Title: The Museum of Intangible Things
Author: Wendy Wunder
Publisher: Razorbill/Penguin BFYR
Pub Date: April 10, 2014
Rec. Age Level: 14+
More by author: The Probability of Miracles
Hannah and Zoe haven’t been given much in life, except each other, and they don’t have anything particularly wonderful waiting in their future. Unless you count enrolling at the local community college, which they don’t. The only worthwhile tie the girls have to the New Jersey town they grew is Zoe’s autistic brother, who relies on Zoe and Hannah to help him navigate the world and all the intangible things within it he struggles to understand. After climbing out of a dark depression, Zoe bounds into mania, declaring that Hannah might not have the best grip on the intangibles either. Hoping to recover the real Zoe in the midst of her cycles of depression and mania, Hannah agrees to ditch New Jersey and embark on a cross country road trip in search of those difficult to understand but absolutely essential intangibles: 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).
The Museum of Intangible Things is, at its core, a love story. Not the typical romantic love story (though there is one of those within its pages as well), but the story of the strong and enduring love between two girls who have always been and always will be there for one another. True best friends with a wild streak… Bonnie &
Clyde Bonnie. Wendy Wunder gives readers an unforgettable story of two girls who take to the road and commit the occasional crime in an epic quest to ensure the others’ happiness.
“I am a freshwater girl. I live on the lake, and in New Jersey, that’s rare. The girls on the other side of town have swimming pools, and the girls in the south have the seashore. Other girls are dry, breezy, salty, and bleached. I, on the other hand, am dark, grounded, heavy, and wet. Fed by springs, tangled in soft fernlike seaweed, I am closer to the earth. Saturated to the bone. I know it, and so do the freshwater boys, who prefer the taste of salt.”
“I come from a long line of downtrodden women who marry alcoholics. All the way back to my Lenni Lanape great-great-great-(lots of greats) grandmother, Scarlet Bird, a red-haired New Jersey Indian who married William Penn. I know this to be true because of the red highlights in my hair, and because, if you ever see the statue of William Penn in Philadelphia, the one that dictates the height of all the buildings in its perimeter, you will notice, if you look at him from behind, that he and I have the exact same rear end.”
“My best friend Zoe has a perfect rear end and stick legs, and long, silky black hair. She is obviously not descended from William Penn. There are no dowdy pilgrims in her ancestry. Whereas I am grounded and mired in this place, she’s like milkweed fluff that will take off with the first strong breeze. Stronger than fluff, though. She’s like a bullet just waiting for someone to pull the trigger.”