Author: David Arnold
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary
Page Count: 342
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.
Wow. This book EASILY just made my favourite books of all time list. I fell in love after the first chapter and I remained in love until the very last sentence. This book was quirky and strange and everything that I love. I felt such a deep connection with this book and its characters on a personal level. If I could rate higher that 5 I would. NO you know what, I do rate it more than 5 stars, in the spirit of Mim and her creative, original and non-generic personality, I rate this book all of the stars in the galaxy.
Goodreads synopisis: 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 step mom. 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.
When I first saw this book in an issue of Entertainment Weekly, it was the book cover that grabbed me. I hadn’t even read the description yet and I knew I wanted to read this book.
As someone who studied graphic design and is pursuing a career in that field, I can honestly say this book is beautifully designed inside and out. Not only does it have a beautiful cover, but it also has gorgeous illustrations on the end paper.
I know, I know…one of the most common phrases I know is “Never judge a book by its cover” but in this case, judging a book by its cover paid off immensely.
The writing style is fantastic and humorous and heartbreaking and uplifting all at once. Also, just a reminder, this is David Arnold’s debut novel. I am impressed. He has really found his style of writing and it feels extremely developed. It was quirky and fun in all the right places while also maintaining quite the number of dark and serious topics.
Every character in this book felt thoroughly developed and carefully created. Mary Iris Malone or “Mim” was by far my favourite character and possibly one of my favourite characters in a novel ever. Like I said earlier, I related on a personal level with Mim. I won’t get into details, but it was an amazing feeling to be able to relate to a character like her. Another favourite in this book was definitely Walt. What a wonderful addition to the story as a kind of unconventional sidekick to go along with our unconventional hero. Although we didn’t get concrete closure to his story line, I feel deep down in my heart that he found his happy ending. I loved the idea of Beck, this guy who is seemingly perfect in the eyes of Mim if it weren’t for an age gap. Although his back story felt a tad misplaced to me, I think it still gave the reader a sense of who he is as a person. One last favourite of mine was Arlene and her story. I once again won’t get into more details because of spoilers but, she was one sassy lady and there was just something about her that I loved.
Overall, I clearly thoroughly enjoyed this novel and it will stay near and dear to me for a long, long time. I highly recommend reading this book if you enjoy contemporary young adult fiction in the likes of books such as The Perks of Being a Wallflower or Paper Towns.
*Review also posted on Goodreads
Bonus Book Trailer!