AUGGIE & ME: THREE WONDER STORIES
by Leo Hunt
Paperback: 380 pages
Publisher: CORGI (2015)
Adelaine Pek’s ratings: ♥ ♥ ♥ / 5 hearts
You can’t blend in when you were born to stand out.
Wonder is the award-winning story of Auggie Pullman: an ordinary boy with an extraordinary face, who is desperate to fit in.
Julian has always felt uncomfortable around Auggie — but a summer spent with his grandmother in Paris makes Julian see Auggie with new eyes. Christopher is Auggie’s oldest friend — and knows better than most that being part of Auggie’s life comes with its challenges. Charlotte has always been nice to Auggie — but in a year of torn loyalties and damaged feelings, is being nice really enough?
Now read a new side to the Wonder story, from three characters whose lives have been changed by Auggie forever.
I was really excited to get started on this one, seeing as how much I loved reading WONDER and though this book did not blow my socks off, I still enjoyed it very much. Highly recommended you read WONDER before starting on this one.
What I liked about this book is it gave me a different outlook on Julian Albans, Christopher Blake, and Charlotte Cody, the three characters in WONDER that I was curious but never got to learn much about. Since this book is separated into three sections featuring three different main characters, I will be reviewing them one by one starting with…
The Julian Chapter
♥ ♥ ♥ ♥
This is my favorite story and the one I have been anticipating to read the most. Mainly ’cause I want to see from the perspective of the bully, what made him do what he did and how he would eventually grow from this Auggie experience. I did not like him in WONDER, the boy who was described as the stereotypical rich kid who gets away with everything, who didn’t feel bad about his actions because he was never punished for anything. But reading this short story has made it very difficult to keep on disliking Julian.
I will not say much but — as expected — you will learn that Julian is the product of his environment in this chapter. I loved that the author does not try to force readers to forgive or sympathize Julian’s side of things, but merely shows that people are often way more than what they seem. This part of the book is equal parts heartbreaking, infuriating, and thought-provoking. To me, the most satisfying part is getting to see that Julian really does have a chance for redemption.
♥ ♥ ♥ ♥
In this chapter, we get to see the perspective of Christopher, Auggie’s oldest friend. This story alternated between the present day, what is decidedly a bad day for Christopher, and flashbacks of him and Auggie when they were little and also coincides with some of the events in WONDER.
When I first learned that his story is included in this book, I was doubtful if this story was really warranted because he is so far removed from Auggie in the preceding book but I can see why he was included. While the character certainly has some redeeming qualities, I find him to be rather bratty. I get it that he is struggling to find his place and must deal with the emotional turmoil that comes with his parents’ divorce but gosh, he is almost as self-centered as Julian.
My least favorite compared to the other two. Not that it was bad, it was just not that impressive for me. I never quite liked the character Charlotte; she was not a bad person, she was just … mediocre, a white noise at the background that I can just easily tune out and even if you dangle her with a diamond ring in front of me, I will probably still remain uninterested. Sounds mean, but it is the truth. This was how I felt about her in WONDER and after reading this, I must say my perspective of her improved a little but not in the way it did for me with Julian.
The only part I enjoyed in this chapter is the mystery of the accordion man, where Charlotte bands together with two other female students she never expected to become so close with, in hopes of finding out what happened to a stranger she is used to seeing by the roadside as she grew up. Other than that, I felt the chapter could have been shorter.
Overall, it was an enjoyable read and multiple times it brought tears to my eyes. I can see adults and children alike enjoying this book. Not neccessary but a recommended read, especially if you enjoyed WONDER. I am just a little sad we do not get to see what happens to Auggie the year after and in the future. But I am very glad I picked up this book.
“Courage. Kindness. Friendship. Character. These are the qualities that define us as human beings, and propel us, on occasion, to greatness.”