13/06/2014

Review: The Museum of Intangible Things {Wendy Wunder}

Written by Wendy Wunder
Amazon | Book Depository 

Hannah and Zoe haven't had much in their lives, but they've always had each other. So when Zoe tells Hannah she needs to get out of town, they pile into her beat-up old car and head west, putting everything – deadbeat parents, disappointing loves and inevitable futures – behind them. As they chase storms and whims, Hannah pushes Zoe to confront her illness and Zoe pushes Hannah to want more from life. She wants her friend to live bigger, dream grander and aim higher. And as Zoe begins teaching Hannah about life's intangible things – concepts missing from her own life – Hannah begins to realise that her friend may be beyond saving. But she won't let her go down alone.
 
This is a story about a truly devoted friendship. In a way, I suppose that makes it a love story; one which shows the rocky nature of such relationships, but also the unflinchingly loyalty that comes with finding a friend you know will be in your life forever.

This book is Zoe's journey, but told from Hannah's point of view. We watch with Hannah as her friend's mental state slowly deteriorates, and worry alongside her as Zoe gets more and more erratic. Yet, we also smile and laugh while these two friends embark on a journey like no other, pushing each other to feel things and experience things in a completely new way.

The writing was as whimsical as the title and really embraced the erratic nature of the journey. Wunder went from airy and vivid prose to sharp and witty speech, conveying so many emotions in so few words.

As is the case in most YA books, the girls are opposites in many ways. Hannah is a steady and logical problem-solver, while Zoe is a wild and care-free spirit both haunted and inspired by her delusions.

What I appreciated about this book, was that Zoe wasn't that shallow friend pressuring Hannah to do things under the guise of helping her. You could see how much both these girls meant to each other and how everything they did – from Zoe using the road trip as a way to open Hannah up to the world, to Hannah indulging Zoe's crime-filled journey – was truly in the best interest of the other.

The ending was actually a surprise for me, because I was sure there were two ways it could go, and instead it went the third, which I had really been praying it wouldn't. But it was fitting and, in a way, an inevitable end to Hannah and Zoe's journey. So I'm able to ignore the weight on my chest and give Wendy Wunder a high-five for ending the story the way it needed to end.

Wunder's book chameleons itself into a thousand different things, leaving us a book that's both poignant and funny. With notes of Thelma and Louise running through the pages, this road trip story is unlike any other. It's more of a quest than a trip; a quest to make intangible things tangible and for two girls to find their own truths. 

"I think there can be different versions of the truth. You choose your truth, then you build your life around it."


Allie has planned out a trio of marvellous desserts for Valentine's weekend. She'll be baking up a storm for love day! And that's not just a metaphor, because when she bakes, the kitchen ends up looking like it's been hit by a hurricane. But hey, the sugar makes the clean-up all worth while.
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18 comments:

  1. Waoh, this sounds so poignant and emotional, I really love the sound of it. Mental illness is such a difficult thing to write about and it sounds like it was pulled off well here. Lovely review allie!

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    1. I agree - it is such a difficult topic and often it's not handled properly. I'm glad to say that's not the case here and Wunder portrayed Zoe's problems so realistically!

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  2. Ooh, this one sounds like a really emotional read! I've never read any book about mental illness before, but it seems like the friendship in this book is really beautiful! :D
    Definitely adding this to TBR :)
    Nice review Allie! And the quote you share is really lovely!

    Neysa @ Papier Revue

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    1. It's lovely to read a book about true friendship every now and again - not ones where a love triangle messes things up or anything like that, but a real story about loyalty and true friends :D

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  3. I've heard of this book before but it didn't catch my attention. I'm glad you enjoyed it, though! Great review. :)

    Ivana @ BookishTeens

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    1. It's worth a shot! I was in the mood for a nice road trip book, but got more than I bargained for with this. A pleasant surprise actually :)

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  4. I LOVE this cover and I'm so excited to read it! I might ask my cousin to give me her copy since she didn't enjoy it. I think it's because this is one of her first YA books and I think there were inappropriate scenes? She usually reads MG. Anyway, so excited to dive into this beautiful friendship! <3

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    1. Yes the cover is GORGEOUS! Very indie and festival-esque!

      Yeah I think she might mean the 'sex' type scenes? Those are really rare though; I think there's about two in the whole book and they're not long passages at all. Romance isn't the focus of this story, so the 'steamy' scenes are few and far between

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  5. YEAH for a story with a great friendship! Totally excited about that! :D I'm really liking the sound of this and the humor and the journey of finding yourself embedded in it. Definitely going to consider giving it a try sometime! Thanks for sharing Allie! <3

    ~ Zoe @ The Infinite To-Read Shelf

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    1. The road trip is definitely symbolic of a journey of self discovery and I love how that was echoed in the pages!

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  6. I love this cover and has been really interested in this one. I am so glad that you enjoyed it! Plus I love that the ending surprised you!
    Missie @ A Flurry of Ponderings

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    1. Me too! It's such a cute cover and I love how summery it looks :)

      The ending was so depressing in some ways, but so RIGHT in so many others.

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  7. I've been seeing this book everywhere at the minute, but this is the first review that I have seen. This sounds like a really emotional read and handled the subject matter well. I'm definitely going to be keeping an eye out for this one.

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    1. It was a lot more emotional than I expected. I honestly didn't realise it would tackle such important issues, so it was a nice surprise :)

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  8. I've been dying to get my hands on this one since i read the title and saw the cover...I mean it just looks super cute and i've only heard good things about it! PLUS that quote at the bottom is perfect.

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    1. Lily, you will really love it! It's the perfect road trip book, with such a poignant edge on similar stories. Plus, yeah, THAT COVER <3

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  9. I didn't really know what this one was about except it had something to do with mental health, but it sounds interesting, and the friendship sounds really important! "Wunder went from airy and vivid prose to sharp and witty speech, conveying so many emotions in so few words." Sounds amazing! I have added this one to my interested list!

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    1. I'm so glad! YAY for people taking note of my recommendations lol

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