Tag: fiction

  • Wonder by R.J. Palacio

    Rating : 9/10

    Genre : Fiction, Contemporary, Young Adult

    What It’s About

    Wonder is the story of August Pullman (aka Auggie), a 10-year-old boy born with a rare craniofacial disorder and his experience of attending a school for the first time. The book is based on the themes of kindness, identity, bullying, acceptance and friendship. Auggie’s journey is an emotional rollercoaster, from being bullied and called a “freak” to finding friends that truly accept and treat him like any other ordinary kid. It’ll make you smile, laugh and even shed tears at times.

    Palacio has written this book in eight parts which include the story being told from the viewpoints of various people who are a part of Auggie’s life including his friends, his elder sister, her boyfriend and more. The book also contains numerous life lessons and quotes in the form of “Mr. Browne’s Precepts” which I quite liked.

    Key Thoughts

    The book was truly heart-warming and inspirational to read. Since there’s a vast range of characters, you’ll definitely relate to a few of them. The book felt short because of how fast-paced it was.

    Some of the viewpoints given in the book were too short and seemed unnecessary. Just when you get invested in an individual’s perspective, it switches and then you have to spend some time adjusting to someone else’s point of view.

    Despite this, I think that they were incredibly written. Reading the same story from different viewpoints shows us how there are two sides to every story. Even the antagonists appear less evil after you hear their explanations.

    It’s Auggie’s character development that makes this book so special. I love how he says in the opening sentence of the book, “I know I’m not an ordinary ten-year-old kid” nonetheless by the time the book ends, he says, “To me, though, I’m just me. An ordinary kid.”

    The book reminds us of the importance of being kind to each other and loving people unconditionally. Overall, it was a great read, This is one of those books I recommend to people of all ages even though it is promoted towards young adults.

    Summary Notes

    “I wish everyday could be Halloween. We could all wear masks all the time. Then we could walk around and get to know each other before we got to see what we looked like under the masks.”

    “Don’t give them that power over you. Don’t give them the satisfaction.”

    “For a second, I imagined how cool it would be to be Via and Justin right then, having all these people standing up and cheering for them. I think there should be a rule that everyone in the world should get a standing ovation at least once in their lives.”

    “It’s so weird how that can be, how you could have a night that’s the worst in your life, but to everybody else it’s just an ordinary night.” “Or maybe it was even a good day. Maybe somebody won the lottery today.”

    “Kinder than is necessary. Because it’s not enough to be kind. One should be kinder than needed.”

    “Courage. Kindness. Friendship. Character. These are the qualities that define us as human beings, and propel us, on occasion, to greatness.”

    “.. the best way to measure how much you’ve grown isn’t by inches or the number of laps you can now run around the track, or even your grade point average– though those things are important, to be sure. It’s what you’ve done with your time, how you’ve chosen to spend your days, and whom you’ve touched this year. That, to me, is the greatest measure of success.”

    “It’s not enough to be friendly. You have to be a friend.”

  • The Room on the Roof by Ruskin Bond

    Rating : 9/10

    Genre : Fiction, Young Adult

    What It’s About

    The Room on the Roof is a classic fiction about a seventeen-year-old orphaned Anglo-Indian boy, Rusty who manages to escape his strict English guardian. He aspires to live a life of happiness and relaxation. The boy who used to be called a ‘snob’ slowly found himself developing a strong bond with his friends. He became accustomed to the Indian lifestyle and was no longer confined.

    Just when Rusty was living his best life, the story took a gloomy turn. His companions start to flit which was then accompanied by a tragedy with Rusty’s first love interest. The book describes life from a teen’s perspective, his experiences with friendship, love and responsibility and his transformation into a mature adult.

    How I discovered It

    This novel was Ruskin Bond’s first literary venture, Written when he was seventeen himself. It was also the first book by him I’ve ever read. I discovered it quite randomly a few years back after being recommended it by my friends. It made me fall in love with the author’s writing style. After reading this book, I immediately bought more books by him, read them and became fond of them as well.

    Key Thoughts

    Written in a short and simple manner, the book is about self-discovery. It depicts friendship and love with a realistic approach. With an adventurous start, the ending was quite unpredicted and leaves the reader heartbroken. It shows that life is uncertain and we should learn to move on. It displays the freedom and responsibilities of a teenager’s life. The book teaches that the best relationships in life are formed when we are least expecting them; which is the reason we should open ourselves to new people without being hesitant.

    Summary Notes

    “They who sleep last, wake first. Hunger and pain lengthen the night, and so the beggars and dogs are the last to see the stars; hunger and pain hasten the awakening, and the beggars and dogs are the first to see the sun.”

    “We don’t know why we live. It is no use trying to know. But we have to live, Rusty, because we really want to. And as long as we want to, we have got to find something to live for, and even die for it.”

    “One day you’ll be great, Rusty. A writer or an actor or a prime minister or something. Maybe a poet! Why not a poet, Rusty?”

    “He could not run away. He could not escape the life he had made, the ocean into which he had floundered the night he left his guardian’s house. He had to return to the room; his room; he had to go back.”