Review: The Museum of Intangible Things – Wendy Wunder

Posted April 7, 2014 by Andi in Books, Review / 0 Comments


Title: The Museum of Intangible Things [Amazon]
Author: Wendy Wunder [website]
Publisher: Razorbill
Genre: Contemporary
Source/Type: Gifted from Author*/Paperback ARC
Stars: 4 of 5

Publisher Description:
Loyalty. Envy. Obligation. Dreams. Disappointment. Fear. Negligence. Coping. Elation. Lust. Nature. Freedom. Heartbreak. Insouciance. Audacity. Gluttony. Belief. God. Karma. Knowing what you want (there is probably a French word for it). Saying Yes. Destiny. Truth. Devotion. Forgiveness. Life. Happiness (ever after).

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 their down-and-out New Jersey town, they pile into Hannah’s beat-up old Le Mans and head west, putting everything—their deadbeat parents, their disappointing love lives, their inevitable enrollment at community college—behind them.

As they chase storms and make new friends, Zoe tells Hannah she wants more for her. She wants her to live bigger, dream grander, aim higher. And so Zoe begins teaching Hannah all about life’s intangible things, concepts sadly missing from her existence—things like audacity, insouciance, karma, and even happiness.

I’m a huge of Wendy Wunder’s first book The Probability of Miracles. She has a way about her writing that just brings beauty to the pages. There is just some kind of magic that she makes that can make the impossible seem possible and that is hard to find. And although I didn’t love The Museum of Intangible Things as much as Probability, that magic was still there and it made this book a pretty pleasant read.

The Museum of Intangible Things is about Zoe and Hannah, two best friends stuck in a town with no hope. Their parents don’t seem to care, the school they go to is beyond atrocious and their love lives are basically nonexistent. They spend their time eavesdropping at the uppity private school and dreading their future at the local community college. When things start to go haywire in their lives, Zoe convinces Hannah to take a road trip that takes them across the country and on a journey they never imagined with consequences they don’t see coming.

I guess what I really liked about this book is how Wunder used mental illness in it. The description of the book really doesn’t explain that part of the story but it was naturally involved because Zoe was bipolar. Like a lot of people with Manic Depression Zoe had really high highs and really low lows and I think Wunder showed them really well. She also used Zoe and Hannah’s friendship to showcase the effects that Zoe’s illness had on both girls. Hannah was in over her head and she knew it yet she couldn’t not be with her friend, she couldn’t not worry about her wellbeing and trying to get her to want to be well. She thought going along with her would help and it did but Zoe needed professional help and Hannah knew that and tried to do what was right.

I also really liked the town the two girls lived in. Not in a way that I would want to live there, but in the way it was depicted. It was definitely one of those lower class neighborhoods that just have no options. You could actually feel the life being sucked out of you reading it and that made it easier to feel what these characters felt. Because honestly they had no option. No one cared if you showed up for school, if you were out all night, if you never went to college. It was depressing and heartbreaking because we all need a little hope in our lives and these people seemed to have none.

Honestly I really enjoyed The Museum of Intangible Things. Like I said it wasn’t at the same level as Probability, but it was nice to get wrapped up in Wunder’s world once again. I had an issue with some of the Vegas stuff and it’s accuracy (I’ve been 6 times and am very familiar with some of the hotels), but that aside I would recommend this book. It gets you thinking just how far you would go for a friend if they needed help and they weren’t ready to get that help. I look forward to more from Wendy Wunder in the future.

*review is my opinion and was not swayed by the fact the book was gifted from the author

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0 responses to “Review: The Museum of Intangible Things – Wendy Wunder

  1. I had a best friend in high school who strugged with bipolar disorder and it was both so rewarding and so tough to be her friend. It was often like she existed on another plane of existence – and wanted to come down to where everyone else was, but just couldn’t. I absolutely adored her and she was so much more than her struggle, but it was almost a third person in our friendship. I’d be really interested to see how this is handled in this book. Great review!

  2. Now I can officially purchase my copy next week knowing that it has the Andi stamp of approval ^_^ I haven’t read Wunder’s other book, so I’m walking in with zero preconceptions. Hopefully that will help a bit!

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