Mosquitoland by David Arnold // Not As Good As the Ratings Promised

Mosquitoland, by David Arnold              Publication: March 3, 2015, by Viking Children                                               Genre: Young Adult Fiction, Contemporary   Pages: 336                            Format: Hardcover               Source: Borrowed                                    Rating: Screen Shot 2015-07-22 at 7.12.37 PMScreen Shot 2015-07-22 at 7.12.37 PMScreen Shot 2015-07-22 at 7.12.37 PM

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.

Michelle’s Thoughts:

Hype in contemporary novels are either: my thing or totally not my thing. David Arnold’s debut, Mosquitoland, initially seemed to be the perfect book for me, and one of those that deals with mental illness and NO ROMANCE! whatsoever. The thing is, I disliked it more than I would’ve liked to enjoy it. It’s more about what kind of book you usually enjoy in the contemporary genre. Maybe it’s just me, wishing that there was a cute romance in between the pages of the book that would actually last. Because this time around, it seemed that it wouldn’t ever show up.

It’s all about a road trip, people. What are some of the best road trip novels you can think of and put together? John Green? Morgan Matson? Yeah, those are the pros. These kinds of books usually give me the summer feel and give me that feeling to jump into the car and head to wherever the roads will take me to kind of relax and forget about all of the troubles and stress that hit us teenagers continuously, alongside the pressure. I WANT THE DESTINATION STUFF, not just the amount of miles left in the journey.

It was about that, and Mim’s journey to getting over everything she has overcome in the past. It is a compelling novel at first, but I actually did find that it turned out to be too much. Hmmph. I’ve been finding that I’ve been making horrible decisions when choosing the right book to read, and this is out of the more worse outcomes. I WISH I ENJOYED THIS AS MUCH AS OTHER READERS HAVE!

The thing is… I even already forgot what the protagonist’s name was until I reread the summary again. This book didn’t really give me any feels, except the rare giggle and smile. I liked the coming-of-age aspect of it all, but that’s just about it. Nothing else got me excited except for the fact that the beginning of the novel, about 100 pages, were fast-paced and racing. I probably would’ve given the book a 4 star rating if it ended up that way.

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David Arnold is a great writer, really. His choice of words are very lyrical and if he ever wrote a book of poetry, I would definitely go for it once more. Mosquitoland wasn’t really for me and I would’ve been better of DNFing it, but it might be fantastic for you, and I really do hope you pick it up, because it’s great literature. Maybe it’ll end up as a YA classic one day, who knows? This would be your first pick for a mental health month read for teenagers, and for anyone of any age.

what do you look for when you’re trying to find a good coming-of-age story? do you enjoy romance in every book you read? (because i kind of do, except instalove. take that thing out of writing, please. unless it’s necessary, of course.)

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