Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Review: Mosquitoland by David Arnold

MosquitolandTitle: Mosquitoland
Author: David Arnold
Publisher: Viking Children's
Publishing Date: March 3rd 2015
Pages: 336
Genre: YA Coming of Age
Series: Stand Alone
Source:  Audio


"I am a collection of oddities, a circus of neurons and electrons: my heart is the ringmaster, my soul is the trapeze artist, and the world is my audience. It sounds strange because it is, and it is, because I am strange."

After the sudden collapse of her family, Mim Malone is dragged from her home in northern Ohio to the "wastelands" of Mississippi, where she lives in a medicated milieu with her dad and new stepmom. Before the dust has a chance to settle, she learns her mother is sick back in Cleveland.
So she ditches her new life and hops aboard a northbound Greyhound bus to her real home and her real mother, meeting a quirky cast of fellow travelers along the way. But when her thousand-mile journey takes a few turns she could never see coming, Mim must confront her own demons, redefining her notions of love, loyalty, and what it means to be sane.
Told in an unforgettable, kaleidoscopic voice, "Mosquitoland" is a modern American odyssey, as hilarious as it is heartbreaking.

This book grabbed my attention from the moment I saw the book. Loved the cover, loved the title, synopsis sounded like a winner.... verdict is it was a WINNER. I totally fell in love with this book. It was emotional, a real journey, lovable characters, very unique characters, and just beautifully written. 

Mim has had a bit of a hard life for the past couple of years. Her  parents got a divorce, her father remarried, she moved to another state, and now she finds out her mother is sick and no one will tell her what is going on. She decides to take a journey from Mississippi back to Ohio on a bus. Along the way she learns a bunch about creeps, danger, friends, family, love and how to confront all her hidden issues from the past and the present.

This book is just wonderful. I generally don't do well with one person journeys and I was a bit worried that this one let me down. I had such high expectations though, I'm not sure where these expectations came from but I had a feeling I would love this book. And I did. The journey was a one person journey but wasn't. Mim met many crazy characters along the way. Some bad and some awesome. The unique characters and Mim's unique voice really made the story and it was just a memorable amazing ride. 

Mim was a very strange character, in a good way. She had some strange ways of dealing with things and not so much dealing with things. From the beginning there were many things we didn't know about Mim but we knew there was mental illness in her family history. The extent of this was unknown. How bad it was and how dominant it was. This paired with Mim's imagination and vivid storytelling led Mim to be some what of an unreliable source for the story. I wasn't sure what she was seeing or saying was for sure happening. This of course led to a crazy story and never knowing what to expect. 

I really loved Mim. She was funny and warm and real. She had so many flaws but so many wonderful qualities. She cared, she lived, she was afraid but she faced many of her fears. She had strange ways of dealing but she dealt. She was sweet and strong and just so so raw. LOVED HER. 

There were many crazy characters along the way. Too many to go through them all but it was a handful of memorable characters that really made the story and made Mim too. Everyone she had her in her past and present and her journey really formed her to who she was and I don't think the book could be without one of these characters.

This book is really worth reading and I will be recommending it to every reader I know. I think almost everyone can find something to love about this story. 

On the fast track to best read of the year. 

Hi. I'm David.
I write stories and songs. I like pesto, Arcade Fire, indie bookstores, Middle-earth, GARP, Elliott Smith, Christmastime, and all things Sorkin. I don't like olives, liars, or wet socks. My debut novel, MOSQUITOLAND, will be published by Viking/Penguin in Winter 2015. My second book, KIDS OF APPETITE, is tentatively set for a Fall 2016 release. I am represent

ed by Dan Lazar at Writers House.


  1. Great review. I just learned about this book a few days ago, and I really want to read it.

    Aj @ Read All The Things!

  2. I'm so happy that you loved this!!!! Mosquitoland is one of my favorite reads this year and even though it is only April I have a feeling it will stay that way. :) I won't be forgetting about Mim any time soon, or any of the other crazy characters.

  3. I'm so torn on this one. On one hand, I really want to read it, but I'm scared because for some reason I'm scared I won't like it. I'll probably end up giving it a try eventually though because I keep hearing amazing things about it.

    Great review!

  4. I am reading this right now, it is so freaking amazing! I am a little over halfway done. It would have been awesome to listen to as an audiobook!
    Missie @ A Flurry of Ponderings

  5. Yeah, I think it's harder to read and enjoying ones like this on someone's journey, especially when you're older, buuuuuuuuut I like strange characters, and since it connects to a mental health aspect, because it is so important, especially in YA, to show things like that. I read one recently that I loved just as much because of that and the unreliable narrative. So definitely think this is my thing now! :)


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