Mosquitoland by David Arnold is a beautiful book. And I can say that without even opening it... although I have opened it, and devoured the stunning prose over a single weekend. But right now, we're talking about the cover. I mean, just look at it. Look at it! Kudos to the design team over at Viking. They've designed a book that demands to be picked up immediately and will remain a staple on home library bookshelves everywhere. Please make posters. Okay? Thanks.
Alright, I'm finishing gushing over the design. Because gorgeous cover aside, Mosquitoland is also story that demands to be picked up immediately.
Mosquitoland tells the story of Mim Malone, a young girl struggling with identity, her complex family, and being torn from her home in Ohio to a new place in Mississippi. When her mother gets sick back at home, she embarks on an epic road trip back to Cleveland... but no trip is ever that simple. And neither is this book. It's a complicated novel with a memorable cast of characters, and packed full of quotable moments that will likely end up being literary tattoos in the future.
When it comes to road trip novels, some make us laugh and smile, like John Green's Paper Towns and An Abundance of Katherines, and others make us cry and give us perspective, like Matt De La Pena's We Were Here. But what is it that makes a YA road trip novel so gripping? The promise of adventure? Of new interesting people? Watching a character learn about themselves as the miles tick on by? What I love about books that take you on an epic road trip, whether it's on foot or in a car, all the way across the country or just a little jaunt down the coast, is that the journey is always as interesting as the destination.
And that's certainly the case with Arnold's hilarious and heart-wrenching debut novel. And just like the rest of the bookish community, I'm eagerly anticipating his next book, Kids of Appetite, due out in 2016.
For those of you looking for more road trip books, here's a list of some fantastic reads:
LaCour's road trip novel focuses on the band manager of The Disenchantments, an all-girl rock band getting ready to go on their first tour. However, things get complicated when the lead singer gets ready to bail, and we learn our dear protagonist has been in love with her for years.