Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Review: Mosquitoland by David Arnold

MosquitolandTitle: Mosquitoland
Author: David Arnold
Publisher: Viking Children's
Publishing Date: March 3rd 2015
Pages: 336
Genre: YA Coming of Age
Series: Stand Alone
Source:  Audio


"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.
Told in an unforgettable, kaleidoscopic voice, "Mosquitoland" is a modern American odyssey, as hilarious as it is heartbreaking.

This book grabbed my attention from the moment I saw the book. Loved the cover, loved the title, synopsis sounded like a winner.... verdict is it was a WINNER. I totally fell in love with this book. It was emotional, a real journey, lovable characters, very unique characters, and just beautifully written. 

Mim has had a bit of a hard life for the past couple of years. Her  parents got a divorce, her father remarried, she moved to another state, and now she finds out her mother is sick and no one will tell her what is going on. She decides to take a journey from Mississippi back to Ohio on a bus. Along the way she learns a bunch about creeps, danger, friends, family, love and how to confront all her hidden issues from the past and the present.

This book is just wonderful. I generally don't do well with one person journeys and I was a bit worried that this one let me down. I had such high expectations though, I'm not sure where these expectations came from but I had a feeling I would love this book. And I did. The journey was a one person journey but wasn't. Mim met many crazy characters along the way. Some bad and some awesome. The unique characters and Mim's unique voice really made the story and it was just a memorable amazing ride. 

Mim was a very strange character, in a good way. She had some strange ways of dealing with things and not so much dealing with things. From the beginning there were many things we didn't know about Mim but we knew there was mental illness in her family history. The extent of this was unknown. How bad it was and how dominant it was. This paired with Mim's imagination and vivid storytelling led Mim to be some what of an unreliable source for the story. I wasn't sure what she was seeing or saying was for sure happening. This of course led to a crazy story and never knowing what to expect. 

I really loved Mim. She was funny and warm and real. She had so many flaws but so many wonderful qualities. She cared, she lived, she was afraid but she faced many of her fears. She had strange ways of dealing but she dealt. She was sweet and strong and just so so raw. LOVED HER. 

There were many crazy characters along the way. Too many to go through them all but it was a handful of memorable characters that really made the story and made Mim too. Everyone she had her in her past and present and her journey really formed her to who she was and I don't think the book could be without one of these characters.

This book is really worth reading and I will be recommending it to every reader I know. I think almost everyone can find something to love about this story. 

On the fast track to best read of the year. 

David  Arnold

Hi. I'm David.
I write stories and songs. I like pesto, Arcade Fire, indie bookstores, Middle-earth, GARP, Elliott Smith, Christmastime, and all things Sorkin. I don't like olives, liars, or wet socks. My debut novel, MOSQUITOLAND, will be published by Viking/Penguin in Winter 2015. My second book, KIDS OF APPETITE, is tentatively set for a Fall 2016 release. I am represented by Dan Lazar at Writers House.

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Top Ten Tuesday: Recent TBR Pile Additions

Top Ten is an original feature/weekly meme created here at
The Broke and the Bookish that features a great bookish top ten every week.

I missed last weeks and so I decided to post last weeks top ten.

My Top Ten Recent (most exciting) Additions to my EVER GROWING TBR 

I Crawl Through ItDrift & DaggerLegacy of Kings (Blood of Gods and Royals, #1)VanishedSophomore Year Is Greek to MeAwakeThis Monstrous ThingA Thousand NightsDreamstriderThe Unquiet

Friday, March 27, 2015

Review: We All Looked Up by by Tommy Wallach

We All Looked UpTitle:  We All Looked Up 
Author: Tommy Wallach
Publisher: Simon and Schuster Books for Young Readers
Publishing Date:  Match 24th 2014
Pages: 384
Genre: YA Sci-Fi/Apocalyptic
Series: Stand Alone
Source: ARC


Four high school seniors put their hopes, hearts, and humanity on the line as an asteroid hurtles toward Earth in this contemporary novel.

They always say that high school is the best time of your life.

Peter, the star basketball player at his school, is worried “they” might actually be right. Meanwhile Eliza can’t wait to escape Seattle—and her reputation—and perfect-on-paper Anita wonders if admission to Princeton is worth the price of abandoning her real dreams. Andy, for his part, doesn’t understand all the fuss about college and career—the future can wait.

Or can it? Because it turns out the future is hurtling through space with the potential to wipe out life on Earth. As these four seniors—along with the rest of the planet—wait to see what damage an asteroid will cause, they must abandon all thoughts of the future and decide how they’re going to spend what remains of the present.

This was one of most anticipated reads of 2015 and I believe it was one of my wows. I was so excited to receive the ARC and was giddy to start the book. (yes I said giddy) Unfortunately, and I think I am of the few to say this, I was quite disappointed. I'm not sure what I expected out of this book but I know I thought I would be wowed. I was wrong. I liked the concept but I didn't liked how it was executed. I thought most of the book was boring and slow and when it finally picked up, it felt rushed. I didn't feel connected to any of the characters. Honestly I thought I was caught up in a bad dream.  There were a few things I did like but not enough to really enjoy the read. I did finish it but I struggled at times. 

