Sunday, 27 May 2012

Wonderstruck Review

Title: Wonderstruck
Author: Brian Selznick
Published: September 13th 2011
640 Pages
From Brian Selznick, the creator of the Caldecott Medal winner THE INVENTION OF HUGO CABRET, comes another breathtaking tour de force.

Playing with the form he created in his trailblazing debut novel, The Invention of Hugo Cabret, Brian Selznick once again sails into uncharted territory and takes readers on an awe-inspiring journey.

Ben and Rose secretly wish their lives were different. Ben longs for the father he has never known. Rose dreams of a mysterious actress whose life she chronicles in a scrapbook. When Ben discovers a puzzling clue in his mother's room and Rose reads an enticing headline in the newspaper, both children set out alone on desperate quests to find what they are missing.

Set fifty years apart, these two independent stories--Ben's told in words, Rose's in pictures--weave back and forth with mesmerizing symmetry. How they unfold and ultimately intertwine will surprise you, challenge you, and leave you breathless with wonder. Rich, complex, affecting, and beautiful--with over 460 pages of original artwork--Wonderstruck is a stunning achievement from a uniquely gifted artist and visionary.

Let me just say that this book is thick, but please don’t be put off with that considering that half of this book is pictures.  I mean I finished it in two days.

Wonderstruck follows two children. Ben a boy living in Gunflint Lake, and Rose living in New York. Ben lives with his Uncle and Aunt after his mother was in a terrible accident. Feeling lonely and sad he sneaks back into his old house he lived in with his mum and finds strange notes in his mother’s room.  Rose dreams about a mysterious actress chronicling her life in a scrapbook, hoping one day to finally meet her.

I found the idea of this story very interesting. At the end of this book there are no loose ends and everything seems to tie perfectly together. I admit there was a stage where I did get a tad confused because there was so much going on. But it was okay at the end and I understood everything. There are also some parts in this book where I was utterly surprised and I didn’t see it coming, and that is always good. The illustrations in this book are beautiful. You could tell that these pictures where drawn carefully and that the author didn’t want to rush them.

I felt like I connected with Rose, you feel sorry for her at so many different stages in this book. Her story is told in beautiful black and white pencil drawings and rarely any words. As with Ben I didn’t really feel like I connected with him in the same depth as I did with Rose. To me he just seemed a little distant. And I felt like he didn’t even fully understand what he was doing himself.

So the things I liked:
·         I loved the pencil drawings which told the story of Rose.
·         How everything just ties up perfectly at the end.
·         All the things that are in this book. The museums, the wolves, New York!

Now the stuff I didn’t like:
  •   ·         Ben seemed a bit distant to me. I didn’t connect with him and I was a bit disappointed with that.

Overall yes I enjoyed this book, but I didn’t love it. I would definitely recommend this to the people who enjoyed The Invention of Hugo Cabret.
I give it:

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