I lost touch with books for about a decade because of life but thankfully I am able to return to this beautiful world. Eclectic mix from YA to erotica. I blame fanfic.
As someone who was bullied as a child, teenager and yes even let people emotionally bully her as an adult, this book was such an emotional journey for me. I lost count how many times I cried, a mixture of my own demons that I let loose in between the dialogues of fictional bullies that tormented August and of course R J Palacio's wonderful narration of a life lived alongside malicious hate. I loved the format of the book, the different points of view so that things are seen from varying perspectives, adding a richness that is raw and real.
A lot of the criticism aimed at this book revolves around it's fairytale take on this issue. It's meant for MG audiences and though some might see it's sunny disposition as further cotton wooling of children, I think sometimes you need to believe in such victories. It's not a revenge story and so the catharsis shouldn't really ever come from seeing your enemies get their comeuppance. I don't think this book creates these unattainable expectations for life either because it's about August's redemption. He's not to blame for anything that happened to him but it's hard to see him push everyone, every opportunity for potential companionship away because of hate for the world. You understand his actions as he chooses to turn his life into a tragedy but it breaks your heart. That's why the ending, the way Palacio develops him, manoeuvres the story to it's brilliant end has such an impact. It wasn't too sweet but perfect.