Arnold, Davis Mosquitoland, 342 pgs. Penguin (Viking) 2015. $17.99. Language: R (100+swears, 42 “F”); Mature Content: PG13 (crude language); Violence: PG13.
Mim Malone’s parents are recently divorced, and Mim is not okay. In fact, her dad has already remarried, so when Mim overhears that her mom might have a terminal condition, Mim steals her stepmother’s cash can and boards a bus for Cleveland. In a series of letters to Izzy (kept in a journal), along with her narrative of the trip we learn her back story, meet the random strangers who influence her choices and see flashes of the mental illness her father fears she has.
This debut novel took longer to read than the bus trip Mim was on. The swear count (particularly the Fs) was very high for a youngish protagonist (she’s 16), the situations added excitement, but were rather improbable - so many things in one short trip. Is this a personal journey, an odyssey, a story about relationships, trust, family? It was all over the place. Too much swearing and too mature for middle school, maybe for the right high school student.
HS - OPTIONAL Lisa Librarian