Mosquitoland by David Arnold review (may have a few spoilers. Read with caution)

“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.”

Where do I even begin…so I didn’t know much about this book going in. Which I usually love going in blind. I felt this book was so unrealistic. Yes I know, it’s fiction, it’s a book but for me, and this MY opinion, contemporary books are suppose to be about life, everyday normal life. Fantasy/sci-fi/dystopian for me is where the unrealistic worlds should come into play. But anyway, so Mim runs away, totally realistic, but her journey from Mississippi to Ohio is ummmm no!  Her ass would have been found by police (and at one point she was with police) and brought back to her dad. I tired of Mim’s attitude real fast. I understand she was angry because she didn’t really understand what was happening with her life and her family but it was just a bit over the top for me. I’ve been a teenager, I dealt with a lot of shit as a teenager (bullying, death of my father, my family falling apart) and to me she was just…blah.

So the part about mental illness. I’m not sure is David Arnold set out to write about mental illness or a journey. But I felt he could have made this a powerful book on mental illness. And in a way that most don’t deal with or talk about. The other side of mental illness, the overly diagnosed and overly medicated part. In my opinion Mim’s dad kept shoving meds on her when it looked like she didn’t even have any problems. And then all this about her mom. I didn’t understand any of that either. Like where all of a sudden did that mental illness come from. It’s like he just threw a bunch of info in there but never gave us a clear story. Basically you just follow this girl on an unrealistic bus ride. There were just too many holes for me. 

The ending left you with the WTF? I don’t feel like Mim got any answers at all. We were just left in the dark. 

I’m still trying to decide if I want to pick up his newest book or not. I may just check it out from the library in case I hate it. 

2/5 🌟 

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