Recently Read: Four Books + Ratings

“It’s strange because sometimes, I read a book, and I think I am the people in the book.”

― Stephen Chbosky, The Perks of Being a Wallflower

#1 Wonder by R.J. Palacio

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Synopsis:

You can’t blend in when you were born to stand out.

My name is August. I won’t describe what I look like. Whatever you’re thinking, it’s probably worse.

August Pullman wants to be an ordinary ten-year-old. He does ordinary things. He eats ice cream. He plays on his Xbox. He feels ordinary – inside.

But Auggie is far from ordinary. Ordinary kids don’t make other ordinary kids run away screaming in playgrounds. Ordinary kids don’t get stared at wherever they go.

Born with a terrible facial abnormality, Auggie has been home-schooled by his parents his whole life, in an attempt to protect him from the cruelty of the outside world. Now, for the first time, he’s being sent to a real school – and he’s dreading it. All he wants is to be accepted – but can he convince his new classmates that he’s just like them, underneath it all?

Narrated by Auggie and the people around him whose lives he touches forever, WONDER is a funny, frank, astonishingly moving debut to read in one sitting, pass on to others, and remember long after the final page.

Nederlandse omschrijving:

Ik heet August, en ik ga niet beschrijven hoe ik eruitzie. Wat je ook denkt, ik weet bijna zeker dat het erger is.’

Auggie Pullman is geboren met een gezichtsafwijking, en ook na veel operaties ziet hij er nog heel ongewoon uit. Hij doet zijn best niet op te vallen, maar mensen schrikken als ze hem zien, en ze staren of kijken weg.
Als hij tien is gaat hij voor het eerst naar een gewone school. Auggie is bang dat hij niet geaccepteerd zal worden, en hij krijgt gelijk. Zijn klasgenoten negeren hem en sommigen beginnen hem te pesten. Maar er is één meisje dat zich niet door Auggies uiterlijk laat afschrikken…

Wonder is het eerste boek van R.J. Palacio en het is meteen een enorm succes. In Amerika was Wonder hét boek van het jaar en begonnen lezers campagnes tegen pesten. Het boek verschijnt in meer dan vijfentwintig landen.

My favorite quotes:

“I think there should be a rule that everyone in the world should get a standing ovation at least once in their lives.”

“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 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.”

“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.”

“Sometimes I think my head is so big because it is so full of dreams”

Rating:

5c1-1-1 (1)

#2 Looking for Alaska by John Green

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Synopsis:

A deeply affecting coming-of-age story, Looking for Alaska traces the journey of Miles Halter, a misfit Florida teenager who leaves the safety of home for a boarding school in Alabama and a chance to explore the “Great Perhaps.” Debut novelist and NPR commentator Green perfectly captures the intensity of feeling and despair that defines adolescence in this hip, shocking, and emotionally charged work of fiction.

Miles has a quirky interest in famous people’s last words, especially François Rabelais’s final statement, “I go to seek a Great Perhaps.” Determined not to wait for death to begin a similar quest, Miles convinces his parents to let him leave home. Once settled at Culver Creek Preparatory School, he befriends a couple of equally gifted outcasts: his roommate Chip―commonly known as the Colonel—who has a predilection for memorizing long, alphabetical lists for fun; and the beautiful and unpredictable Alaska, whom Miles comes to adore.

The kids grow closer as they make their way through a school year filled with contraband, tests, pranks, breakups, and revelations about family and life. But as the story hurtles toward its shattering climax, chapter headings like “forty-six days before” and “the last day” portend a tragic event―one that will change Miles forever and lead him to new conclusions about the value of his cherished “Great Perhaps.”

Nederlandse omschrijving:

Het ontroerend mooie debuut van John Green!

Miles Halter is gefascineerd door Beroemde Laatste Woorden. Geïnspireerd door de laatste woorden van de Franse dichter Rabelais gaat hij op zoek naar een Groot Misschien. Niet door te sterven, maar door zich in te schrijven voor een kostschool in Alabama.

Eenmaal aangekomen op Culver Creek maakt Miles kennis met zijn kamergenoot Chip Martin – de Kolonel – en met Alaska Young. Slimme, grappige, mooie, onvoorspelbare, sexy Alaska, voor wie Miles als een blok valt en die hem Het Grote Misschien in katapulteert – Miles ontredderd achterlatend.

Het Grote Misschien is een meesterlijk debuut over vriendschap, grenzeloze verliefdheid en volwassen worden. Het laat zien welke onuitwisbare invloed de ene mens op de andere kan hebben en roept reminiscenties op aan die andere sensitieve, maffe en onvergetelijke jongvolwassenen uit The Catcher in the Rye en Dead Poets Society.

My favorite quotes:

“The only way out of the labyrinth of suffering is to forgive.”

“Thomas Edison’s last words were ‘It’s very beautiful over there’. I don’t know where there is, but I believe it’s somewhere, and I hope it’s beautiful.”

“So I walked back to my room and collapsed on the bottom bunk, thinking that if people were rain, I was drizzle and she was a hurricane.”

