Mosquitoland by Dan Arnold was nothing like I was expecting and everything I hoped it would be. For some reason I just assumed this was going to be another “youths on a road trip” type of book, a la Paper Towns, but it was so much more.
Synopsis: Mim Malone needs get out of Mosquitoland (aka Jackson, Mississippi). She needs to get away from her father and his new wife. She needs to find her mother, who has been left behind in Cleveland. She needs to finally get a chance to be herself. And she is most definitely no okay.
I’ll admit, I cried on a few occasions while reading this book. Mim and the varied cast of characters that enter her life tug at your heartstrings. What makes this book so good is its believability. The characters are flawed, not all the endings are happy, and I’m pissed that I don’t know what happens after the main story arc is complete.
This book tackles so many big issues but manages to do it simply and without preaching. There are characters with mental illnesses, people who have lived through traumatic events, people who have been disowned by family for being different, and Mim is in the middle of it all, witnessing the struggles while she struggles with her own issues.
I can’t wait to get back to my store to put a Staff Pick sticker on this book. It is a great read for fans of John Green’s books, and I will feel totally comfortable selling this to all ages, because there is no content in here that I think parents need to be concerned about. (John Green, I’m looking at you. Teen books don’t need sex scenes!)