Wonder by R.J. Palacio

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5stars

You don’t need your eyes to love, right? You just feel it inside you.

Title: Wonder
Author: R.J. Palacio
Series: Wonder #1
Number of pages: 410 (paperback edition)
Good things about this book: It’s emotional and it makes you think which is always a good thing.
Bad things about this book: Nothing, it’s the right length and it’s well-written.
Do I recommend it? Yes, to everyone.
Rate: 5/5

Read the summary and add this book on Goodreads: here

Lovely, emotional, important. Everything I like in a book. I received Wonder for free during the International Book Day a couple years ago. Of course I then proceeded to put it in my bookshelf and I forgot about it. Thanks to the movie being released this month, I finally decided to read it. I don’t know why I didn’t do it sooner; it was an adorable book with the most adorable little main character. He warmed my heart.

August is a good kid, no, a great kid! Smart, curious, and above all very brave and mature for a 10-year-old. People can’t seem to understand what it’s truly like to be like him, being born with a face that’s not quite like the others. If they did, they’ll probably see how his appearance is just one piece of the complex puzzle of Auggie! He is so sweet and he doesn’t deserve what the world is giving him!!

Sometimes you don’t have to mean to hurt someone to hurt someone.

At one point in the book a character said that the world hasn’t been kind to Auggie and the first thing that came to my mind wasn’t his face. The unkindness referred made me think of all the times people had been mean to him, either if they didn’t know they were and when they were being mean on purpose. I hated grown up people being scared, treating him like he’s less that their own children because he doesn’t have an ordinary face. What’s wrong with you, people? What are you getting from being an awful person? Nothing, that’s what. No, wait. You’re getting bad karma, that’s what you’re getting from being the bane of mankind. Really Bad Karma.

People being unnecessarily mean are the worst kind. They also usually think what they do is right and justified. Privilege at its worst. Bullies make me so angry; why the hell do you enjoy spending your time tormenting someone you don’t like? Making the life of someone you dislike for reasons that usually are dumb and childish is pathetic. Reading about bullies makes me furious. If only I was more intimidating I’ll be volunteering in schools like a vigilante putting bullies where they belong with my very long speeches about why they have to start behaving like human beings.

He’s just a kid. The weirdest-looking kid I’ve ever seen, yes. But just a kid.

Auggie is a ray of sunshine. He knows his appearance makes people stare, whisper behind his back, and it drives them away. Yet he learns to be himself and soon you forget about his face and start really seeing him. The Auggie beyond; the Wonder. This amazing kid whose bravery teaches lessons of humanity every single day and he doesn’t even notice it. He is just himself. He is a kid and has a kid’s brain. He may have some baggage other kids don’t have, but beyond all that, he is simply just a kid facing the world and learning from it. Making friends, studying, shielding himself from the worst and getting used to the usual. Auggie doesn’t even realize how brave he is but his kindness doesn’t go unnoticed, and the people who meet him find themselves changed.

‘Shall we make a new rule of life … always to try to be a little kinder than is necessary?’

As Auggie’s mom said, they are always going to be mean people but as long as there are good people standing up for what’s right, the world we live in is going to shine a little bit brighter. Be the light, be the difference, don’t turn a blind eye because it doesn’t concern you or because it’s easier to stay away. Choose to make a difference if you are in the position to make it. Choose to be kind, always. You really don’t know how important it is. Be the better you.

I will take this little book with me and wear it like glasses. I’ll watch the world through it and I won’t take for granted what I have. I’ll fight for the ones that can’t fight. I’ll raise my voice when it’s necessary. I’ll be part of the solution. I’ll always choose to be kind; I may be small and only one in billions, but I’m still me, not afraid to fight, and I’ll use all the tools I’m given to make this world safer for whoever doesn’t feel safe in it.

“You really are a wonder, Auggie. You are a wonder.”

Told from various points of view, this story is enlightening and perfect for people of all ages. A year in the life of wonder boy, August Pullman, a boy you all should meet.