“Imagining the future is a kind of nostalgia. (…) You spend your whole life stuck in the labyrinth, thinking about how you’ll escape it one day, and how awesome it will be, and imagining that future keeps you going, but you never do it. You just use the future to escape the present.”

“When I look at my room, I see a girl who loves books.”

Rating:

5c1-1-1 (2)

#3 An Abundance of Katherines by John Green

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Synopsis:

When it comes to relationships, Colin Singleton’s type is girls named Katherine. And when it comes to girls named Katherine, Colin is always getting dumped. Nineteen times, to be exact. On a road trip miles from home, this anagram-happy, washedup child prodigy has ten thousand dollars in his pocket, a bloodthirsty feral hog on his trail, and an overweight, Judge Judy-loving best friend riding shotgun–but no Katherines. Colin is on a mission to prove The Theorem of Underlying Katherine Predictability, which he hopes will predict the future of any relationship, avenge Dumpees everywhere, and finally win him the girl.

Nederlandse omschrijving:

Colin Singleton, een wonderkind dat vele talen beheerst en in anagrammen denkt, is zojuist door zijn negentiende vriendinnetje met de naam Katherine gedumpt. Zijn enige vriend, Hassan – in alle opzichten zijn tegenpool – neemt hem mee op een roadtrip waarop hij hem op zijn eigen onnavolgbare wijze bijstaat. Hun tocht eindigt al snel in het gat Gutshot.

Terwijl de onverwachte en hilarische gebeurtenissen elkaar opvolgen vertelt de schrijver het ontroerende verhaal van een bijzondere vriendschap.

My favorite quotes:

“Books are the ultimate Dumpees: put them down and they’ll wait for you forever; pay attention to them and they always love you back.”

“What is the point of being alive if you don’t at least try to do something remarkable?”

“You don’t remember what happened. What you remember becomes what happened.”

“That’s who you really like. The people you can think out loud in front of.”

“There’s some people in this world who you can just love and love and love no matter what.”

“If people could see me the way I see myself – if they could live in my memories – would anyone love me?”

“That smile could end wars and cure cancer.”

“You know what I hate? The outdoors. I mean, generally. I don’t like outside. I’m an inside person. I’m all about refrigeration and indoor plumbing and Judge Judy.”

Rating:

4c-11-1 (1)

#4 The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky

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Synopsis:

Charlie is a freshman.

And while he’s not the biggest geek in the school, he is by no means popular. Shy, introspective, intelligent beyond his years yet socially awkward, he is a wallflower, caught between trying to live his life and trying to run from it.

Charlie is attempting to navigate his way through uncharted territory: the world of first dates and mix tapes, family dramas and new friends; the world of sex, drugs, and The Rocky Horror Picture Show, when all one requires is that perfect song on that perfect drive to feel infinite. But he can’t stay on the sideline forever. Standing on the fringes of life offers a unique perspective. But there comes a time to see what it looks like from the dance floor.

The Perks of Being a Wallflower is a deeply affecting coming-of-age story that will spirit you back to those wild and poignant roller-coaster days known as growing up.

Nederlandse omschrijving:

Charlie gaat naar de bovenbouw. Hij is zeker geen sukkel, maar populair is hij ook niet. Zijn verlegen, hyperintelligente en sociaal onaangepaste karakter zorgt ervoor dat hij een muurbloempje blijft. Charlie probeert op zijn eigen manier vat te krijgen op de wereld van dates, familiedrama’s, seks en drugs. Gelukkig heeft hij vrienden die hem hier af en toe bij helpen. Op zijn eigen unieke, aandoenlijke en aangrijpende manier vertelt Charlie zijn verhaal aan de enige persoon die hij vertrouwt. Aan jou. Stephen Chbosky (1970) is auteur, scriptschrijver en regisseur. Zijn debuut De belevenissen van een muurbloem was direct bij verschijning een succes. Het veroorzaakte veel opschudding in Amerika, omdat het daar op veel scholen werd verboden vanwege de controversiële inhoud. Chbosky woont in New York. ‘De belevenissen van een muurbloem is volwassener dan de meeste young adult-literatuur en zal ook zeker door oudere lezers gewaardeerd worden.’ denise kersten, usa today ‘Dit verhaal over zijn leven zal tieners nog jaren bezighouden.’ school library journal

My favorite quotes:

“We accept the love we think we deserve.”

“So, this is my life. And I want you to know that I am both happy and sad and I’m still trying to figure out how that could be.”

“Things change. And friends leave. Life doesn’t stop for anybody.

“I would die for you. But I won’t live for you.”

“So, I guess we are who we are for alot of reasons. And maybe we’ll never know most of them. But even if we don’t have the power to choose where we come from, we can still choose where we go from there. We can still do things. And we can try to feel okay about them.”

“There’s nothing like deep breaths after laughing that hard. Nothing in the world like a sore stomach for the right reasons.”

“I am very interested and fascinated how everyone loves each other, but no one really likes each other.”

Rating:

5c1-1-1 (1)

 

Happy reading!

Liefs,

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