Publication Date: February 14th, 2012
August Pullman wants to be an ordinary ten-year-old. He does ordinary things. He eats ice cream. He plays on his Xbox. He feels ordinary - inside.
But Auggie is far from ordinary. Ordinary kids don't make other ordinary kids run away screaming in playgrounds. Ordinary kids don't get stared at wherever they go.
Born with a terrible facial abnormality, Auggie has been home-schooled by his parents his whole life, in an attempt to protect him from the cruelty of the outside world. 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?
"Sometimes you don't have to mean to hurt someone to hurt someone."
I can honestly say that this book was so different than I expected. What I expected was some book with a guy who was extremely misfigured and that his life would be living hell and that he would be made fun of and picked on constantly. I pictured it being heartbreaking and really just the most depressing book ever. And in a way it was. But not in the way I imagined.
I've written and erased at least ten different ways to try to explain this book. This book is beautiful to start, not just the writing, which was SO well done I can't even comprehend how well done it was, but characters are beautiful. This is 100% a character driven story. There is a plot but the characters carry the plot.
The characters are flawless. And I don't mean flawless like they have no flaws, but they are so flawlessly written that it's so hard to critique. The characters all have faults. All of them except Auggie's mom really. She was honestly the best character in this story. Her strength and love and just maternal instinct's were beautiful and there is no mom I would have preferred for Auggie. His dad is the same. He made me cry in the end and I just I loved his dad dearly. But the rest of the characters were flawed and that was the best. You could understand and relate to the side characters, the things they said and the things they did (except Julian, we hate that guy) but at the same time you wanted to hate them but you just can't. Perfectly done relatable and flawed characters.
And then there's Auggie. My dear beautiful little Auggie. There's a certain speech in this book that made me cry, if you've read the book you know the one. Everything I want to say about this beautiful boy was said in that scene so I will just leave it at this. The strongest and most beautiful and relatable but unrelatable character and I honestly love him.
I just... this book is a book that lingers. I thought about it all day and it will stay with me for the rest of my life. This book has so many life lessons, it makes you appreciate what you have, "be kinder than necessary," realize how strong some people can be, and just learn how to be a decent human being. I love that this is required reading for some schools and honestly should be mandatory for all humans to have to read this because it would make everyone just a little bit nicer.
I wanted to write more, and more eloquently, but really this book left me speechless and this is all I can manage. I need to find myself a special place on my shelves for this book to be displayed because it's got a special place in my heart.