Mosquitoland by David Arnold

BLOG“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’m strange.”

After the break-up of her parents’ marriage, sixteen year old Mary Iris Malone (Mim) finds herself living in Mississippi with her dad and step-mom.  Upon overhearing that her mother is sick, she runs away from Mosquitoland Missisippi and jumps on a Greyhound bus to Cleveland.  Throughout her journey she meets a number of different characters and ends up on a few unexpected detours, learning valuable lessons along the way.

Mosquitoland is a charming and offbeat young adult novel that follows Mim’s journey from Mississippi to Cleveland.  Mim is a funny and engaging narrator who we really get to know and understand as the story develops.  Her struggles and difficulties in connecting to others are presented in a way that makes them quite relatable.  The author mixes humour and serious subject matter very well, creating main characters that are believable and so endearing that I wanted more time with them. It is a touching novel that stays with you long after you’ve turned the last page.

Favourite quote: “All my life, I’ve been searching for my people, and all my life, I’ve come up empty.  At some point, and I don’t know when, I accepted isolation.  I curled into a ball and settled for a life of observations and theories, which really isn’t a life at all.”

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