R.Tim Morris’ Rating: 7/10
It’s not too often that I’ll find myself really enjoying a book, but then there’s a sudden shift along the way, and I realize I’m actually not enjoying the book as much as I’m enjoying the writing. David Arnold‘s debut MOSQUITOLAND (2015) surprised me. His writing is sharp, clever, funny, sad, and filled with fantastic metaphors. But he falls into the YA trap of making his characters a little too quirky, seemingly for the sake of merely being quirky. Some of Mim Malone’s road trip from Mississippi to Cleveland feels like random events that may have happened to the author himself, and he’s just cramming them in there at breakneck speed just keep things moving. As a writer, it’s aggravating, but it’s also a first novel (my own first novel fell for similar traps), and I could tell there’s enough writing chops here that his next books will probably feel a bit tighter.
There are also some frightening moments in the book; creepy, malicious characters that show up and do terrible things, yet there never really feels like it’s for a certain purpose. But overall, this is fantastic character book, and Mim Malone’s voice (though maybe some years beyond her age, in the “no kid really talks/thinks like this” sense) is fun, funny, and heartwarming.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s