Mosquitoland by David ArnoldMosquitoland by David Arnold

Mosquitoland

byDavid Arnold

Hardcover | March 3, 2015

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about

“Top-notch” —USA Today
“Illuminating” —Washington Post
“A breath of fresh air” —Entertainment Weekly
“Memorable” —People

By the New York Times bestselling author of Kids of Appetite!
 
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.
 
Told in an unforgettable, kaleidoscopic voice, Mosquitoland is a modern American odyssey, as hilarious as it is heartbreaking.
David Arnold lives in Lexington, Kentucky, with his (lovely) wife and (boisterous) son. He is theNew York Times bestselling author of Kids of Appetite and Mosquitoland, and his books have been translated into over a dozen languages. Previous jobs include freelance musician/producer, stay-at-home dad, and preschool teacher. David is a f...
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Title:MosquitolandFormat:HardcoverDimensions:352 pages, 8.5 × 5.67 × 1.18 inPublished:March 3, 2015Publisher:Penguin Young Readers GroupLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:045147077X

ISBN - 13:9780451470775

Reviews

Rated 5 out of 5 by from Awesome! This book is one of a kind and it was so good! There were a lot of sophisticated words and expressions I didn't understand but that's just because my vocabulary isn't that advanced haha. I learned a lot! The protagonist is quirky and funny which made the story even more enjoyable
Date published: 2017-07-21
Rated 5 out of 5 by from LOVE LOVE I love this book so much. .... everything about it! I just finished it and I want to read it again. I can't wait to read more from this author.
Date published: 2016-03-25
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Biggest surprise of the year for me! I loved this! Wow. This book EASILY just made my favourite books of all time list. I fell in love after the first chapter and I remained in love until the very last sentence. This book was quirky and strange and everything that I love. I felt such a deep connection with this book and its characters on a personal level. If I could rate higher that 5 I would. NO you know what, I do rate it more than 5 stars, in the spirit of Mim and her creative, original and non-generic personality, I rate this book all of the stars in the galaxy. When I first saw this book in an issue of Entertainment Weekly, it was the book cover that grabbed me. I hadn't even read the description yet and I knew I wanted to read this book. As someone who studied graphic design and is pursuing a career in that field, I can honestly say this book is beautifully designed inside and out. Not only does it have a beautiful cover, but it also has gorgeous illustrations on the end paper. I know, I know...one of the most common phrases I know is "Never judge a book by its cover" but in this case, judging a book by its cover paid off immensely. The writing style is fantastic and humorous and heartbreaking and uplifting all at once. Also, just a reminder, this is David Arnold's debut novel. I am impressed. He has really found his style of writing and it feels extremely developed. It was quirky and fun in all the right places while also maintaining quite the number of dark and serious topics. Every character in this book felt thoroughly developed and carefully created. Mary Iris Malone or "Mim" was by far my favourite character and possibly one of my favourite characters in a novel ever. Like I said earlier, I related on a personal level with Mim. I won't get into details, but it was an amazing feeling to be able to relate to a character like her. Another favourite in this book was definitely Walt. What a wonderful addition to the story as a kind of unconventional sidekick to go along with our unconventional hero. Although we didn't get concrete closure to his story line, I feel deep down in my heart that he found his happy ending. I loved the idea of Beck, this guy who is seemingly perfect in the eyes of Mim if it weren't for an age gap. Although his back story felt a tad misplaced to me, I think it still gave the reader a sense of who he is as a person. One last favourite of mine was Arlene and her story. I won't get into more details because of spoilers but, she was one sassy lady and there was just something about her that I loved. Overall, I clearly thoroughly enjoyed this novel and it will stay near and dear to me for a long, long time. I highly recommend reading this book if you enjoy contemporary young adult fiction in the likes of books such as The Perks of Being a Wallflower or Paper Towns.
Date published: 2015-11-23

