My Secret Hideout

Welcome to my not-so-secret hideout, where the forts are constructed out of books and the adventures never stop.

Wonder by R.J. Palacio

If there was one book I wish I had with me when I was in grade 5, this book would be it. Usually, I am not a big fan of coming-of-age stories. I always figured I read a book to get away from real life, why would I read about all of life's ups and downs just to throw me back down to reality? I was forced for read Alice, I Think back in grade 9 and I still get shivers down my spine when I think about it. I could never connect with Alice and that was the book's ultimate downfall. 

August Pullman, however, was so relatable. Surely most of us don't have it as bad as August but we've all had our own insecurities. Every glance a person directs your way can seem like an x-ray, seeing deep within to where your insecurities are hiding. We've all had days where we want to stay in bed forever and ever so we never had to face the world ever again. R. J. Palacio was able to put words to emotions we've all felt into words simple enough for middle graders. And it wasn't just August's story that resonated with me. From Via and Miranda's struggles to fit into high school to Jack and Summer's friendship with August, I have all felt those emotions and magically, their stories all built on to August's. And often times, I felt blindsided by some of these kids' stories because rarely do you get to see the perspectives of supporting characters. By only seeing one perspective, you can often jump to conclusion and develop a dislike for a certain character or two Jack and Miranda. But then, hearing from their side changes everything. I love it when multiple perspectives intertwine so well together; it's rare for it to be done so well, let alone in the simplistic, easy-to-read manner of Wonder

Special shoutouts to Auggie's parents, Isabel and Nate, for being the absolute best parents (other than my own, of course). They are like the parents every child wish they had. Not only were they caring, funny and strong, they knew their kids so well. They knew when to let things go, when to bring things up and when their kids needed love. Although their perspectives were never told, you know there were lots going on in their heads; telling their stories would require an entirely separate book.

And lastly, I want to talk about Auggie. He is brave, smart, funny and definitely a wonder. Out of everyone's coming of age story, I loved his the most. Not only is it because he had to put up with much more, but because him alone was able to change other people for the better. When I look back, I realized everyone who has grown throughout the book came into contact with August in some shape or form. It really brings it home that all you need is to get to know a person, no matter what your initial judgement is. You might be surprised at how much this person changes you.

R. J. Palacio also has a lot of cool supplementary info on her website like FAQs and some interesting notes.

I absolutely adored this book and I would recommend it to everyone. Yes, I'm pointing at you, Reader, to give this book a chance. You might be surprised at how much this book changes you.

Food for thoughts (and I also loved all of the quotes in between different perspectives):

SEPTEMBER When given the choice between being right or being kind, choose kind. —Dr. Wayne W. Dyer

OCTOBER Your deeds are your monuments. —inscription on an Egyptian tomb

NOVEMBER Have no friends not equal to yourself. —Confucius 

DECEMBER Audentes fortuna iuvat. (Fortune favors the bold.) —Virgil 

JANUARY No man is an island, entire of itself. —John Donne

FEBRUARY It is better to know some of the questions than all of the answers. —James Thurber

MARCH Kind words do not cost much. Yet they accomplish much. —Blaise Pascal 

APRIL What is beautiful is good, and who is good will soon be beautiful. —Sappho

MAY Do all the good you can, By all the means you can, In all the ways you can, In all the places you can, At all the times you can, To all the people you can, As long as you ever can. —John Wesley’s Rule 

JUNE Just follow the day and reach for the sun! —The Polyphonic Spree, “Light and Day”

and most of all:
AUGUST PULLMAN’S PRECEPT Everyone in the world should get a standing ovation at least once in their life because we all overcometh the world. —Auggie

Chaos Walking: A Trilogy The Knife Of Never Letting Go; The Ask And The Ans

Chaos Walking: A Trilogy - Patrick Ness I. Need. This.

The Little Match Girl

The Little Match Girl - Hans Christian Andersen, Rachel Isadora One of the saddest story I have ever read.

The DC Comics Encyclopedia, Updated and Expanded Edition

The DC Comics Encyclopedia: The Definitive Guide to the Characters of the DC Universe - Scott Beatty, Robert Greenburger I found this less like a go to encyclopedia but more of a display piece. Every page was just so beautiful that I couldn't stifle my fangirling squeals. It's nice to discover new characters and relive your favourite heroes and villains' moments. I did find that some information were lacking but I just can't give this less than 5 stars because of its beauty and the aura it gives off. With the Internet being a faster and more updated sorce of knowledge, this will soon become obsolete, but I don't care. I'll just lay this out oh my coffee table and gaze at it everyday.

The Probability of Miracles

The Probability of Miracles - Wendy Wunder Call me blind but I thought that was Rihanna on the cover.

Haunted Castle on Hallow's Eve (Magic Tree House, 30)

Haunted Castle on Hallow's Eve - Mary Pope Osborne, Sal Murdocca Oh. My. God. Give it to me now.

Getting the Girl: A Guide to Private Investigation, Surveillance, and Cookery

Getting the Girl: A Guide to Private Investigation, Surveillance, and Cookery - Susan Juby I read this so long ago that I feel bad for reviewing it. I am not qualify to rate this book what-so-ever but I am a rebel so WHO CARES? IMMA GIVE IT 4 STARS.

The Heroes

The Heroes - Joe Abercrombie Can I just say this is probably the most beautiful book cover to ever exist?

League of Strays

League of Strays - L.B. Schulman See here:

The Blue Fairy Book (Dover Children's Classics)

The Blue Fairy Book - Andrew Lang Time to feel like a kid again.

Revealing Eden (Save the Pearls Part One)

Revealing Eden - Victoria Foyt See here:

Crane Wife

The Crane Wife - Patrick Ness Edit #2:Aha! This is why this story sounds do familiar! I've listened to a similar story before. This sounds like it's based off of a Japanese folktale by the same name. Thanks Mom and Dad for reading me stories at night when I was a kid. Edit: Ohhhh a cover and a description! I totally love the sound of this book. Sounds reminiscent of classic fairy tales where the nice but poor girl helps out an old lady, who happens to be a magical person in disguise. Also, I've been looking to read more adult fiction and what's better than a Patrick Ness book? I cannot wait!End of edit. My logic: Patrick Ness wrote it so must be good.


Pulse - Patrick Carman Love the cover~


Easy - Tammara Webber Heard some positive things about this one. Might give contemporary a try.

Chu's Day

Chu's Day - Adam Rex, Neil Gaiman This is so cute. Just look at how cute Chu is.Book trailer:

Night (Oprah's Book Club)

Night - Marion Wiesel, Elie Wiesel Read a passage of this in my grade 11 English class. Been wanting to read it ever since...and now it has been 2 years. I am such a procrastina