Mosquitoland

Another audiobook! Can you tell I’m commuting long distances to work again? I wasn’t sure if I would like this narration at first but it grew on me throughout the first couple of chapters. As for the book itself…


Summary

18718848I am a collection of oddities, a circus of neurons and electrons: my heart is the ringmaster, my soul is the trapeze artist, and the world is my audience. It sounds strange because it is, and it is, because I am strange.

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.


My Thoughts

3.5/5 stars

This is kind of difficult to review, so bear with me please. We’re going to list this one, I think.

Things I Liked

  • The narration: at first I thought I wouldn’t like the narrator, but she ended up being a perfect fit for the book.
  • The travel: the focus on travel and the travel itself is a really cool part of the story. Road trip stories are always a lot of fun but the specific components of this trip are really interesting.
  • The topics addressed throughout the book: sexual abuse, depression, suicide, loss, grief, Down Syndrome, divorce, and medication, to name a few. It felt like these were approached respectfully and intentionally, not just to try to move the story along or make the character more “relatable”.
  • The imagery: the book’s language does paint a good picture of the scenery and actions during each scene. It helps make the story feel more real.

Things I Didn’t Like

  • The language: okay I enjoyed some of this but really, does everything need to be a deep, philosophical metaphor? Some of it did seem to fit the characters and storyline, but a lot of it felt a lot like soapboxing, like it was trying too hard to be Memorable and Deep.
  • The pacing: the pacing was difficult to follow. Mim’s trip doesn’t take more than a few days but so much happens in those few days. So much happens, yet some scenes seemed to take much longer than necessary to get through.  Almost like the scene was put there just for the author to impart some Deep Wisdom on us… 🤔 Do you see where this is going?

That pretty much sums it up! I liked the basics of the story and its foundation but the actual writing wasn’t doing it for me. The abundant use of metaphors was slightly distracting and often eye roll-inducing. I enjoyed the sentiment but the execution didn’t hit home. Still, I enjoyed the book and would recommend it to readers looking for a good book about travel, mental health, self-exploration, and family.

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