Read from the Book

JACKSON, MISSISSIPPI (947 miles to go) 1. A Thing's Not a Thing Until You Say It Out Loud I am Mary Iris Malone, and I am not okay. 2. The Uncomfortable Nearness of Strangers September 1—afternoon Dear Isabel, As a member of the family, you have a right to know what’s going on. Dad agrees but says I should avoid “topics of substance and despair.” When I asked how he propose I do this, seeing as our family is prone to substantial desperation, he rolled his eyes and flared his nostrils, like he does. The thing is, I'm incapable of fluff, so here goes. The straight dope, Mim-style. Filled to the brim with “topics of substance and despair.” Just over a month ago, I moved from the greener pastures of Ashland, Ohio, to the dried-up wastelands of Jackson, Mississippi, with Dad and Kathy. During that time, it's possible I’ve gotten into some trouble at my new school. Not trouble with a capital T, you understand, but this is a subtle distinction for adults once they’re determined to ruin a kid's youth. My new principal is just such a man. He scheduled a conference for ten a.m. this morning, in which the malfeasance of Mim Malone would be the only point of order. Kathy switched her day shift at Denny's so she could join Dad as a parental representative. I was in algebra II, watching Mr. Harrow carry on a romantic relationship with his polynomials, when my name echoed down the coral-painted hallways. “Mim Malone, please report to Principal Schwartz's office. Mim Malone to the principal's office.” (Suffice it to say, I didn't want to go, but the Loudspeaker summoned, and the Student responded, and 'twas always thus.) The foyer leading into the principal’s office was dank, a suffocating decor of rusty maroons and browns. Inspirational posters were plastered around the room, boasting one-word encouragements and eagles soaring over purple mountains' majesty. I threw up a little, swallowed it back down. “You can go on back,” said a secretary without looking up. “They’re expecting you.” Beyond the secretary's desk, Principal Schwartz's heavy oak door was cracked open an inch. Nearing it, I heard low voices on the other side. “What’s her mother's name again?” asked Schwartz, his timbre muffled by that lustrous seventies mustache, a holdover from the glory days no doubt. “Eve,” said Dad. Schwartz: “Right, right. What a shame. Well, I hope Mim is grateful for your involvement, Kathy. Heaven knows she needs a mother figure right now.” Kathy: “We all just want Eve to get better, you know? And she will. She’ll beat this disease. Eve’s a fighter.” Just outside the door, I stood frozen—inside and out. Disease? Schwartz: (Sigh.) “Does Mim know?” Dad: (Different kind of sigh.) “No. The time just doesn't seem right. New school, new friends, lots of . . . new developments, as you can see.” Schwartz: (Chuckle.) “Quite. Well, hopefully things will come together for Eve in . . . where did you say she was?” Dad: “Cleveland. And thank you. We’re hoping for the best.” (Every great character, Iz, be it on page or screen, is multidimensional. The good guys aren’t all good, the bad guys aren’t all bad, and any character wholly one or the other shouldn’t exist at all. Remember this when I describe the antics that follow, for though I am not a villain, I am not immune to villainy.) Our Heroine turns from the oak door, calmly exits the office, the school, the grounds. She walks in a daze, trying to put the pieces together. Across the football field, athletic meatheads sneer, but she hears them not. Her trusty Goodwill shoes carry her down the crumbling sidewalk while she considers the three-week drought of letters and phone calls from her mother. Our Heroine takes the shortcut behind the Taco Hole, ignoring its beefy bouquet. She walks the lonely streets of her new neighborhood, rounds the skyscraping oak, and pauses for a moment in the shade of her new residence. She checks the mailbox—empty. As always. Pulling out her phone, she dials her mother's number for the hundredth time, hears the same robotic lady for the hundredth time, is disheartened for the hundredth time. We're sorry, this number has been disconnected. She shuts her phone and looks up at this new house, a house bought for the low, low price of Everything She'd Ever Known to Be True. “Glass and concrete and stone,” she whispers, the chorus of one of her favorite songs. She smiles, pulls her hair back into a ponytail, and finishes the lyric. “It is just a house, not a home.” Bursting through the front door, Our Heroine takes the steps three at a time. She ignores the new-house smell—a strange combination of sanitizer, tacos, and pigheaded denial—and sprints to her bedroom. Here, she repacks her trusty JanSport backpack with overnight provisions, a bottle of water, toiletries, extra clothes, meds, war paint, makeup remover, and a bag of potato chips. She dashes into her father and stepmother’s bedroom and drops to her knees in front of the feminine dresser. Our Heroine reaches behind a neatly folded stack of Spanx in the bottom drawer and retrieves a coffee can labeled HILLS BROS. ORIGINAL BLEND. Popping the cap, she removes a thick wad of bills and counts by Andrew Jacksons to eight hundred eighty dollars. (Her evil stepmother had overestimated the secrecy of this hiding spot, for Our Heroine sees all.) Adding the can of cash to her backpack, she bolts from her house-not-a-home, jogs a half-mile to the bus stop, and catches a metro line to the Jackson Greyhound terminal. She’d known the where for a while now: Cleveland, Ohio, 947 miles away. But until today, she wasn’t sure of the how or when. The how: a bus. The when: pronto, posthaste, lickety-split. And . . . scene. But you’re a true Malone, and as such, this won’t be enough. You’ll need more than just wheres, whens, and hows—you’ll need whys. You’ll think Why wouldn’t Our Heroine just (insert brilliant solution here)? The truth is, reasons are hard. I’m standing on a whole stack of them right now, with barely a notion of how I got up here. So maybe that’s what this will be, Iz: my Book of Reasons. I’ll explain the whys behind my whats, and you can see for yourself how my Reasons stack up. Consider that little clan- destine convo between Dad, Kathy, and Schwartz Reason #1. It’s a long way to Cleveland, so I’ll try and space the rest out, but for now, know this: my Reasons may be hard, but my Objectives are quite simple. Get to Cleveland, get to Mom. I salute myself. I accept my mission. Signing off, Mary Iris Malone, Mother-effing Mother-Saver

