18718848by David Arnold
YA Contemporary
4 of 5 stars
Debut novel – March 3, 2015

This is a road trip coming-of-age novel that reads like a sepia-toned film (if a modern-day film was intentionally shot like that). It’s a bit tongue-in-cheek in terms of the characters and the plot, but the writing is excellent. It’s similar to a John Green novel in that a bunch of quirky characters get together and make quirky references as they navigate the difficult challenges of adulthood-in-high-school. The thought-provoking conversations are mixed in with snapshots of baseball games and grungy roadside diners.

I liked watching Mim’s perspective on people or things change as she makes her way to Cleveland. She’s fiery and reflective–the best part is she’s not afraid to admit when she’s wrong.

A couple times I felt like the story meandered too much, but it’s hard to argue that when it’s based on an impulsive journey across the country. Those trips are never straightforward. This was a fun and touching book with just the right amount of resolution.

If you’d like to see more reviews or buy a copy for yourself, Mosquitoland is available on Goodreads and its parent company Amazon. Please consider supporting your local bookstore!

Similar reads:

  • Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell – A shy teenage girl is devastated when her twin sister decides to become more independent in college, leaving her high and dry for a roommate. Cath has to learn to spend more time with actual humans instead of her (rather famous) fanfiction account. As with all Rowell’s work, she tugs your heart out for her misfit protagonists.
  • The Fault in Our Stars by John Green – Two teenagers with different types of cancer meet at a support group. Romance and tears ensue. See my review here.
  • The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky – A shy high school freshman learns to open up and participate in life when he befriends seniors Patrick and Sam and all tropes break loose. First love, first stage show, first break-up, first supportive teacher…This is also a love letter to the 90s. It’s nostalgic, fun, and moving at times. See my review here.
  • Paper Towns by John Green – His formula of “manic pixie dream girl” loved by “somewhat nerdy boy” plays out over a road trip. Haven’t read this yet but I’ve heard good things; the jist is if you like John Green you’ll like this book too.
  • When We Collided by Emery Lord – Vivi and Jonah are both more than happy to use each other as a way to forget the tough struggles they face at home. But secrets never stay below the surface, and they’ll have to decide if they can stay together as their problems threaten to break into their rosy world of summer romance. See my review here.

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