Book Review · Books

Wonder by R.J. Palacio [BOOK REVIEW]

Wonder by R.J. Palacio book review books blog blogging diary of difference diaryofdifference

Wonder is the first book since The Notebook to make me cry to sleep. So sad, emotional and powerful, this is a book everyone needs to be aware of.

August is a young boy that has a health condition, which is why his face looks different than other people’s faces. But he is just as normal and ordinary as any other kid.

When his parents decide it is time for him to go to school instead of being home-schooled, he is afraid. Because children are honest, and sometimes unintentionally mean,

“When given the choice between being right or being kind, choose kind.”

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💙 I had Wonder by R.J. Palacio on my shelf for a very long time, and I finally managed to read it. Right after I read it, I also watched the movie as well. When I finished the movie, it was 4am, and I wasn't even upset! . 💙 Wonder is one of those books that bring out all emotions and make you wonder how kind you are, and what kind of person you really are, when nobody is watching. Following the life of Auggie, we learn that people are not always kind, sometimes intentionally but more often not-intentionally. Either way, it hurts people. But reading about Auggie's story, it fills me with hope that there are still amazing people out there that would still choose kind over other things. . 💙 My favourite character was Jack Will and I think he deserved to receive the award at graduation day! He is a true friend and a real MVP.

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During this book, we see August’s point of view, his daily life and making friends with Jack and Summer. We also get to meet some not as nice kids, being mean to August. However, we see the story from other people’s point of view, which I found quite interesting. Via’a point of view, for example, was quite insightful.

Being August’s sister is not easy.

Especially when dealing with other high-school drama too. Via is in a situation where her relationship with her parents is suffering because of the attention they pay at August. And even though we can clearly see her endless love for him and her mindfulness of priority, we can also notice her need for attention and love as well.

We also see the point of views of his friends Jack and Summer, as well as Via’s ex best-friend. These are all people that August has an impact on, and we can clearly see how they care about him, and how they are battling the society together with him as well. Through August’s friendships, we learn so much about the type of person August is, what he is going through on a daily basis, and also, what kind of people his friends are, and what they are prepared to do for him.

The inspiring thing about this book is August.

For how he helps the people around him to be better versions of themselves. His resilience and positivity, despite the hard life he is currently having and knows he’ll have for the rest of his life. August is so precious and innocent, and the moment the other children start to realise this as well is so emotional and magical. 

Wonder by R.J. Palacio is just a book that is here to remind us to be kind and to be humble. A book I highly recommend to everyone. I also recommend the movie as well, but only after you have read the book. 

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Book Review · Books

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (Harry Potter #3) by J.K. Rowling [BOOK REVIEW]

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J.K. Rowling book review books goodreads blog blogging blogger diary of difference diaryofdifference

In Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Harry Potter is now in his third year at Hogwarts. The atmosphere is tense. There is an escaped mass murderer on the loose, and the prison guards have been called to guard the school. 

Read my reviews of the previous Harry Potter books: 

  1. Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone
  2. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

In the third book, we can immediately notice a much darker and dangerous atmosphere, compared to the previous book. During the series, the books do get gradually darker and darker, more and more mature, and I think this is the book where we start to notice this transition for the first time. 

Harry Potter and his friends have grown up a little, and it clearly shows in their conversations and choices. I was happy to see all the things we learn in this book. The dementors and their deadly kiss, patronuses as well as magical creatures. We learn that Hippogriffs are proud and easily offended.

And we also learn that Malfoy is still a little brat.

The fact that little entitles Malfoy is so jealous of Harry that daddy puts him to play in the Quidditch team annoyed me so much. I just wanted to slap him!

“Pity you can’t attach an extra arm to yours, Malfoy,” said Harry. “Then it could catch the Snitch for you.”

I got quite emotional when Harry is troubled by his parent’s death and is grieving openly, probably for the first time. I believe him meeting more people that were friends with his parents helped him heal. It is such a good feeling to know Harry does have a family and things are starting to look a bit better for him. 

“You think the dead we have loved ever truly leave us? You think that we don’t recall them more clearly than ever in times of great trouble?”

I didn’t quite enjoy the time-travelling part through, I have to be honest. Even though the idea sounds nice, it always troubles me that it is never properly explained and very little attention is being given to it. I wish I read more about it, because then I would have loved it!

I enjoyed this book a lot! It is Harry Potter after all. But it isn’t a favorite of mine. I loved how Harry finds out more about his past and gets a couple of more answers, but I also loved that new paths are opening and are waiting to be discovered in the next books. 

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Book Review · Books

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (Harry Potter #2) by J.K. Rowling [BOOK REVIEW]

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J.K. Rowling book review books goodreads blog blogging blogger diary of difference diaryofdifference

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets is probably my favorite book in the Harry Potter series. Read my review of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone here. It’s the second year in Hogwarts for Harry Potter and his friends Ron and Hermione. The year we discover many new things in the Harry Potter world.

This is the book where we meet Dobby. Also the book where we find out about Voldemort’s true identity. The book in which we find out what really happened to Moaning Myrtle.

