Mosquitoland (Review)

Now let me preface this by saying that before picking this book up and reading it, I had literally seen this everywhere: in stores, online, etc. I think the reason I gave it a go in the first place, after months of picking it up and putting it back down in the store, is because of Adam Silvera’s and David Arnold’s friendship being awesome.

I loved this book. It was everything I ever expected, wanted, and more. I just cannot say enough good things about this book. This is weird, isn’t it? Usually I give really harsh reviews of books followed by cursing and more complaining. Not this time motherfuckers.

(Bad) Sarah Summary: Mary Iris Malone, better known as Mim, hears troubling news about her mother, and goes on  Greyhound bus to see her again. She’s had a hard time adjusting to her new life after her parents’ divorce, and her father moving her to a new state with his new wife. Along the way, she meets a variety of characters while struggling, and eventually overcoming her own personal demons.

Rating: 5/5 ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

I honestly can’t say enough good things about this book. It gets extra points because that’s how much I love it. (+++++)

I loved the style its written in. David Arnold has a way of writing that is not only relatable (Mim is literally a blend of me, Gwen, and Madelyn), but also showcases his characters the best. I’m currently reading Kids of Appetite, and what I’ve noticed about both books is that he slowly reveals to you more and more about their physical attributes. I don’t want to say illnesses, but IDK how else to call it (e.x. Mim is blind in one eye, but the reader doesn’t find out until it is explicitly addressed). Forgive me if I sound like your middle school English teacher reading too hard into a book, but it honestly showed me that books can teach lessons, such as the fact that people are not their illnesses, and they are so much more.

I honestly couldn’t believe anything about Beck or Walt to be anything other than a figment of her distressed imagination, as they were both so pure compared to the other people in her life.

The book is what I like to call quotable. Just seriously look at my Goodreads updates and you’ll know a book is good when I have to quote it constantly as I’m reading. One of the themes is “the uncomfortable nearness of strangers” (um how beautiful is that phrase like yes), which eventually turns into “the comfortable nearness of friends” which I love so very much.

Compared to More Happy Than Not (which I read recently and love to death), this book is probably every bit as poignant and beautiful, but it has a more feel-good vibe to it. Like listening to Kids or Future Looks Good by OneRepublic. It’s more intense than I’m making it sound, but after the heart wrenching sadness left by More Happy, basically nothing compares and I am perfectly fine with that.

I was never bored with this book. I read it in long bursts. While I was reading it, I loved it so much. I can’t say enough good things about this book.

I’ve also been where Mim’s been (kind of). My mom remarried when I was in middle school about to go to high school. I never pay any mind to my stepdad or stepsiblings.I understood every bit of her anger and why she did what she did. (Usually I get annoyed with a character sometimes depends tho)

Her dad isn’t all bad tho, and Mim makes it a point to remember his good points, too.

“Tell little Iz all about the atrocities of life. I just hope you’ll remember some of the good stuff, too.” Mosquitoland, pg. 296

I think about this quote a lot. I’ve struggled with my depression and suicidal thoughts, but every once and a while I know there’s still good in this life, so I hope you read this book and remember that, too.

This book addresses so much, from family struggles to rape/PTSD to psychosis to mental disabilities, and even more. I hope you pick it up and relish in it the way I did.

To me this book is a breath of fresh air, a comforting hug from a friend, an escape from the real world for once. I put it on the same pedestal as More Happy Than Not (which gasp I haven’t reviewed yet) and I’ll never stop telling people to read this book.


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