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The Ship of the Dead by Rick Riordan

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5stars

The world will end. The big picture cannot be changed. But in the meantime, as Loki once said, we can choose to alter the details. That’s how we take control of our destiny.

Title: The Ship of the Dead
Author: Rick Riordan
Series: Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard #3
Number of pages: 423 (hardcover edition)
Good things about this book: Funny, intriguing, mysterious.
Bad things about this book: The lack of fluidity of Alex seemed done on purpose. I didn’t like it very much.
Do I recommend it? Yes, I always recommend a Rick Riordan.
Rate: 5/5

Read the summary and add this book on Goodreads: here

As soon as I read this was going to be the last book of the Magnus Chase series I knew my book was going to be late because I’m lucky like that. I placed a pre-order that was mysteriously refunded a couple days before the release and that was the beginning of “The Epic Journey of Kristel and the missing Magnus”. It took it one whole spoiler-avoiding month to get here and now that I’ve read it my mind is trying to come to terms with what happened and is going to happen in the next Apollo book. I’m scared!

Magnus and friends are set to sail towards the place where they know the ship of the dead, made of toenails, is, defeat Loki, his undead army, and stop Ragnarok from starting. Sounds easy, right? No, it doesn’t, and it’s not even only those things they need to do. How do you defeat a god? How do you stop an army of zombies when you don’t have a plan? You wait for godly advices and try your best not to die in the meantime. That’s the plan; wing it until you win it.

My first task was my favourite one – getting out of the way.

As usual I loved Magnus, everything about him and his inner monologues. I also loved the whole set of characters accompanying him on this almost impossible quest; we get to know more about all their background stories, the way they died as heroes earning them a place in Valhalla. Each one of them has so much to give to this quest and each one of them is essential for this quest to be a success. I always love how the story is never about a single hero who magically wins everything: this is a team effort and I wouldn’t have loved it as much as I did otherwise.

Alex Fierro, Sam’s green-haired gender-fluid half-sibling chaperone of doom.

One thing I didn’t like was the Alex situation. Alex is gender fluid, right? So if you give us a character that is fluid then you have to allow them to be fluid, on page. When Alex was male it felt through the pages, he was different and I couldn’t wait to get to know him better. I have read books with gender fluid characters and their fluidity was wildly shown and we got to see every aspect of what made them the wonderful beings they were. Instead with Alex we got three scenes with him as a male, three scenes, two right at the beginning then the issue was kind of forgotten! With more scenes it will have shown us more about how Magnus felt about Alex as both male and female. It will have given him and us more info about who he was more interested in. If the whole fluidity was shown off-page, I don’t think I’m okay with it. Give us representation the way we deserve it. All things said, I love Alex and I hope we’ll see more of them, even just a tiny mention, in future books. I’m hoping we get a short story. That’ll be nice!

I will have given this book a 5++ rating if it wasn’t for the Alex situation but The Ship of Dead is still one hell of a book. It has everything I like. It was entertaining, full of mythology, diverse characters, originality, and it has The Lord of the Rings references. Who doesn’t love pop references, right?

My friends were all dressed like me, in white wool, so we looked like a secret society of very clean monks – the Fellowship of the Bleach.

I think it’s time for a Lotr marathon. I just need almost 10 free hours, maybe double if I also want to watch The Hobbit. I will do the re-watch while anxiously waiting for the next Apollo book. I think bad things are going to happen and I will never be ready for those! Please, Rick, don’t kill anyone; make them lose a leg, an arm, but not their lives, I’m begging you! We’ll just have to wait and read, I suppose. Patience is not always a virtue I’m fond of.

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Pip Bartlett’s Guide to Magical Creatures by Jackson Pearce & Maggie Stiefvater

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4stars

“Nothing was as cool as the Unicorns.”

