Book Talk: Mosquitoland by David Arnold




Want an “at a glance” look at what I thought? Check out my Review On A Post-It or my “Final Thought”



When Mim’s mom and dad split, Mim finds herself suddenly uprooted and living with her dad and his brand new wife all the way in Mississippi while her mom, whose correspondence has become less and less frequent, is in Ohio. When she finds out that her mom is sick, she hops a Greyhound bus to get to her which leads her on a journey where she’ll encounter people who leave a mark on her and be forced to confront some tough things.

a2There’s no way I’m going to be able to explain this book!!

a4What an experience reading Mosquitoland was! I know I’m not going to be able to adequately describe this book or the experience and that’s okay. I’m just hoping you’ll see that beautiful cover or my interview with David Arnold and will want to just rush right to pick it up!! It’s one of those one in a million kinds of books. The kind of book that doesn’t FEEL like anything else you’ve ever read. I really have a hard time comparing it to anything I’ve ever read before, truly. I love experiences like that.

Here’s what I loved about it:

1. ROAD TRIP: I’ve read lots of road trip books but none quite like this. Mim truly goes on quite the adventure as she leaves Mississippi to get to her mom in Ohio. It was like a road trip hopped up on extra shenanigans. I don’t want to slip in too many of the situations she finds herself in but it was quite the wild ride. I kept turning the pages like WHAT IS GOING TO HAPPEN NEXT?!

2. MIM: You guys, YOU NEED TO MEET MIM. There’s no one way to describe Mim — I’d say quirky or eccentric but I’m not sure either of those words fully encompass Mim’s personality. I could tell you about her personality or the things she likes but it doesn’t present the whole picture.  She’s Mim. That’s the only way you can describe her. MIM. I’ll assert it as an adjective. Mim in all her Mimness.  That’s all I can say. And when you meet her you will know what I mean. She’s a voice that echos louder than most in the recesses of my readerly mind. She made me snort-laugh unattractively. She made me cry inconsolably. She made me want to shake her but then hug her at the same time. She made me think. She seeks answers and her journey to find them is one you don’t want to miss as she really has to confront some tough things in her past and present. I could go on and on about Mim and her growth and how much of an amazing heroine she is but the takeaway here is….THERE WILL NOT BE ANOTHER VOICE LIKE MIM. She’s an anomaly (but, like, not written in that annoying way in which the author is like LOOK AT MY CHARACTER ISN’T SHE SO QUIRKY AND DIFFERENT). She’s Mim through and through.

3. The writing: There was something so hypnotizing with David Arnold’s writing. The way this story was told was just so VIBRANT. I don’t know how to explain it other than that. It was dream-like. Surreal. Half the time I was like “IS THIS REALLY HAPPENING?” or is it one beautifully constructed hallucination?? Or maybe it’s a movie reel in my mind?? It was just told in a different way. He spins some sentences/thoughts that just make you pause before moving on. I dog-earred the crap out of this book for many reasons — profundity, humor, a certain turn of phrase that delighted the cockles of my heart, a heart-warming moment, etc. I also love how the story is revealed with the trip narration and then with letters to Iz. We get slivers of the past that has brought her here mixed with this surreal road trip. Also? How David Arnold explored mental illness in a powerful way. I don’t want to say too much on it because I want people to experience it purely how I did.

4. The cast of characters she meets along the way: There were sooo many excellent characters she crosses paths with who change her and help her along her journey. Every character she crosses paths with come to life so vibrantly in a way that is just SO impressive.



factors+ plot, characters, writing, uniqueness, themes
–  Nothing really.

Re-readability: Yes!
Would I buy a copy for my collection? Yes!

a5contemporary YA fans looking for something a little different, people who like offbeat indie movies like I do (seriously, it’s so cinematic and I kept picturing it shot like some of my favorite indie flicks), readers who like a wild road trip,

a8Mosquitoland was just delightfully offbeat in the most charming of ways. Mim is a heroine which no adjectives can quite pin down the essence of Mim. She will test your patience but you cannot help rooting for her on her journey. And the writing?! It made me up my dog-earring game! Gut-bustingly funny at times, punches you in the gut at other times. David Arnold is a brilliant author who DEFINITELY brought out the big guns with his refreshing and vibrant debut. What next, David, WHAT NEXT? I cannot wait to see what else he can do.

review-on-post-itMosquitoland by David Arnold


a8j* Have you read this one? What did you think? Similar or different from me? I would LOVE to hear regardless!
*If you haven’t read it, does it feel like something you’d be into?



The Perpetual Page-Turner

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About Jamie

Jamie is a 32 year old married lady (with a new baby!!) who is in denial that she's actually that old to be a married lady and a mom. When she's not reading you can find her doing Pilates followed by eating ice cream, belting out Hamilton (loud and offkey) and having adventures with her husband, daughter and rescue dog.


  1. I read the prologue and you’re so right! The writing style is nothing like I’ve ever read, honestly, and Mim is such a different new great character! Cannot wait to read the whole book! :3

    • RIGHT?? When I finished it I was like HOW THE HECK AM I GOING TO DESCRIBE IT!?!? Let me know what you think when you read it!!

  2. I’m not normally a big YA reader, but this one has caught my eye and this is the second review I’ve read that made me want to read it! I’ve got it on my TBR list.

    • I highly recommend it and I know a few non-YA readers I would probably hand it to for sure! I will be curious to see what you think if you read it! His writing is just so excellent!

  3. This sounds SO GOOD! I love road trip books and I love unique characters so I’ll definitely be buying this. Fantastic review, Jamie!! <3

  4. I love the offbeat indie description – perfectly matches the impression I get from this book! So glad you enjoyed it, and I will definitely be checking it out. It sounds rather intriguing, and I’m always in the mood for something different. Lovely review!

  5. I haven’t read Mosquitoland yet, but it sounds amazing! I haven’t read a road trip book in ages and this sounds like a perfect one to get into. Loved your review, Jamie. I seriously need to get my hands on a copy NOW! 😀

  6. I honestly wasn’t sure that I wanted to read Mosquitoland, but your thoughts on it have definitely made me reconsider. I mean, I already loved that it was a road trip book! But now that you’re mentioning how it’s got this great main character + all the things she encounters along the way… I think I have to check it out 😉

  7. This sounds good! I love road trip books. 🙂 And the cover is great, too!

  8. Mosquito is getting so much love from people whose opinion I value and I cannot wait to get my hands on it!

  9. I’ve been really hesitant about picking this one up–the title reminds me of Grasshopper Jungle (which I did not like) and it’s taking a lot of reviews to convince me that they aren’t similar. It sounds like you really loved this though. I may have to give it a look!

  10. There is an interesting conversation happening about the Native aspects in this book, namely that they are perpetuating harmful stereotypes; put together with your most recent post about an “author’s job” of realism vs. harmful portrayals and character actions, I though it would be something worth bringing up:

  11. I just finished this book last night. I’m not usually a big reader of contemporary fiction, but every so often I like to shake things up and toss one in and this reach beyond any expectation I had!

    Can we talk about WALT!!?? He was by far my absolute favorite character. He was just so refreshing. Gosh i loved that kid.

    I dog eared the crap out of that book. David Arnold can write! Love love love love


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