Moquitoland - David Arnold | ARC Review

10:05 AM
Pages: 342 ARC Paperback
Publication date: March 3rd, 2015
Publisher: Vikings Children
How I got the copy: Provided by Penguin Random House Canada
Rating:  4 out of 5

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.

At first I wasn’t so sure if I was going to love this but I ended up really enjoying Mim’s story and routing for her throughout her journey of unexpected discoveries. The only thing that confused me and kind of bothered me was that some chapters would end abruptly while some sort of action would be happening and with no explaination the next chapter would start. New scene. 

Mosquitoland is written in two perspectives, Mim’s present and in letters that Mim writes while her present story is unraveling. I’d also like to add that this whole story takes place in the span of 6 days and I feel a lot happens to only take place throughout 6 days but it works.

Mim’s story starts with her first letter to Iz, we don’t know who Iz is until later on in the book but when we find out it’s sort of really sweet.

Mim is trying to understand why her entire life has been flipped upside down in such a little amount of time. First it was her parents’ divorce, then her father marries a new women and the ultimate change, he takes her 947 miles away from Cleveland, where they used to call home and where Mim’s mother still lives.

So, the story begins with Mim being called to the principal’s office but instead of facing her father, step-mom and principal… Mim books it. She decides it’s time to go back home, where her mother is and buys a Greyhound ticket and sets off to Cleveland. Mim stops receiving any sort of communication from her mother, no phone calls, no letters and when she tries to reach her mother, her old phone number is disconnected and this is what drives Mim to set off 947 miles back to Cleveland to find her.

So much happens on Mim’s trip back home and she meets so many people on the way there, both good and terrible people but each experience helps Mim understand a little bit more of who she is and what she wants and needs for her life right at that moment.

I really feel for Mim throughout this whole story. Everything she’s been through at the age of sixteen can break hearts but her experience to Cleveland and the friends she makes on the way have changed her life for the better. The experience to Cleveland also finally allows her to accept her new family with her dad and allows Mim to live her life without all the negativity she had built inside of her because she wouldn't accept the change. 

The characters in this book are so easy to understand and relate too and I love the fact that it touches on the topic of autistic children. It shows how they’re normal kids that can interact with other kids normally; you just have to be patient to understand them. Where I grew up, Autistic kids where equal to everyone else but I also know that some schools specialize more in working with autistic kids (like my former elementary and high school) than others. I know that a lot of other schools, autistic kids are ostracized and just thinking about that makes me sad and having more books that touch base on this subject is incredible. Exposing young readers to learn or even just think about autism is absolutely amazing.

I would recommend this to readers who love YA contemporary! Mosquitoland is super enjoyable and it was so fun the follow these characters on their adventure.


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