Genre: Young Adult Contemporary Fiction
Publisher: Viking Books for Young Readers
Source: I received a free ARC at BEA. This did not affect my honest review.
Goodreads Summary: 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.
Kids of Appetite is like no book I have ever read before. It was heartfelt, intense, hilarious, a poetically written tragicomedy.
The story starts with Vic and Madeline in an interrogation room. The police are trying to discover who killed Mad's uncle, and Vic and Mad are doing everything they can to stall them. How do they do this? By telling the police their story that began 8 days earlier, before they knew each other, before they really knew themselves.
Vic is a wonderful kid who has a rare disease and is bullied and is just trying to come to terms with his father's death. Mad is dealing with a horrible home life, and the rest of the Kids of Appetite group are just as interesting and unique. Every character in this book is a strong and interesting character. You won't be able to help but fall for these courageous kids just like I did. We slowly get to find out about their backstories as the plot unfolds. David Arnold does a wonderful job at keeping the readers interested, at sharing just enough before throwing us back into the present, about showing us who these kids are. The plot is perfectly paced and the characters are wonderfully different.
Getting to travel New Jersey with Vic was a delight, even it was for sad reasons, spreading his father's ashes where he requested. The way every scene/setting was described brought me there with him. I could smell the meat at the butcher shop, I could feel the snow. I was there at the greenhouse. I was completely absorbed in the story. Even the way Vic's favorite song was described moved me.
This book made me feel. It made me smile. It made me laugh. It made me feel for the Kids of Appetite. I won't be forgetting their story any time soon. I am highly recommending this book to anyone and everyone. I loved it. You won't find another one like it. It's filled with secrets, stories, love, and laughter. Read it and discover its uniqueness on your own. It will be worth it. Fans of his other work, Mosquitoland, won't be disappointed.