I have truly forgotten how good the beginning of the book is. Firstly, I cannot understand why Harry has to go back and stay with that awful family during the summer. I know they are his legal guardians, but they don’t want him staying with them either! Then, there is Dobby, who wants Harry to not go back to Hogwarts and creates a huge mess. The best moment though, is when Ron comes to the rescue with the flying car! Because Ron knows Harry might be in trouble. And Harry’s owl secret endeavours are revealed too. And I cannot help but share this moment of Hermione worrying about Harry, as well as Ron’s family owl. 

“I’ve been really worried and if Harry is all right, will you please let me know at once, but perhaps it would be better if you used a different owl, because I think another delivery might finish your one off.”

There is something about the Harry Potter books that I have always loved. The feeling of acceptance they give you. The inclusivity. The ability to be part of the magical world too!

“You will find that I will only truly have left this school when none here are loyal to me. You will also find that help will always be given at Hogwarts to those who ask for it.”

Harry’s curiosity is something I loved since day one.

I love the powerful friendship he has with Hermione & Ron. His bravery and his eagerness to always make things right. I love that danger doesn’t scare him. And I have to admit – I also love Harry’s rivalry with Malfoy! Their encounters are always a treat!

“Honestly, if you were any slower, you’d be going backwards.”

What I loved the most about this book were the conversations between Harry and You Know Who. The moment Harry acknowledged why he is alive and why he is better.

“How is it that a baby with no extraordinary magical talent managed to defeat the greatest wizard of all time?”

“No one knows why you lost your powers when you attacked me. I don’t know myself. But I know why you couldn’t kill me. Because my mother died to save me.”

And on top o all this – the moment Harry finds out why he truly belongs to Gryffindor!

“It is out choices, Harry, that show us what we truly are, far more than our abilities.”

Truly a favorite of mine and a series I will be forever recommending. Always!

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Book Review · Books

Alienated: Grounded at Groom Lake by Jeff Norton [BOOK REVIEW]

Alienated: Grounded at Groom Lake by Jeff Norton book review books blog blogger blogging diary of difference diaryofdifference

Alienated: Grounded at Groom Lake by Jeff Norton was the perfect middle grade quarantine book I was waiting for! Also – during the quarantine, Jeff is reading a chapter a day on his YouTube Channel, so please do check it out. His reading is wonderful!

From the first moment I read the synopsis, I knew I was going to like this book. 

Fourteen-year-old Sherman is used to moving schools. But he’s never been to a school like Groom Lake High, the high school for aliens. 

It’s a very alien environment for him, and he has to fit in. He quickly makes friends with a gang of galactic misfits. When the school bully NED endangers planet Earth, Sherman and his friends have to do anything they can to stop him!

My Thoughts: 

The thing I loved most about Alienated: Grounded at Groom Lake was the amazing word play and inside jokes. It is very well thought and written and I really enjoyed it! There were so many puns and witty jokes that a children might initially miss, but will definitely make an adult chuckle. 

“It suddenly struck me that Facebook might be one of the alien inventions we were all using. I had seen its inventor on TV once and he definitely looked more alien than human.”

We read the book from Sherman’s point of view.

And through him, we find out everything. His thoughts, his choices, his fears and his dreams. Not only do we get to know him, but we also get to watch his character grow as we move throughout the book. 

“Sherman, when you get older, you’ll come to appreciate that life is basically a series of disappointments.”

Even though alien, this high school puts Sherman through all the troubles a normal school does: making friends, being bullied and having a crush. But Sherman also gets to fly rockets and has a chance to save the world!

Sherman’s sister and his group of friends are awesome! They are funny and smart. I loved Octo, especially for his bravery and selflessness. I also loved the fact that the female characters were presented as strong and powerful individuals. It was a tiny touch, but quite meaningful, and it shouldn’t go unnoticed. 

“Now don’t be fooled. Jess might look like a malnourished goth queen, but she punches like a heavyweight.”

I also liked NED as a character. 

“I’d call him a bully, but that’s giving bullies a bad name.”

He was quite a big bully – that is true. However, being evil is the only think he learned from his parents while growing up. The lesson we can learn is that sometimes we do bad things because we don’t know any different. But what we do once we are given a second chance is what really matters! 

I absolutely loved this book and I recommend it not only to middle-graders, but to people of all ages. It’s a gem and it deserves to be n every child’s library. 

I received a copy of this book through a giveaway on Toppsta. All opinions are my own and completely unbiased. 

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Book Review · Books

The Iron Man by Ted Hughes [BOOK REVIEW]

The Iron Man by Ted Hughes book review books blog blogging diary of difference diaryofdifference

I chose to read The Iron Man by Ted Hughes as part of my Potions prompt for my OWLs Readathon in April. I am very glad I picked it up, because it was such a pleasant short read. 

This is a Children’s book about a little boy an an iron man. The Iron Man starts eating all the metal in the town, and the concerned town members capture him. But when a bigger danger comes around, the might need the help of the Iron Man after all. 

The book was beautifully written and it had many illustrations that supported the story. Illustrations are always something I truly admire. These may have been a bit too grim for me though. 

The writing is very smooth and easy to digest. I believe that it is able to spark a child’s imagination and curiosity. The book is entangled in bravery, friendships and adventure, and I am certain that it will be a child’s dear friend forever, should they read it once. 

I recommend watching the 1999 animated movie The Iron Giant after reading the book, for better enjoyment. 

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