4/5 stars (but more like 3.75/5 I think)
“Now that I look back, I don't know why I was so stressed about it all this time. Funny how sometimes you worry a lot about something and it turns out to be nothing.”
This was good, but to be honest it could have been so much better. The beginning was a little bit slow, somewhere by the end it got pretty boring and the actual ending was way too overdone on this whole happy ending thing.
The beginning felt very middle grade-ish, and while I am fully aware that this is a middle grade book, from the hype that it stirred I was expecting something quite heartbreaking. But for a good while it lacked the depth that I desired, and I even thought about dnf-ing it for that reason. Things did pick up though and suddenly I found myself very much into it, especially when new perspectives were introduced. My favorite point of view to read from was Via's.
“The things we do outlast our mortality. The things we do are like monuments that people build to honor heroes after they've died. They're like the pyramids that the Egyptians built to honor the pharaohs. Only instead of being made of stone, they're made out of the memories people have of you.”
I really enjoyed author's ability to take characters which the reader found unlikable and spin their life stories in a way that would warm up the reader to them right back up. August was the main "wonder" of the book, but it felt nice to see other people's lives and how, even though they were considered fully "normal", their lives still were a crumbling mess.
One big regret I have on the behalf of the book is that it didn't feature August's parent's POV's, and I longed to see those. I wanted to see how they coped with everything too. And I think that would have been very beneficial for young readers who read the book - they would get a glimpse into their parents' feelings and would be able to understand them more.
There were also few threads that didn't go anywhere or didn't get fully unraveled, so in a way it felt like I didn't get closure on some things. I was also a bit put off by that ending - it just felt too forced, too happy, too "Disney-like". It was especially odd because the whole book was realistic and raw, and them bam - a big huge happy rainbow at the end - it just did't feel real.
I would still definitely recommend this book, whether you are an adult or a child - I think that all ages can greatly benefit from reading abut the life and wonders of August Pullman.
“It's like people you see sometimes, and you can't imagine what it would be like to be that person, whether it's somebody in a wheelchair or somebody who can't talk. Only, I know that I'm that person to other people, maybe to every single person in that whole auditorium.
To me, though, I'm just me. An ordinary kid.”
Freelance BETA reader.