Editorial Reviews

Accolades for Mosquitoland:"Arnold proves his worth as a top-notch storyteller on his first literary go-round, which is reminiscent of Ferris Bueller's Day Off if done by John Hughes with Jack Kerouac. . . Mosquitoland stings in all the right places, which is why it will no doubt be many teenagers' new favorite book and win over the crustiest old-timer, too." —USA Today"David Arnold combines brio with compassion in this captivating first novel, which holds surprises, big and small, right to the end. . . Illuminating" —The Washington Post"David Arnold's sparkling, startling, laugh-out-loud debut. . . speaks to the sweetness of life, the courage of love and the blinkers that adolescents may need to remove to see what is truly around them." —Wall Street Journal"It's a breath of fresh air when a novel like David Arnold's Mosquitoland bucks the usual classifications and stands defiantly alone. . . like any odyssey worth embarking on, what the heroine—and the reader—finds along the way is far more interesting than we ever could have expected.” —Entertainment Weekly"Memorable" —People"One of the most talked about books of the year" —Teen Vogue "In Mosquitoland, David Arnold has created one of the most unique narrative voices to show up in the world of young adult fiction. I don't remember life before Mim, and I don't want to. Mosquitoland is equal parts sharp, sad, and surreal.  This book is genius, war paint and all." —John Corey Whaley, Printz-winning author of Where Things Come Back “David Arnold’s writing is both heartfelt and hilarious. You will fall in love with Mim, even as her grand journey will keep you guessing. Mosquitoland reminds us that sometimes imperfect is just perfect.” —Ruta Sepetys, New York Times bestselling author of Between Shades of Gray ★ “Arnold pens a stunning debut, showcasing a cast of dynamic characters. . . Mesmerizing.” —Kirkus, starred review★ “Wholly enjoyable. . . There is no shortage of humor in Mim’s musings, interspersed with tender scenes and a few heart-pounding surprises. Mim’s triumphant evolution is well worth the journey.” —Publishers Weekly, starred review ★ "Arnold boldly tackles mental illness and despair, and sexual assault and sexual identity, without ever once losing the bigheartedness of the story. . . In the words of one of Mim's Greyhound seatmates, Mosquitoland has pizazz—lots and lots of it." —Booklist, starred review★ "Arnold’s characters are captivating and believable. . . This is a very engaging and compelling story about individuals who succeed or fail to manage life’s challenges. An action-packed thriller with a touch of humor and romance." —School Library Connection, starred review★ "Arnold skillfully sets up doubts in readers' minds about how reliable Mim's impressions are, even as her razor-sharp humor and intelligence make us want to believe her. David Arnold is a write to watch." —Shelf Awareness, starred review“A YA road trip novel that takes you across the country, with a protagonist on her way to visit her hospitalized mother. And can we talk about that gorgeous cover for a second? My goodness. Get me a poster, right now.” —The Huffington Post "A wacky road trip. . . [Mim's] voice is so singular and full of heart" —The Horn Book"A strong emphasis on personal alienation and the saving grace of community permeates this voice-driven novel, and the whip-smart narration is seductive and powerful." —Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books"A classic road trip narrative. . . written with tenderness" —National Post (Canada)“First-time novelist David Arnold has uncannily captured the voice of a 16-year-old girl with beauty and style in Mosquitoland. . . Arnold’s prose is delicious as he peels back each of Mim’s layers on her long ride.” —BookPage“You know those books that, despite being realistic contemporary, just transport you into another world entirely? That’s exactly the experience of reading Arnold’s debut. . . This book makes me wish I were a school librarian, just so I could buy ten copies for my collection.” —Barnes & Noble Teen Blog“Arnold has already been chosen with nine other debut novelists for the ABA Indies New Voices list, and that’s not an honor given lightly, so it’s definitely a book to keep your eye on.” —Bustle- Kids' Indie Next List "Top Ten" Pick (Spring 2015)- ABA Indies Introduce Debut Authors and New Voices title- A Junior Library Guild selection- 2015 Great Lakes Great Reads award winner- A Publishers Weekly Spring 2015 Flying Start- Booklist Editors’ Choice 2015- A Booklist Top 10 First Novel for Youth: 2015- A Kirkus Unforgettable Debut 2015- An Amazon Best Book of the Year 2015- An NPR Book Concierge Best of 2015- A BookPage Best Teen Book of 2015- A Bustle Best YA Book of 2015- A Paste Magazine Best YA Book of 2015- A Buzzfeed Best YA Book of 2015- A Hudson Booksellers Best Book for Young Readers 2015