Book Review: Kids of Appetite by David Arnold

Title: Kids of Appetite by David Arnold

Publisher: Viking Books International Edition

My Rating: 4 Stars

Goodreads Synopsis:

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.


My Review:

Look. This is not an easy book to read. Then again, I heard David Arnold’s works are not always easy but heartfelt. I’ve put this book on hold after couple of pages because I could not simply go on with its somber tone, also because I got to know one of the prominent character (Vic)’s father died. It is emotional seeing him dealing with his grief, it’s almost poetic. Unfortunately, my ugly sobs and tears don’t translate in the same way.

I came across many quirky but important characters in this book, and few has become my favorite ever since. Vic meets these characters when he ran away from his home just when his “new dad” popped the question to his mom. Grabbing the urn containing his father’s ash and a list of places his father wanted to be scattered in, Vic runs away and met Madeline- the beautiful girl he stumbles upon every now and then.

Mad brought him to Baz, Zuz, & Coco and together they scouted for the places Victor’s dad wanted to be scattered in. There’s also one more thing, the book ends with someone killing Mad’s horrible uncle. So what happened? I am afraid you have to read all the chapters in between to fully comprehend the story.

Everybody has their own tragedies, but to be able to help another to cope with their tragedies is commendable! Like I said before, there are plenty of important characters in this book with great depth in them. You will see why Baz is so loved, why Coco is the funniest, why Zuz is the quietest and Mad is the most interesting of them all, because David Arnold created an incredible back story albeit not to happy ones for all these wonderful characters.

I rated this 4 Stars because of its pace, and we all know how much I dislike slow paced stories. However, it doesn’t take away the beauty of this book; you just have to have a lot of patience and happy songs to get through it.

Thank you Pansing Malaysia for sending me this amazing book in exchange of my honest review, loved it! Till the next review guys! Take care!


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