Mosquitoland by David Arnold

A book review

Mosquitoland is a simple self discovery adventure of a girl named Mary Iris Malone, or Mim.
The story starts well enough with her journal towards Isabel. It the continues narrating in intervals in first person, which I think it's a great recipe to connect with a main character, though not always accomplished in a good way. Though I did read some reviews on how some parts of the stories were unnecessary or even racist, I did not agree with them. This is the story of Mim through her eyes, a teenage angst. What might not matter to us matters for her. The fact that she threw some racist remarks just made her character more believable as she is supposed to be a messed up kid. Also the fact that Beck is 4 years older than her and at her age is not really possible for a relationship, she learned to embrace the value of friendship. And their characters were very much alike, making them a  good match in the future.

Beck is teaching me how to be a better person, and when you find someone who inspires you like that, you hold on for dear life.

Mim's family dynamics were very complex and her understanding on it grew with her. There was a lot of growing up in this trip. Walt serving as a catalyst for care. It was awesome to read his random words. You know a line was so good when you dream you are telling everyone about it.

“Walt, look at me buddy, this is important. You see this statue?” His eyes follow my index finger to the bronze baseball player. “If you get lost or separated from us, come straight here, okay? Straight to . . .” I read the name on the plaque. “Ted . . . Kluszewski.” Beck pats Walt’s back.
“Kluszewski is the rendezvous, Walt. Can you remember that?”
“Yes,” says Walt, going back to his butterfly. “I’ll remember the rendezvouski.”
I smile at Beck, a wide-eyed, can-you-believe-the-awesomeness-that-is-Walt sort of smile. He’s wearing the same one. “I think we’ll all remember the rendezvouski.”

There is love and then there is special weird love. This is the truest kind of love Mim learns to experience and wishes to pass on through her journal. There is a lot to learn from this book if you look at it through Mim's eyes. The war paint was meaningful to her, it gave her strength. There are no why's behind it, it just does. She dreamed about it and she has used it in her life since without questioning the weirdness or wrongness in it. This is how real life goes. It is why I really enjoyed this novel. Nothing of sugar coating her words or actions or even reactions. Those who did not liked this part of the book, I like to believe they did not understood the randomness of life. The book also addressed problems of the pharmaceutical industry as well as how we end up treating others because of their problems. There are some moments when I went, "this is exactly how I thought about it when I was that age." I rated it 4 and not 5 because even though it was good, it was not one of my favorite reads. But I still highly recommend it for open minded people.

It's a huge something, maybe the biggest of all. It's a mini-golf kind of love, the kind of love people like Claire and Caleb never experienced. Maybe those two never really got a fair shake.

she writes