The Unpredictability of Being Human by Linni Ingemundsen
|The Unpredictability of Being Human by Linni Ingemundsen|
|Reviewer: Ruth Ng|
|Summary: Malin is an unusual but utterly endearing and engaging lead character. A book with a quirky style but I devoured it, loving every moment.|
|Buy? yes||Borrow? yes|
|Pages: 288||Date: December 2017|
|Publisher: Usborne Publishing Ltd|
|External links: Author's website|
I came to this book expecting only a typical teenage coming of age story, yet somehow, within only a matter of pages, I was utterly engrossed by the wonderful character of Malin. I read this book faster than any other I've read this year! Malin is a fourteen year old girl, who is very naive and innocent, and she struggles with social interaction. It is never stated within the book (a fact that I liked) but I suspect that she's somewhere on the autistic spectrum. But that isn't really what the book is about. It's about Malin growing up, struggling at school, having a first date, and dealing with family difficulties, all at the same time.
Though the style of the writing is at times rather abrupt, this worked in favour of the story, rather than being distracting. It gave the book more of a Scandinavian flavour somehow, and I didn't feel that it jarred, but rather emphasised Malin's innocence and her literal way of seeing things. I loved seeing things from Malin's point of view. You do wonder, initially, how she can possibly be so naive as a teenager, but then the more you read the more you realise that there many unspoken issues underlying many of the characters, not just Malin. The book lacks a real drive, or even a strong plot, but again that doesn't matter because watching Malin's experiences is enough, and this isn't about action and adventure, but about Malin and her life.
Scenes throughout the book move fluidly from being sweet and funny, to being much darker and very sad. I liked meeting the various characters in Malin's life, and I laughed out loud over her first date worries. The issues with other girls in her class ring all too true. I relived some of my own awkward teenage moments as I read, and I found myself really rooting for Malin, hoping that she would be okay. Whilst some of her experiences at school are much like any teenage girls she is also going through some things within her family that are much more complicated and difficult. So as we're seeing them from Malin's point of view they are all handled in the same literal, simple and naive way. Somehow this felt very moving, and it became a much more emotional book to read towards the end.
As a story, it's so ridiculously easy to read that I'd recommend starting early in the day, as you won't want to put it down! The chapters are all very short, and the book itself isn't too long, so it would be great for teens who are shying away from reading longer books, or who need something that's really going to grab their attention. It's an unusual read, but absolutely recommended for young teens and grown ups alike. I couldn't stop thinking about Malin for quite some time after reading it, and I'm really looking forward to seeing what Linni Ingemundsen will write in the future.
Further reading suggestion: You might also enjoy The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
You can read more book reviews or buy The Unpredictability of Being Human by Linni Ingemundsen at Amazon.co.uk.
You can read more book reviews or buy The Unpredictability of Being Human by Linni Ingemundsen at Amazon.com.
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