Alisha Marie's Reviews > Wonderstruck

Wonderstruck by Brian Selznick
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's review
May 13, 2012

really liked it
bookshelves: amazon-vine, arc-s, books-i-own-that-i-ve-read, children-s-books
Read in May, 2012

A little teeny bit of a confession here: I'm not the biggest fan of children's literature. Now, I love and adore Young Adult literature, but for some reason I just can never fully get into an actual children's book, unless it's a classic (like A Little Princess or the Grimm's fairytales). Another confession: I don't like picture books. I just don't. I don't even remember reading picture books when I was a kid. The earliest memories I have of reading was always me reading a chapter book. It wasn't a big chapter book, but there weren't any pictures. So, me being merely okay with Wonderstruck would have been a surprise because it's a children's book and it has pictures, but much to my utter shock and delight, I wasn't merely okay with Wonderstruck, but rather LOVED it.

I had assumed that I would love Ben's story in Wonderstruck because it was told in words (and I love words) while I would just put up with Rose's story (which was told in pictures) just because it was part of the overall story. However, while I did really like Ben's story, I fell in love with Rose's story. The drawings were just so utterly brilliant and remarkable that you can feel Rose's isolation, loneliness, and the ache she feels in wanting to belong moreso than Ben's solely because of the drawings. Another reviewer mentioned something about the eyes. And that's it. They don't call the eyes the windows to the soul for nothing and Selznick excelled at making you feel everything Rose was feeling due to the look in her eyes.

Unlike Rose, I didn't feel a deep connection with Ben. I felt sympathy for him, I wanted everything to turn out well for him, but while I felt for him, I just didn't FEEL for him the way I felt with Rose. One example with a mild spoiler thrown in is that when Ben went completely deaf, I was saddened for him because his family seemed sad for him, but when Rose found out that her escape, the one place where she didn't feel like an outsider, was going to change and that change was going to exclude her, my heart broke for her in the way it never quite could with everything Ben was going through. It was strange for me to connect more with drawings and pictures than I could with words and it was a bit of a revelation for me.

Not only was Wonderstruck amazingly illustrated, it was also amazingly written. The little spurts of paragraphs coupled with the drawings said tons more than pages and pages of paragraphs could ever do. The way the two stories interwove with each other plot-wise was both surprising, but at the same time, not completely out of left field. The way the interwove with each other execution-wise was seamless that at the end I could not tell where one story began and the other one ended. And I think that's the way it was supposed to be.

So, I wholeheartedly recommend Wonderstruck. It was such a brilliant book that I feel like both adults and children can just dive right in and enjoy it immensely.


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