Kids of Appetite – Review

Kids of Appetite by David Arnold
Stand-alone novel
Genre: YA contemporary
Pages: 335
Format: paperback
Source: BookCon
Release Date: September 20, 2016
Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository

I’ve yet to read Mosquitoland, so this was my introduction to David’s work. From the synopsis alone, I had high hopes for this book, and I was not disappointed. Kids of Appetite was a fun, cute, and emotional read that I sped through because I enjoyed it so much. πŸ˜€

the plot

The story follows Victor (Vic) as he goes on a mission to scatter his father’s ashes in locations significant to his parents’ life together prior to his birth. Along the way, he meets four close-knit friends that help him figure out where to go. It’s a unique story about friendship, budding romance, loss, grief, and mystery.

The way the story was told was unique as well. Each chapter started with Vic and Madeline (Mad), respectively, being individually interviewed by police officers for a crime that, in the beginning, readers know nothing about. Then shortly after, it switches to a time before that, starting at eight days prior, and we find out more as the story bounces between past and present. I thought this was an interesting spin on the story, and the slow unveiling of details about the crime kept me hooked. πŸ˜€

the characters

We learn early on that Vic has Moebius, a rare brain disorder that causes facial paralysis. As a result of this, he couldn’t blink, smile, or frown. What I loved the most about Vic was that he didn’t let his disorder control his life. He was afraid of people picking on him or judging, and I can understand that, but he was still a normal teenage boy. He was written as if he was any average guy, and for the most part, he was treated like one too. At times he did struggle with his disorder, but it wasn’t the focus of the story. The focus of the story was for Vic to decode the locations in his father’s final letter and scatter his ashes in those places, and I liked it. More stories should be written with disorders or disabilities handled in this way. πŸ˜€

Mad was my favorite character for one specific reason: she adored The Outsiders. Sure, it helped that she was as pretty on the inside as she was said to be on the outside, had a backstory, had flaws, and didn’t prioritize boys, but her love for one of my favorite books basically did the trick. XD

The other charactersΒ β€” Baz, Zuz, and CocoΒ β€” were equally great. Baz was the soft-spoken leader with a tragic and, recently before the story, morally gray past that wanted to write a book. Zuz was the silent brother (no pun intended) to Baz and spoke in a nonverbal language very few understood that loved vinyl records and dancing. Coco was the youngest: a silly girl smarter than she appears, with a passionate love for ice cream and modified cursing. They were all so unique and quirky, with individual backstories, and I loved them all. πŸ˜€

the setting

This book took place in Hackensack, New Jersey: a city I’d never heard of before reading but could easily imagine after just a few sentences of David’s simplistic descriptions. The greenhouse, the tattoo parlor, the bell tower, the wishing wellΒ β€” all of them were described enough for me to picture the gang in any of those places, and with only a few sentences, too. πŸ™‚

the relationships

I loved the platonic love Mad, Baz, Zuz, and Coco had for one another. They were a closely-knit bunch that stuck together, and it was so great to read about. I loved them even more when they readily accepted Vic into their circle and helped him with his goal. Strong friendships like these always warm my heart in books, most likely because they’re uncommon in YA. Groups like this are especially so, and I think Mad would be happy to know that I love them almost as much as the Greasers. ❀

Vic and Mad also build a special friendship while in a time of mutual grief, and slowly but surely they admit budding romantic feelings for each other. I thought their relationship was really cute, and I appreciated that it didn’t dominate the story or Vic’s and Mad’s individual goals. πŸ™‚ (It was also nice to see a contemporary without a love triangle.)

the twists

I think the biggest twist was the reveal of who the murderer was, because that really surprised me. Otherwise, I wouldn’t say there were other major twists or “OMG!” moments, but some of the revelations and solved riddles were definitely not what I expected. I think that, instead, the need to know if Vic was successful and if the gang’s plan worked drove me to continue reading. It was a subtler way of captivating readers; I devoured 60% of the book practically in one sitting yesterday, and the remaining 40% in roughly two hours this morning. I can’t remember the last time I did that, so kudos to David. *clapping emoji*

overall

Kids of Appetite was a wonderful story that was over way too quickly. It introduced me to David’s storytelling talent, and even though it was wrapped up nicely with a figurative bow on top, I would absolutely love and devour a sequel. If Mosquitoland is anything like this book, I’m sure it’ll earn a spot on my favorites shelf just like this one did. ❀

my rating: 5 out of 5 stars


Have you read this book? Is it on your TBR? If you have read it, what did you think? I’d love to know! πŸ™‚

I’m off to have some sort of snack and start a new book, although I have no clue what either one will be. πŸ˜› I hope you’re all having a magical day/night! ❀

Until next time…

post end

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