Mosquitoland by David Arnold

This is a novel of substance and despair.

It is a collection of oddities, and strange ones at that. It is the story of a displaced epiglottis and partial blindness and willful dissidence (read: teenage angst).   It is the story of being miles from okay and learning to actually be okay with that.

Mary Iris Malone, or Mim, in acronym form, is sixteen years old and she is not okay. In fact, she is 947 miles from okay. She has recently moved to the land of mosquitoes and her dad has lost her mother (and found a replacement at a Denny’s). When she learns that her mother is ill, the only solution seems to be to take a Greyhound bus to find her.

I swear the older I get, the more I value bad examples over good ones. It’s a good thing too, because most people are egotistical, neurotic, self-absorbed peons, insistent on wearing near-sighted glasses in a far-sighted world. And it’s this exact sort of myopic ignorance that has led to my groundbreaking new theory. I call it Mim’s Theorem of Monkey See Monkey Don’t, and what it boils down to is this: it is my belief that there are some people whose sole purpose of existence is to show the rest of how not to act.

Beginning in Mississippi and ending in Ohio, Mosquitoland is a brilliant young adult road trip novel featuring a memorable heroine, one who is as maddening as she is charming.  It’s equal parts about the journey as it is about the destination – who we meet, what we want, where we ‘re from, where we’re going, and where we find home. And that’s as it should be. Sardonic, charming, quirky, memorable, a must read for anyone who has ever realized that getting from here to there is not as easy as it seems. Read it.


(I am 2,036 miles from where I started and I still don’t know if I’m okay.)

Dinner and a Book Mosquitoland and ChipsPair this one with the ultimate – in my and Mim’s opinion – road trip food. Potato Chips. Make them at home before you go (or be daring and grab a bag from a random store).

*I received a review copy of my novel in exchange for my honest opinion.

12 thoughts on “Mosquitoland by David Arnold

  1. “It is the story of being miles from okay and learning to actually be okay with that.” Great message for a YA book (an adult book too, for that matter). Thanks for the review!


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