Book Review #12: Mosquitoland- David Arnold


Title: Mosquitoland
Author: David Arnold
Publication: March 3rd 2015, Viking Books for Young Readers
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary
Pages: 352
Format: Hardcover
ISBN: 045147077X / 9780451470775

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“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. 

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“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.”

I don’t know where, when, and how to start but I’ll be doing this for the love of Mim and to all of us who are fighting our own battle.

This story depicts Mary Iris Malone, or Mim, and her journey on finding herself and seeking for answers about her life, and family, especially her mom. And along the way, she met people who meant so much to her  compared to people who are in her life for the past 16 years. These people she met totally capsized her life, and with no regrets, Mim kind of learned all the things life has to offer.

“When you were born, you cried while the world rejoiced. Live your life so that when you die, the world cries while you rejoice”

I am truly a fan of Mim because it’s true that she maybe a little rebel, but her character is fierce and brave, and funny in an intelligent way. Mim is a girl born with loyalty to her friends, and yes, behind all the hatred, she has a heart that knows how to love. Also, she has this humor that some people may not enjoy, but I do. I really do. 🙂 There’s this time when I was reading then out of nowhere I just bursted laughing. My sister then asked what was funny, and then I told her then she’s like, “That’s not even funny” and I was like, “Whatever.”

Also, Arnold’s style of writing is different apart from the books I’ve read before, but it is still a nice read. Maybe, some parts are a little confusing, (because you know, this is the first time I’ve read this kind of writing-style) but nevertheless, this book is worth reading. 🙂

The book showed that above anything else, family is one thing that’s constant. No matter how hard you fall, no matter how great a failure you are, no matter what mistakes you made, family is always there to welcome you back. To help you get up and face again this world. Another thing, this book also reflected that if you happen to find people who’ll stick by your side no matter what, on your ups and downs, don’t ever ever lose them because they are the people worth keeping for. I loved the book for it has a lot of lessons to partake, about life, about life and about life. 🙂

“Home is hard. Harder than Reasons. It’s more a storage unit for your life and its collections. It’s more than an address, or even the house you grew up in. People say home is where the heart is, but I think maybe home is the heart. Not a place or a time, but an organ, pumping life into my life. There may be more mosquitos and stepmothers than I imagined, but it’s still my heart. My home.”

But what I like about this book mostly is it gave me an idea that all people are facing their own battle and the least we could do is be kind to them. I don’t know, maybe I was a little emotional or what as I was reading this, but it gave me strength to fight my own battle. And be strong. And be brave, because it is just a bad day, but not a bad life. And soon, I know, good days will be knocking on my door again. 🙂




David Arnold lives in Lexington, Kentucky with his wife and son. His debut novel, Mosquitoland, has garnered different nominations and awards, (see attached site) and his next novel will be set out in 2016. Aside from being a writer of books, he also writes music and his previous jobs includes freelance musician/producer, a preschool teacher, a barista, and a stay-at-home-dad. To know more about him, head on to his website. 🙂


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