Genre: Young Adult/Contemporary
Page Length: 352 pages
Source: ARC won at B-Fest (Barnes & Noble's Teen Book Festival)
Publication Date: September 20, 2016
Publisher: Viking Books for Young Readers
Although I received a free copy of this book, my opinion of Kids of Appetite is completely my own.
About Kids of Appetite (via Goodreads):
The bestselling author of Mosquitoland brings us another batch of unforgettable characters in this tragicomedy about first love and devastating loss.
Victor Benucci and Madeline Falco have a story to tell.
It begins with the death of Vic’s father.
It ends with the murder of Mad’s uncle.
The Hackensack Police Department would very much like to hear it.
But in order to tell their story, Vic and Mad must focus on all the chapters in between.
This is a story about:
1. A coded mission to scatter ashes across New Jersey.
2. The momentous nature of the Palisades in winter.
3. One dormant submarine.
4. Two songs about flowers.
5. Being cool in the traditional sense.
6. Sunsets & ice cream & orchards & graveyards.
7. Simultaneous extreme opposites.
8. A narrow escape from a war-torn country.
9. A story collector.
10. How to listen to someone who does not talk.
11. Falling in love with a painting.
12. Falling in love with a song.
13. Falling in love.
I had no expectations going into Kids of Appetite, and it was kind of nice. Although now that I've read it, I kind of wish there was more buzz about this book because I LOVED IT TO PIECES.
Kids of Appetite offers an extremely diverse cast of brilliant characters who I instantly fell in love with. They all had such unique backgrounds and stories to tell, and it was lovely having the opportunity to be an honorary (or so I'd hope) member of the Kids of Appetite. Hearing their stories and watching them write new chapters in their lives was such a pleasure. The characters were all so battered and broken at the start, and despite even more hardships along the way, they grew and pieced themselves together again. I couldn't be more proud of them.
I absolutely loved Arnold's writing style (Kids of Appetite has some of the most well-written POVs I've ever read), which obviously contributed greatly to my love of this book. And I loved each and every scene that brought the whole story together, especially how Arnold pieced them together to parallel the special scene/epilogue at the end.
But my favorite part by far has to be the friendships. All the characters were so strong and brave (and brilliant, as I said before) on their own, but together, they seemed unstoppable. They were so loyal, patient, trusting, and, most of all, respectful to each other. The most important thing (and often the hardest to do) is that they respected each other for their differences, and in doing so, those differences brought them together.
Even though the characters had extremely different stories from my own (and those of my friends), I could really relate to them. My friends are definitely nowhere near as close or as cool (no offense, friends!) as the Kids of Appetite, but we are each extremely unique and I think our uniqueness is what binds us together, just like this literary quintet.
I don't want to go into too much detail about the plot because I don't want to give away what happens in the end (and I definitely don't want to spoil who killed Mad's uncle!), but let me just say it was a bit slow. But fear not! I still found myself devouring the book because there were so many fabulous stories told, funny comments being made, crazy food being served, and fantastic characterization and development throughout the entirety of the plot.
If you're looking for a wonderful, character-driven contemporary with a focus on friendship and identity, Kids of Appetite is the book for you. Good characterization and voice are two of the most important things for me when it comes to contemporary novels, and David Arnold definitely satisfied my appetite with his newest novel.
My rating: 4.25 stars
My rating: 4.25 stars