Mosquitoland by David Arnold
"I 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."- summary from Amazon
I absolutely adored this book; it's such a powerful and poignant debut. It's a compelling read and Mim is a character that I really enjoyed spending time with and watching her journey (both figurative and literal) throughout the book was great. The book at times could be a bit stream-of-consciousness, which I always enjoy, and I liked Mim's letters to her mom that she writes on her journey (along with some illustrations). Arnold's characterization of everyone is impeccable and even through short times with the secondary characters she meets on her trip, I really got a sense of who they were as a person and wanted to spend time with them and read their interactions with Mim.
Overall, a fantastically written debut and I am so excited to read what Arnold writes next!
FTC: Borrowed hardcover from library. Link above is an Amazon Associate link; any profit goes toward funding contests.