This is one which I definitely don’t feel is perfect–there were moments where the plot seemed just barely too coincidental, and I though the ending wrapped up very neatly. At the same time, I think that at the target age, I would not necessarily have noticed either of those issues. And overall I though Palacio did a fantastic job of taking a situation that is difficult to write about without sounding twee and after school special-ish, or else completely depressing, and making it honest and heartfelt and real. I didn’t mind the chunks of different narrators, though I didn’t think their voices necessarily sounded all that different from each other except for Justin’s (and even there I think it’s just a difference of grammar). I was glad that August rounded out the book, though, as I think it would have been hard to tie everything back together with a different narrator.
This is such a minor quibble that I almost don’t want to mention it, but I really didn’t like the inclusion of the precepts at the end of the book. I understood why they were there–the metaphorical postcards after the end of the year–but I strongly felt that the narrative should have been allowed to stand on its own. In addition, Julian’s seemed to suggest a level of character development that I did not see anywhere else in the text.