I went into this book with some reservations, having heard other people say it was far too much like Hugo Cabret in style. Honestly, this doesn’t bother me so much stylistically – most artists have similar styles, patterns, and focuses that go from book to book, and imagine Brian Selznick is no different. I did notice many similarities, but found that it was easy to let those things go, especially because the story was a really good one.
What did end up bothering me was that it seemed like the story was badly structured. It takes place in two time periods, and when the two stories collide, the last third of the book is spent with one character telling another backstory. Far too much telling, not enough showing. By showing, I don’t mean illustrations – you can “show” in text too. There was just a lot of info-dump, and I would have rather experienced the bulk of the story rather than have it told to me this way. So I felt like the structure didn’t work for Wonderstruck. The story was good and the art was beautiful, but the book fell short in other ways.