KIDS OF APPETITEAuthor: David Arnold
Source: ARC traded for
Publisher: Viking Books For Young Children
Publication Date: September 20, 2016
Rating: 3/5 stars
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.
Purchase:Disclaimer: I traded for an ARC of this one.
This one was good but it wasn't great. The best parts, for me, were Victor's parent's love story being interwoven in the narrative and learning about everyone's troubled past. But the parts in between with the "map" of where to scatter the ashes and the physical stuff of them doing that was meh. A lot of times it felt like the narrative was trying to hard and that really put me off.
The characters were fine but they weren't great. It took me a long time to connect to them because they seemed almost like they put themselves and each other on this pedestal that was really hard to reach and connect to. I got the allure from Vic at the beginning for wanting to hang out with these people but then once we met them I kind of wondered what was so great about them? They had this Other feel to them that they wouldn't necessarily exclude you if you asked to join them, but they also wouldn't ever really see you as one of their own. And they even kind of admit to that? That they are okay with helping people, but not everyone is One Of Them and idk I found that really off putting for some reason.
This is a really emotional story, I admit. There are a lot of bad things that happen to our characters along the way. But the only times I teared up were in relation to Victor's parents and the love that they shared. It was all encompassing and forever. They had a pretty solid relationship and I almost want David Arnold to tell me that story, not the one that I just read. I think a YA about Victor's parents would be wonderful.
I also really liked learning about Baz and Zuz's history, which, once you read and know what I mean, seems strange. I think a lot of times we take for granted the refugee narrative saying we "understand" that these people have come from a horrible place but we don't really understand. Especially if we haven't listened to learn about their stories. And I think this book does a good job of making us listen and learn rather than just "knowing."
Overall this one is tricky for me. I liked some aspects of it, but not others. I would say if you're a fan of John Green's AN ABUNDANCE OF KATHERINES, you will like this one. But if you're a little weary going it, I would recommend checking it out from the library first!