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Book Review: The Julian chapter by R J Palacio

Published 1st May 2014  by Random House Children’s books.

20878809Publisher’s Synopsis: Over 1 million people have read Wonder and have fallen in love with Auggie Pullman, an ordinary boy with an extraordinary face. Now readers will have a chance to hear from the book’s most controversial character—Julian.

From the very first day Auggie and Julian met in the pages of the #1 New York Times bestseller Wonder, it was clear they were never going to be friends, with Julian treating Auggie like he had the plague. And while Wonder told Auggie’s story through six different viewpoints, Julian’s perspective was never shared. Readers could only guess what he was thinking.

Until now. The Julian Chapter will finally reveal the bully’s side of the story. Why is Julian so unkind to Auggie? And does he have a chance for redemption?

My Review: The Julian Chapter was a story I fell in love with from the start. It’s engaging, emotional, and incredibly powerful. Spinning off from Wonder, R J Palacio’s much loved début, The Julian Chapter tells the story of the bully who hated Auggie for his looks.

As soon as I’d gotten an email about this spin-off chapter, I was too excited for words! I fell in love with wonder last year. It was so moving and powerful. I couldn’t wait to hear more from R J. I started the story straight away and once I’d begun, I couldn’t stop. I was so engrossed in the story! Julian was a character whose narrative wasn’t in Wonder, which switched between the viewpoints of lots of people in Auggie’s life. I was so glad I could finally see through Julian’s eyes.

The writing, of course, is brilliant. R J Palacio has adopted the voice of a middle-school kid really well. Julian’s voice is really distinctive and realistic. I could feel his anger and fear about the situation he was in because of Auggie. If you read Wonderyou’ll have really disliked Julian for the things he did to Auggie. I did. But in this novella, I got to understand all of the reasons behind his actions. Obviously, the things he did are still awful- but The Julian Chapter has made all of his actions make sense, and it’s built a really good back story to one of the most complex characters in the story.

The Julian Chapter tells Julian’s side of the story in Wonder, then goes on to after the events of Wonder. I loved how much Julian develops throughout the story. He changes into such a different person over the course of the novella, and honestly, the last few chapters made me start crying. I grew to forgive Julian, and liked him by the ending; The Julian Chapter shows how it wasn’t all Julian’s fault- how his actions were caused by so many things. I love that R J Palacio has made Julian such a more understandable character with an eighty page story.

Overall, The Julian Chapter was just… amazing. It’s poignant, honest, and written so well. I loved hearing Julian’s voice, and learning about his life and back story. The Julian Chapter gives a whole new side to the story. If you loved Wonder, I cannot recommend this highly enough! For an under-100-page story, it’s unbelievably emotional and engaging. I won’t be forgetting The Julian Chapter any time soon!

My Rating:

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I received a copy of The Julian Chapter, in exchange for a review. In no way at all did this affect my thoughts.

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