Mosquitoland by David Arnold

Mim Malone is not okay. Her father has a new wife and Mim has had to shift from her home in Ohio to a town in Mississippi. Then she learns that her mom is sick, and that is all it takes for her to pack all her things and catch the next Greyhound. And thus starts a journey that will change her, shape her and sculpt her into something different, as she confronts her fears and solves her problems.

The book starts with a letter from Mim to Isabel, and although at the time it is not told who this Isabel character actually is, it’s a very intriguing start to the book and we learn that Mim is planning on leaving and running away to Cleveland, where her mom presently lives.

Mim really is a collection of oddities and at first I didn’t really understand her—what she was doing, why she was doing it—but as the story progresses, the little details fall into place and although this is not a suspense novel and never was to begin with, it’s interesting. Mim is the heroine of her movie and the executor of her life.

Beck, one of the main characters, was not too well developed. I liked his personality and the conversations that he and Mim had together, but it didn’t feel like he was properly fleshed out, like I was only seeing a part of him, and Mim somehow saw the full 3-D version. It wasn’t really insta-love, but I think a few days is too less to decide if you really like someone.

This book is filled with diverse characters, from Walt, who is a very sweet kid with Down syndrome, to Mim’s aunt, who is mentally sick. It was fun and entertaining, and maybe even educating, but the diverse characters were just that—diverse. Maybe too diverse. I liked that the characters were different and this book created awareness about that but is it really necessary for all of the characters to be diverse for it to be considered a diverse book?

I really liked the note on which this book ended and the message I took from it: Home isn’t necessarily a place. Nor is it always a person. Sometimes, home is just where your heart is. I would recommend this because although it is a book about mental illness and a girl who suffers with it, it is pretty clear and the narrator has a fresh and interesting voice that just propels you to continue reading.

Would I recommend? — Yes.



11 thoughts on “Mosquitoland by David Arnold

  1. A diverse set of characters is always something I love to see in my books, so I’m glad this is the case in here. I’m willing to re-add this book to my TBR after reading your review. 🙂

    • Yeah, me too. I guess that’s why they’re called diverse—we’ve just about had too much of the stereotypical insecure girl falls in love with hot guy and boom, insta-love. Haha, thank you 🙂 I’m glad you reconsidered about this one!

  2. I have heard so many things about this title. As Vane J. said; diverse characters are refreshing. I love your comment; “…sterotypical insecure girl falls in love with hot guy and boom, insta love….”


  3. I think your review was well thought out, but-sorry- did you actually call a book too diverse? I don’t mean to be rude or overly critical, but as a person who is intersectionally diverse, I couldn’t help but be a little…shocked, and somewhat offended?

    I mean, this is the exact problem people are fighting against. People actually aren’t
    publishing books because they believe it’s too much or not marketable. People deserve to see themselves in books, and they don’t because people have the mindset of exactly what you said. Excuse me, but that…no. It *hurts* to not see yourself in books. It’s *upsetting* to have to scour libraries, bookstores, and the internet for long periods of time to find even a few recent novels where you actually exist with *good* representation.

    There is no such thing as “too diverse”. There will be never be something such as “too diverse”. This isn’t another trend. In fact, there is still *not enough* progress and diversity in the book world. It’s a struggle that so many people are going through. And forgive me, I’m not trying to put you down or attack you, that isn’t the purpose of this comment, I think your review is lovely. But after all the discussion, and all the struggle to get to where diversity is now, it is still not. enough. So, I was just a bit taken aback that one would actually…disagree with having a diverse cast when it could mean so much progress to so many people? But, to each their own. Have a wonderful day, and thank you for following Oreos & Books.
    -Wesaun @ Oreos & Books

    • I’m really sorry if the review sounded that direct, I didn’t mean to offend anyone. I myself am originally from India and I know what it feels like to not have someone to really relate to in books, especially by means of culture and traditions. I wholeheartedly support diversity and do realize its importance, but I was merely commenting on the possibility of having not one stereotypical character in the book. Of course, that’s great and means we’re making great progress with our thinking—I just didn’t mean it like that. Thank you for the comment, I’m always open to criticism and, reading the review over, it does sound an awful lot like I am trying to suppress the idea of diversity, although it is the exact opposite. Trust me, I myself have also tried to find books with people I can really, truly relate to, and I’ll always be in favour of having more characters like these. It’s just I thought that a few of the supporting characters, not the main ones, were diverse, but they were portrayed as only that, in my opinion, and I think there needed to be more substance to them. They need to be known as their own persons, too, along with their diversity and different qualities. Again, I’m sorry I hurt your feelings, that wasn’t my intention.

  4. Pingback: August Wrap-Up | September TBR | The Enchanted Book

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