Snap Review: Mosquitoland by David Arnold

Title: Mosquitoland

My rating: 5/5


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.

Snap Review:

I am amazed how many life lessons I reflected on in this unexpectedly phenomenal book. Few books bring tears to my eyes. It all comes to a head the last few chapters – when we come across Mim’s mother, when Mim gives her step-mom Kathy a chance because she sees them differently, when a promise is unspokenly made with Beck and Walt, and when we see who those letters in the journal are for.
When I first started reading, I thought to myself, yet another angsty teenage girl going at it alone in which she means quirky characters along the way to finding her true identity. In some way, that is the case. However, the vast majority is something much more poignant and hard-hitting – going beyond that of a young adult/teenage novel. This is masterful work that hits all the right emotions at the perfect time. To emphasize the beauty of Arnold’s prose, check out the quotes I’ve captured below:
“When you were born, you cried while the world rejoiced. Live your life so that when you die, the world cries while you rejoice” (Arnold 101)
“But that’s the personality of change, isn’t it? When it’s slow, it’s called growth; when it’s fast, it’s change. And God, how things change: some things, nothings, anythings, everythings…all the things change…A love born not of growth, but of change” (Arnold 230)
“(w)hile I can’t quite trace how it’s a Reason, I know it is. It’s like that tiny middle piece of a puzzle, the one you know is important, if only you could find the corners first. I don’t know if that makes any sense, but this Reason feels like that tiny middle piece” (Arnold 242)

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