MOSQUITOLAND by David Arnold
Kirkus Star


Age Range: 14 & up
Email this review


Encounters both dangerous and wonder-filled with fellow travelers prompt 16-year-old runaway Mim to scrutinize her perceptions about herself, her family and the world she inhabits.

Convinced that her father and stepmother are hiding secrets about her mother’s health and also frustrated by her father’s insistence that she take antipsychotic medication, Mim steals an emergency cash fund to travel 1,000 miles to her mother. Aboard the Greyhound bus, Mim’s inner monologues about other passengers reveal her snarky sense of superiority, which is alternately hilarious, cutting and full of bravado. But her self-imposed, disdainful isolation quickly dissolves in the aftermath of a harrowing accident. Completing her journey suddenly necessitates interacting with a motley set of fellow travelers. Mim’s father’s doubts about the stability of her perceptions feed a continual sense of tension as readers (and Mim herself) attempt to evaluate which of Mim’s conclusions about her fellow characters—both the seemingly charming and seemingly menacing—can be trusted. Arnold pens a stunning debut, showcasing a cast of dynamic characters whose individual struggles are real but not always fully explained, a perfect decision for a book whose timeline is brief. Ultimately, Mim revises moments from her own narrative, offering readers tantalizing glimpses of the adult Mim will eventually become and reminding readers that the end of the novel is not the end of Mim’s journey—or her story.

Mesmerizing. (Fiction. 14 & up)

Pub Date: March 3rd, 2015
ISBN: 978-0-451-47077-5
Page count: 352pp
Publisher: Viking
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1st, 2015


FictionTHE FAIR FIGHT by Anna Freeman
by Anna Freeman
FictionSINGLE, CAREFREE, MELLOW by Katherine Heiny
by Katherine Heiny
NonfictionHAMMER HEAD by Nina MacLaughlin
by Nina MacLaughlin
NonfictionVISITING HOURS by Amy Butcher
by Amy Butcher


IndieDOWN IN THE BELLY OF THE WHALE by Kelley Kay  Bowles
by Kelley Kay Bowles
AdultA LITE TOO BRIGHT by Samuel Miller
by Samuel Miller
ChildrenNEIGHBORHOOD GIRLS by Jessie Ann Foley
by Jessie Ann Foley
ChildrenCATCH & RELEASE by Blythe Woolston
by Blythe Woolston