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The Unpredictability of Being Human5/5

The Unpredictability of Being Human

Linni Ingemundsen


The Unpredictability of Being Human showcases the genuine, innocent and literal voice of Malin as she navigates through her 14th year. We're first introduced to Malin as she ponders an assignment she's been set, 'What would you do if you got to be God for one day?'...Malin would microwave a bag of popcorn to perfection. She failed her assignment. Her teacher didn't think she'd taken the task seriously. But she had. She had considered ending world hunger, like everyone else, and creating world peace, but had come to the logical and rational conclusion that if it were that easy, God would have taken care of it all a long time ago. No, best to stick to the simpler things, like popcorn! Genius!

Malin is a little at sea at school; she struggles to understand social nuances and has difficulty in reading social situations. All of which leads to a run in with the popular (mean) girl who finds it easy to manipulate Malin.

The Unpredictability of Being Human has a lovely lilting style and pace which skips alongside Malin and her dysfunctional family as their lives are unpicked through loss and pain.

288 pages / Ages 12+ / Reviewed by Catherine Purcell, school librarian.

Reviewed by: Catherine Purcell

The Unpredictability of Being Human4/5

The Unpredictability of Being Human

Linni Ingemundsen


I'm going to start with a quote from the press release about this debut novel... 'introducing a comic and captivating coming of age story that never pretends life is perfect'. This sums up this little gem of a book by this new author. The story revolves around a 14 year old girl named Malin who lives in a small village called Hassund in Norway. She sees the world a little differently from others around her and she is often called 'weird'. Although it is never stated, I believe that she is somewhere on the autistic spectrum as Malin takes things very literally, avoids social interaction and is naive and innocent. The story is not, however, about her condition, it's about how she sees and interacts with the issues that go on around her. She has no friends at school until she meets Hanna, and constantly has to work out what the 'in' girls want from her. Alongside these new experiences she is also coping with the new emotions of falling in love for the first time.

As the reader we follow her through these, at times, hilarious events and readers - younger or older - will be able to relate to her emotions. There is, however, a darker side to this story, Malin's family is falling apart around her and she does not see it as she takes all she is told without question.

As the story progresses it goes from being all sweet and funny to being very sad and towards the end very emotional. This is a wonderfully written book that has humour, first love, family, bullying and death all woven into the storyline. Very suitable for the 12+ reader, it's a quick attention-grabbing story for the confident reader and a shorter story for those readers who struggle as it has very fluent short chapters that entice you to read on.

This is an unusual read as it is told in a very innocent and naive way due to Malin's condition. I'm looking forward to seeing what else this wonderful young author publishes in the future.

288 pages / Ages 12+ / Reviewed by Linda Brown, school librarian.

Reviewed by: Linda Brown