Title: Pip Bartlett’s Guide to Magical Creatures
Author: Jackson Pearce & Maggie Stiefvater
Good things about this book: Unicorns.
Bad things about this book: Adults being adults (read: not helpful).
Do I recommend it? Yes, it’s a very cute little book.
Rate: 4/5

Read the summary and add this book on Goodreads: here

Whoever knows me knows how much I love dragons. No, this series doesn’t have dragons, at least not yet, but it has magnificent magical creatures. Dragons are magical and beautiful and perfect and everything!!! So much love for dragons! This book may not have them yet but it has other majestic creatures such as Unicorns and I love them, too. First and second in my Top5 Favorite Magical Creatures list!

Pip is a little girl who is able to talk to magical creatures. She understands them and they understand her. It’s a wonderful gift but, being 9 years old, nobody believes her. Adults should really start listening and giving little ones the benefit of the doubt instead of shutting everything they say down immediately. Children have a lot of interesting things to say and we should listen.

Pip is spending the summer helping her aunt at her veterinary clinic for magical animals. She will meet all kinds of animals, each with their own personality and peculiarity. My favorite magical creature has to be Regent Maximus, the wonderful unicorn afraid of his own shadow and of almost everything on the planet. He reminded me a little bit of Gary, the hornless unicorn of the wonderful book called The Lightning-Struck Heart because they both have an over the top personality. They are opposites, though: Gary is a diva unicorn and everyone should worship him!

“I’m pretty sure I’m allergic to interesting things.”

Pip doesn’t only meet and makes friends with magical creatures but also with this boy called Tomas. Tomas has all the allergies, trust me he has them all! He is the voice of reason and he also knows how everything can hurt you or kill you and in how much time.

These two will take you to an adventure to save the city from little balls of fur that explode and burn everything. Fuzzles: little things with big eyes that apparently love underwear drawers.

I can’t wait to read the second book and find out more about Unicorns and all the other magical creatures with weird names and funny faces.

firmablog

[ARC] See You in the Cosmos by Jack Cheng

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5stars

Title: See You in the Cosmos
Author: Jack Cheng
Good things about this book: A lovely main character and a different kind of narration.
Bad things about this book: I can’t think of anything right now. I really enjoyed the book.
Do I recommend it? Yes, buy it as soon as it comes out.
Rate: 5/5

Read the summary and add this book on Goodreads: here

[ARC received via Netgalley]

When I requested this book I did it because it was about a kid in love with space. I love space but trust me I don’t love it as much as Alex does. That kid knows everything there is to know about rockets, planets and space in general. He even built his own rocket and is making recordings to send to outer space so that aliens can know in advance how is life on Earth.

Alex is only eleven years old but thirteen in responsibility years, or so he says and I believe him. He is one wise and mature young fellow. Smart and self sufficient, he takes care of his mother and his puppy named after his hero, Carl Sagan. He loves space so much he is going to New Mexico by himself to fly his rocket. He is going to put his Golden iPod inside with all the recordings he’s being doing. He is an adorable boy, really honest and straightforward. It’s only natural people want to help him and find themselves somehow involved in his adventures.

Alex is a special boy and he is very imaginative. You can’t help by love him and cheer for him to achieve whatever dream he wants to achieve. You need to know everything is going to be ok and when you start to understand his life isn’t without its complications you can’t help but be worried. I know I had wet eyes during a couple of parts and it was really hard holding back my tears. Alex deserves the world, or better, he deserves the universe and I was going to fight all the people putting obstacles in his way. I love you, Alex!

At first I didn’t know if the way this book is written was going to be of my liking. This book is written in recordings. Everything you read is part of the recordings Alex is planning to send to outer space. It was different, I can’t deny that, because you only knew what Alex told you, his side and interpretation of what he was experiencing but his voice was so pure that no matter how different it felt, it also felt right. After finishing the book I know I wouldn’t have wanted the story written in any other way.

A special story told by a special boy about what makes his life special. It was lovely and it made me happy. What’s better than that?

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