Saturday, March 5, 2016
Book Review: Mosquitoland by David Arnold
Author: David Arnold
Page Count: 342
Rating: Somewhere in-between 3.5 and 4 Stars!
Source: I purchased the book from Barnes & Noble
Synopsis: "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.
"Be a kid of appetite, Iz. You know what I mean, don't you? Of course you do. You're a Malone."
Will I ever write an actually coherent review? Maybe one day, but here is what I have for now, a jumbled mess of my thoughts on a document published to the internet for lots of people to see. I appreciate all of you who read my reviews, and I really hope they are helpful when you are choosing another book for yourself to read.
Mary Iris Malone, better known as Mim... is a lovely, witty sarcastic character that reminded me of my best friend Jenna, for the vast majority of the novel. This made me enjoy it so much more than I think I would have if this was not the case, but boy did I enjoy this novel.
I was very conflicted about my rating as you can see here:
As I read, this was going to be a 5 stars read, and then the final 3rd of the book happened, and it was closer to a 3, then the final 40 pages happened and so now it is a 3.5-4 Star, for sure, because... I didn't realize how invested I really was until that moment. I loved Mim, I loved Beck, I loved my perfect cinnamon roll Walt the most... and I didn't expect everything that happened... I am so used to knowing things, and that was a great thing about this book, I didn't know!
Sadly, The book didn't go anywhere for a looooong time, I mean it did, but I didn't feel like it was actually getting anywhere... but it got somewhere eventually and that somewhere was good!!!
I think my favorite aspect of the book is the letters that Mim writes to Isabel, they give a great grasp of Mim's thoughts along with everything we really need to know for the story. Plus, I love letters, they are so beautiful and they can convey some extremely strong messages that other forms of writing don't capture in the same way. The letters were beautiful and they communicated exactly what I wanted to learn and I found myself wanting those more than the rest of the novel... until...
Walt. Holy moly. He is adorable and I found myself just caring about that little boy so immensely, like he was my little brother or something. He has such heart, and his love for the Cubs is sweet. My goodness I just love him so so so so much.
One thing I am angry about *MINOR SPOILERS* Is that we never find out what is in the box! I want to know what is in the box! Like, that is super important to me and my curiosity is killing me... I neeeeeeed to know. *MINOR SPOILERS OVER*
More characters that are important to note:
Arlene, the wonderful older lady that sat next to Mim on the bus, I loved her and everything she had to teach Mim, whether intentional or not, it was fantastic. She was one of the highlights of this book.
Poncho Man, never have I been more terrified in my entire life.. I was cringing and wanted to throw the book (Sorry, David Arnold... it was written really well just ahhhh. I didn't want to throw it cause it wasn't good it just was freaky to the max)
My review for this book isn't really a great review... but I think the whole point of this is that this is something different, something I haven't really read before. It's not what you expect it to be, so it's better to go in with no expectations and just read, because I think everyone will get a better experience and enjoy it more that way.
Mosquitoland is an inspiring debut by David Arnold in which he weaves Mim's witty inner monologue, with letters to Isabel and tells a story that leaves us all thinking long after the final page about mental health, the future of the characters, and the world you just left behind... Though this book can drag at times (I almost feel like the fact it dragged was because of my busyness... I had to put this book down for a couple of days cause of school) I think it is well worth the chance, because when you finish this book, It stays with you. Fan-freaking-tastic.
Oh, and before I'm done... The quote I put at the beginning of this... Kid of Appetite... Kids of Appetite is David Arnold's next novel... and based on the synopsis, I don't see any connection except for this line, but I cannot wait to read his next book... It sounds like something more up my alley, because if I enjoyed this even if it isn't necessarily something I would pick up based on the description... imagine how wonderful his next book is going to be! Author's grow as they write, we all grow as we write, so I am excited to see his improvements!
Add it to Goodreads
Barnes & Noble It's super cheap right now!
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Amazon Super cheap here as well!