The Museum of Intangible Things
In a literary genre that so often places teenage romance at the forefront, Wunder’s The Museum of Intangible Things is refreshing in its devotion to the relationship between two teenage girls, Hannah and Zoe. The central plot revolves around Zoe’s spiral into personal delusions exacerbated by mental illness, with Hannah riding shotgun, hopelessly out of her depth as she watches her friend slip away from her. Much of the novel feels like a desperate race against time. A race against growing up, against Zoe’s slipping grasp on reality, all while both girls seem to drag their feet against an inevitable sense of growing apart. At the forefront always is Zoe and Hannah’s relationship. How they define themselves through and against each other. One is strong, one is meek; one is adventurous, one is careful; one is reckless, one is responsible. Yet, by the end of the novel one feels as though the lines they have drawn in the sand in order to keep each other balanced, is the most arbitrary line of them all.
This novel is desperate, grasping little novel, balancing the gamble that teenage girls who are forced to grow up too soon often face: that the world isn’t as beautiful or as dangerous as they feared. While this reviewer would have appreciated a novel that focused on the girls only – the arbitrary love story Hannah finds herself in felt tacked-on and underdeveloped, her male counterpart more a mirror than an actual character – the relationship between the two girls and their world was fantastically written and expressed. A truly delightful and heartbreaking novel.
|Page Count||304 pages|
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