She herself goes through a lot at high school and yet she has to put up a brave face at home keeping everything to herself because the family already has too much on their plate with respect to August’s medical treatments and other aspects. The movie was also great. It stayed close to the book. There is also a picture book edition of Wonder for the younger readers by the name ‘We are all wonders’.

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  5. An outstanding share! I’ve just forwarded this onto a colleague who had been doing
    a little research on this. And he in fact ordered me breakfast because I found it
    for him… lol. So allow me to reword this…. Thanks for the meal!!

  6. Basically, it’s all about meeting your fears and
    facing them head-on. Give a lot of merit to your gut feel when you meet all of them.
    Is there an “either or” decision you’re fighting?

  7. I adored this book! And it’s one I recommend to every one, especially every single middle grade kid! A little too much maybe, but that’s much I love this story!

    That being said, you should check out the movie too, Shalini. You’ll love it!

  8. Thanks so much Shan – the movie is on my list!! I loved the bravery of little August and could so relate with his inner emotions. Very rarely does a writer touch me so deeply as with this book and yes I am recommending this one book to all too!!

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