So right now I’m doing a book project, reading books dealing with bipolar. Memoirs about bipolar, bipolar characters in fiction, bipolar bipolar bipolar. My first book was The Museum of Intangible Things.
I just hope this entire ride won’t be so awful. Note: Spoilers After the Cut.
The Museum of Intangible Things in told from the point of view Hannah, a pretty normal boring girl who’s best friends with a untreated bipolar girl named Zoe. It takes a third of the book to get it set up, but the gist is Zoe and Hannah go to a party, something awful happens to Zoe (we never find out what), and triggers a depressive episode in Zoe. Zoe won’t get out of bed, mom threatens to take Zoe to the hospital, and Zoe decides to run away from home and take Hannah with her, which Hannah agrees to because her life sucks anyway.
So Hannah and Zoe go on the “fun” roadtrip where they do things like taser a cop, break into a zoo, let an expensive Thanksgiving Macy Parade balloon free, probably get Zoe’s cousin fired, and steal everything that isn’t nailed down. All through this, Zoe’s mentally state crumbles and she self-destructs. She’s cycled into a maniac episode that just keeps getting worse and gets wrapped up in a delusion that aliens are going to take her away via lightning, all what exhibiting all the other symptoms of a maniac episode, believing she’s god, reckless behavior, etc. Hannah, even though she’s researched bipolar disorder, just enables her, takes until near the end of book to realize Zoe needs professional help and medication. So then Zoe can get the help she needs, get better, and this can not be a complete waste of time.
Of course not. Zoe throws herself off the Grand Canyon.
This is exactly the representation I want to see of bipolar people in literature.
I mean, there were moments in this book that I enjoyed but for the most part it made me angry. So angry that I can’t even write a proper review with thoughts and reflections. All I can do is go, “Look at what a piece of crap this is.” I’m completely baffled, I’m not even sure what the author was trying to achieve with this book. It’s definitely a discouraging start.
So no, I do not recommend this book. If you want a teenage roadtrip story, I recommend Amy and Roger’s Epic Detour. No bipolar people, but it’s a very good book.