An asteroid is coming, It will hit the planet. Two-thirds of the population is expected to perish. This story is the story about four teenagers and what they do and what those around them do in the remaining 2 months before they are most likely to die. 

I really think this was a great concept. Instead of focusing on after the tragedy strikes let's focus on the anticipation of the tragedy knowing nothing will stop it from happening. Sounds pretty awesome. Unfortunately it came out just boring to me. The entire book wasn't boring but probably 60 percent was. I had a hard time really getting into the story or the lives of these 4 teenagers. It was slow and I couldn't tell where the story was going, well except for the part of the world ending. 

I am not sure what I thought this story would be like but I really did think it would be more exciting. Maybe some epiphanies that led to a world of fun right before you die. Maybe I thought there would be some hard work trying to stop the asteroid. Maybe I thought there would be just more. There wasn't. I can say that this story was probably more true to real life than my thoughts were. Everyone going crazy. I guess that is human nature. 

The first part of the book focuses on the finding out. Four teenagers are still trying to figure things out in their lives than they find out oh my life will contain just a few more months. They thought their lives were tough before, at least they had a future. So what do you do when you find out you and the rest of the world of has couple of months to live. Well party, try to have sex for the first time, cause riots, runaway from home to fulfill your dream. In realty  I guess this is what teenagers think and I am not a teenager. So it was rough for me. 

Once things picked up it was quick and over with and the ending was pretty cool. I did like how it ended. It was tragedy and I was able to see the tragedy start but there was not finish. It seemed real.  There is no happy in the end. I guess there can't be in this situation. There was some resolution for the characters and that was something too. In the end they weren't ready but they were accepting. 

I think really the biggest issue for me. I couldn't connect. It was hard. The chapters were alternating at no particular rhythm between all four teens and I think it was too rapid.. even though the chapters were long I just didn't feel them long enough to get them. This is a real downfall for me. I have to feel the characters. I did like them at times and hate them too but I didn't get them, feel them, understand them. 

Another thing that sort of turned me off, there was a tiny bit of religion bashing, at least that is what I felt reading some parts. That always bothers me. No matter the religion I think it should be respected. I may have read more into than there was meant. Maybe it was more questioning than bashing but I felt very ick about some of the conversations. I don't feel it was enough to really take away from the story, especially for most, but it was enough for me to be bothered. Almost didn't mention but I felt the need.

One more thing I liked, the tone and the feel. They way they book read as a contemporary but really wasn't or maybe it was. I really don't know. The atmosphere of the world ending was definitely there. 

I am glad I read this book. It didn't feel like a waste because it was different, it was interesting in the fact I felt the need to find out what the book was about. My curiosity was satisfied. 

I didn't all around hate it but I didn't fall for it like I wanted to, I struggled. I do think others may like it ( as the ratings do tell ) and should read it if their curiosity is piqued.

Tommy Wallach
Tommy Wallach is a Brooklyn-based writer and musician. His first novel, We All Looked Up, will be published by Simon and Schuster in April 2015. His work has appeared in many nice magazines, such as McSweeney's, Tin House, and Wired. He has released an EP with Decca Records, and will be independently putting out an LP in Spring 2014. He also makes music videos, including one that was exhibited at the Guggenheim Museum. You should buy him dinner.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Thoughts on Thursday #4- The Walking Dead and other Zombie stuff!!!!

I am not sure how many Walking Dead fans there are out there but I am pretty sure there has to be a few. This coming up Sunday is the season finale and I can't stop thinking about it. I am an obsessed fanatic and its all that has been on my mind. 

the walking dead animated GIF

So I am super excited, super nervous, and super sad. I can't wait til Sunday. I am really excited for the finale but I am so nervous... who is gonna die. Lots of blood is foretold. I am then very sad because I have to wait until OCTOBER!!!!!! 

crying animated GIF

So many feels right now. I just don't know how to deal. I really feel like going zombie hunting..... 

the walking dead animated GIF

But I can't til Sunday! So anyone else feeling any if this?.

On the topic of zombies... A new zombie show is out right now called IZombie- created by Rob Thomas! YEA.


Totally different kind of show. Funny and light. Murder and mystery. Lots of laughs. I have watched two shows and I am so digging it. 

If you like funny, you like zombies, you like rob thomas... watch this show!

So other zombie stuff...
some zombie goodies I need!

Image result for zombie office suppliesImage result for zombie office suppliesImage result for zombie merchandiseImage result for zombie merchandise

And then there are the good zombie movies....... (at least the ones I liked) 

Image result for shaun of the dead  Image result for zombie movies

Image result for 28 DAYS LATER Image result for WARM BODIES

And zombie books! Ones I loved!

UndeadThis is Not a Test (This is Not a Test #1)Monument 14 (Monument 14, #1)
Rot and Ruin (Benny Imura, #1)Alice in Zombieland (White Rabbit Chronicles, #1)Ashes (Ashes Trilogy, #1)Dark Inside (Dark Inside, #1)My Life as a White Trash Zombie (White Trash Zombie, #1)Dearly, Departed (Gone With the Respiration, #1)Die for Me (Revenants, #1)Reboot (Reboot, #1)

Anyone else have a zombie obsession?

Imagination Designs