Best Books for Children

Kate L'argent, Independent Usborne Organiser


Book Review: The Unpredictability of Being Human

21st December 2017

Laugh-out-loud funny at points, tear-inducing at others, this novel is an absolute YA must read.

14 year old Malin faces many challenges:

1) Her mum is an alcoholic

2) Her dad shouts a lot

3) Her brother hates her

4) She doesn't have any friends

5) Her school is full of inaccurate clocks

But with the help of google, her cousin Magnus, her new friend Hanna, and her trusty (accurate) OTS watch, gradually Malin begins to navigate the confusing world around her.

In Malin, Linni Ingemundsen has created one of our all-time favourite characters. Her naive and unique ways of looking at the world are hilarious and heartbreaking in equal measure, and we fell completely in love with her as a narrator. Malin fully envelops you in her small town Scandinavian world, and you strongly connect with her from the very start of the novel.

Whilst Malin faces many challenges throughout the novel, and an incredible number of personal difficulties, Ingemundsen intertwines these with moments of light-hearted comedy - even in places where you feel like you shouldn't be laughing. Our favourite moment of the novel was definitely Malin's first date with Ruben. Her panicked googling beforehand is something that we can all relate to - although her literal following of it not so much!

For us, Malin strongly reminded us of Rose from How to look for a lost dog, but for an older reader. She is intensely likeable, and her literal understanding of the world makes her even more so. We completely fell in love with her open-hearted honesty, and were desperate for her to have a happy ending.

If you are looking for a humorous coming-of-age novel that doesn't ignore the struggles of growing up, then The Unpredictability of Being Human is definitely for you. We recommend it whole-heartedly.

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