You may remember a previous post in which I reviewed and raved about I Hate Plot because it was fantastic and lovely and other good things. Well, a few months ago the author, who goes by the name of Snakes, sent me a note on Goodreads and asked if I’d be interested in reading her next book.
The thing about that is that, as a rule, I never, ever read books from authors who contact me directly because I once got harassed by a guy who wrote a really not-good book but apparently thought that because he sent me the not good book I was obligated to write either a positive review or nothing at all. He also talked down to me as though I was an idiot incapable of comprehending the VERY COMPLEX characters in his book, and though I am indeed a little bit stupid, I promise these characters were not as complex as he thought they were.
But! This was freaking Snakes, and I was all the excitement in my heart! So I said YES I will read your book PLEASE. And god gosh darn am I glad I did because Queen of the Mosquitoes is fantastic and I’ve already sent it off to my best friend because I want this book to have as many readers as possible.
The story picks up when a couple is just getting out of a months-long in-patient rehab. They set off to take advantage of a work-exchange program at an intentional community in Hawaii. Soon after arriving, they realize that the place was not at all as described. They found another option, had some really awkward conversations, and used most of their money to get to a new place. Once again, it was not as advertised but this time their lack of funds left them stuck. Terror and hilarity ensued.
My best friend lives at an intentional community in North Carolina, and though she’s been there for years and is generally pretty happy in her solar-powered green yurt, I’ve spent enough time down there, and talked to her enough about the folks there, that could really picture the weirdo support characters in this book.
All that said, my favorite things about this book are not plot elements. Snakes just has a lovely way about her writing. There’s a lot of raw emotion going on, but in a kind of guarded way. I don’t know how to properly describe it and that’s really unfortunate because I want all the people to read this book. I hope that you’ll take this for what I mean it to be: This book is lovely and funny and sad and when I finished it I was left with the feeling that it’s a very honest look at a very particular time in this couple’s life together.