Title: The Museum of Intangible Things.
Author: Wendy Wunder.
Source: Me My Shelf And I, for Review.
Published Date: 4/10/14.
"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."
The Museum of Intangible Things is a book filled with love, true friendship, heartache, and so much more. Picking up this book, I thought it would be a light summer read, thanks to the amazing looking cover and the synopsis, but I had no idea what I was getting myself into. I didn’t know that I would laugh on one page, and cry my eyes out on the next. There was just so much emotion in this story, and I absolutely LOVED every single bit of it.
The Museum of Intangible Things follows the story of two best friends, Hannah and Zoe. They couldn’t be more opposite, but have been friends for what seems like ever! While neither of the two girls have much in their lives, they know they will always have each other.
Life is boring in the small town in New Jersey where they live. They attend a poor school, which offers almost nothing besides the basic required classes. Hannah spends her time out by the lake, or selling hot dogs from her hot dog cart (in the hopes to earn enough money to attend college) and Zoe spends her time with boys, thinking about boys or talking about boys (basically anything that revolves around boys). With almost nothing to do, the girls sneak into the private high school on the other side of town to sit and watch classes taking place from above. Hannah sneaks in to learn, and Zoe sneaks in to swoon over any cute guy that catches her attention.
After attending a party thrown by the newest cute guy Zoe can’t enough of, Hannah wakes up in the basement covered in cold hot dogs…just another prank making fun of her job. She gets up and looks for Zoe, finding her standing outside in the storm, with a look on her face, only Hannah knows what it means.
Zoe is seeing things again…
A week passes by, Zoe isn’t eating, isn’t getting out of bed, and Hannah can’t seem to get in contact with her, not matter how many text messages or voicemails she leaves her.
Even though her best friend isn’t leaving the house, things seem to look a little brighter for Hannah. She just kissed the boy she’s been crushing on since middle school, and the hot dog cart seems to be doing well. THAT IS until she goes on her computer to check how much she’s saved up, and realizes almost all of it is gone..She refreshes the page just to make sure her eyes aren’t fooling her, but still nothing. Hannah knows who took it, and she can’t believe he would do that.
As if on cue, Zoe walks in, asking Hannah to leave town with her. She doesn’t want to be gone too long, but she explains to Hannah over and over again that she needs a small break, a weekend road trip. Unsure of what to do, and kind of worried that she won’t have a perfect attendance anymore at school, she knows Zoe means everything to her, so Hannah agrees to come.
The two girls sneak into IKEA one night, flash cowboys on the highway, steal their horses, and want to see a buffalo and so much more! All that, with nothing but an old van and a box full of change!
This road trip will be the time of their lives, but also completely change their lives. While Zoe and Hannah seem to be doing a lot of fun and crazy things, Hannah knows something deeper is going on inside of Zoe’s head. The only thing Hannah can do is to be by her best friend’s side, protect her, and take care of her. Even if it means going off the edge…
The Museum of Intangible Things was one of those books that will stick with me forever. There were just so many FEELS in this book that I was crying and laughing at the same time. It was easy to connect with the characters, and I think that’s why I felt all the emotions that they were feeling as well.
Zoe and Hannah were both amazing characters. The main reason I decided to pick this one up, was simply because of the friendship. Yes, I do like romance (A LOT actually…) but I also do like books that focus on friendship. The Museum of Intangible Things did have a bit of romance, but it was definitely in the background. The cover and the synopsis failed to mentioned anything about Zoe’s problems, which added a whole different element into the story.
Besides the friendship with each other, Hannah and Zoe did have a lot of other things going on around them. Hannah’s dad is an alcoholic newsman, and her mom barely gets out of bed. Zoe has her younger brother, who is so close to Hannah, she considers him, hers as well. And Zoe’s mom, who is constantly paranoid about her daughter’s problem and what was going on in Zoe’s head.
I liked that these characters were down to earth, and REAL.
OH, the ending? YES, it broke my heart. It yanked it out of my chest, threw it on the ground, shattered it into a million pieces, swept it up and flushed it down the toilet. The story ended in a way I never saw coming, and that completely took me by surprise…But looking back at everything that happened before and during the trip, I saw the signs and the meaning behind the trip in the first place.
Overall I enjoyed Wendy Wunder’s Museum of Intangible Things! I would recommend this one to anyone looking for a good road trip story, something emotionally beautiful and filled with love.