Today, we're reviewing The Museum of Intangible Things by Wendy Wunder.
I loved Wendy's debut novel, so I was super excited when Wendy offered to send me an ARC of this novel!
Hardcover, 304 pages
Expected publication: April 10th 2014 by Razorbill
Format read: ARC via author (Thanks, Wendy!)
Synopsis via publisher:
Best friends Hannah and Zoe flee their disappointing adolescence and hit the road. They've got different things in mind, but they're both searching for something better.
Along the way, Hannah tries to keep Zoe sane, and Zoe dares Hannah to celebrate concepts sadly missing from her life. Audacity, karma, God, and love. Magnificent, intangible things with no practical purpose but that when embraced can change everything—as Hannah will learn—in unexpected and even magical ways.
Things that worked:
But despite all of these those tough circumstances, they've managed to find and stay loyal to each other. Wunder presents Hannah and Zoe's friendship, and their respective personalities, in a way which shows that she truly understands what it is to grow up feeling like you may not always have the options in life, but still making the best of what you have.
I was particularly taken with Hannah's relationship with Zoe, and how she recognizes that she's the anchor of Zoe's life, as their story continues. Hannah is beautifully flawed and relatable, and I applaud Wunder for writing such a well-formed character.
Wunder paces the story wonderfully, showing just how Hannah and Zoe hit the point where they feel like they need to leave their lives behind and take off on their unusual road trip, and how the trip influences their personal development and relationship with each other.
Don't go into the story expecting standard road trip hijinks - you won't get it. But if you go into the story expecting a inside look into how life shapes facets of your personality now and to come, this is the story for you.
The deeper issues:
These are issues that can often come off as too melodramatic or too cliched in fiction. Under Wunder's steady hand, she not only discusses these issues with honesty and frankness, but she explains them via Hannah, to readers in a way, where you really understand the opposite said of said issue. It's beautiful writing and thought-provoking, all at its very best.
Things that didn't work/Things to consider:
I haven't quite decided if this is a stylistic choice by Wendy to represent the ebb and flow of Zoe and Hannah's mindsets, or if it's just because I read an ARC, and the final product will be different. I'd be interested in hearing what other readers have to think, and what the finished product will eventually look like.
This is a tough book which covers some fairly serious issues, but it's also an extremely relatable book on what it is to work through and conquer those tough issues. I would recommend this book for fans of Wunder, readers of YA contemporary fiction, and readers who are looking for a book about friendship and love in its most genuine of forms.
Parents, please note: mental illness is discussed frankly and sincerely in this book. I would encourage younger readers to be given the opportunity to read this book, largely because Wunder doesn't glamorize or ill-depict these mental issues. Her depiction of certain illnesses are some of the truest (albeit, somewhat quirky) depiction of those illnesses I've seen in literature in some time.
However, your younger readers will likely have questions after reading, so please be aware.
Disclaimer: I received an ARC of The Museum of Intangible Things from the author, in exchange for an honest review. Thank you!
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