Author: David Arnold
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Adventure, Mystery
Page Count: 352
Rating: Infinitous stars <3 This book is practically perfect (in every way)
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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.
"Sideways hugs are such bullshit. Hug me or don't. The indecisiveness is a real problem for me"
Before I begin... Here's an excerpt from an email I sent Becky Albertalli, raving about this book....
"So I finished KOA last night. And words fail me... like that book is perfection. I loved every last bit of it and just goodness. I haven't fell in love with a book like this one in a few months and just wowwwwwww. All of the characters are so vivid, memorable, unique, and elegantly beautiful in their own ways. I loved how David introduced Moebius syndrome so kindly and carefully and every word in the book is used to its utmost potential. "
I'm trying to write a review and it's just. All I want to say is "It's perfect. Read it."
So without further ado...
This is a book I wish I could read for the first time again. This book is absolutely motherfrakking hilarious. This book will tear your heart to shreds (or at least make it squeeze a little tighter). This book is absolutely breathtaking. And here is my attempt to tell you why.
How do you talk about a book that has changed your life for the better?
Sings: I HAVE BEEN CHANGED FOR THE BETTER. BECAUSE I KNEW YOU. I HAVE BEEN CHANGED FOR GOOD.
The for good has a double meaning. Because the book was great. And I've become a better person. And I've been changed forever. (triple meaning?!?!?)
So, I don't think I can talk about this book justly. There are so many intricacies to this book so I'm just going to tell you a little bit about it.
KIDS OF APPETITE begins each section of the novel with Vic (or Mad) in an interrogation room for Mad's Uncle's murder. And then it goes into what happened 7 days prior as they try to stall for a reason that is eventually explained.
it's told in non-linear narrative meaning that it goes back and forth between past and present which by the way, IS A BEAUTIFUL WAY TO TELL A STORY. And probably my favorite way to read stories because it all is brought together so well in the end. Books like these are the BEST to reread. I'm telling you. This is great. You want this in your life.
Okay so, I waited like two weeks to write this review and part of me is like "GO YOU CODY! NOW YOU WON'T SPOIL EVERYTHING!" the other part of me is "I'm so disappointed that you took so long to write this thing.."
Have you ever read a book that has a character that cusses up a storm, a character that speaks in mysterious ways, a character that's face does not move, a character that hides many secrets behind their hair and a character that writes stories, but so far only in their head?
Have you read a book filled with The Outsiders references, a wonderful (W)rap, and interrogation rooms?
Have you read a book that is about falling in love with so many different things?
Have you read a book set in an interrogation room, but also a war torn country and all over the Northeastern United States?
Have you read a book where a boy travels on a scavenger hunt to do something for his father?
Have you ever read a book that has all of these things and SO much more?
The answer is most definitely no....
Kids of Appetite is a special book unlike anything I have EVER read. Nothing even comes close to comparing. And well, Kids of Appetite follows 5 central characters...
Vic, Mad, Baz, Zuz, and Coco.
They are all so incredibly different and I love that.
Victor Benucci (VIC) is a young boy who has Moebius syndrome. This basically means that his face is paralyzed. He can't smile. He can't blink. And this syndrome, though rare, is usually really horrible and worse that Vic has. Vic is lucky. He can still walk, but no matter where he goes he gets the looks, the stares, the judgement, the pity. The bullying. Everything you can think of, he has probably experienced. He feels guilty, I think, because of the fact he doesn't have it as bad as others. Almost as if he only half qualifies.
Vic is much more than his disorder though. He loves, and misses his father dearly. Throughout the novel we really get to see his love for his Father and different music he has been shown. Like the opera song. There ends up being two songs about flowers. The Flower Duet and Coming Up Roses. And my goodness. They play an important role in the story. And it comes full circle and I just... (if I say anymore I will spoil things..)
You also have Madeline Falco, blonde girl, mysterious. She has this heir about her at first that made me think she might be a manic pixie dream girl.... I WAS WRONG. DON'T THINK THAT. NO. NO. NO. I'm mad at myself for even considering it. Mad is so much more than what she seems. She holds many secrets. She is a mystery. And I think I should keep her that way for you.
Baz is the leader of the group, the boss, the whole shebang. He writes stories. He writes other people's stories. He writes his own story. He reads about writing stories. Him an Zuz are brothers. He's such an older brother/father figure in my mind and I really enjoyed all of his words of wisdom he sprinkled in throughout the story.
Zuz is quite possibly my favorite of the entire KOA gang. I loved his way of communication. The snaps. The lack of a voice was not actually a lack of a voice. One of the characters said something along the lines of 'Most people don't understand Zuz. They aren't trying/listening hard enough.' I really enjoyed that. Zuz just had this hurt vibe that surrounded him but you could definitely tell that he cared about everyone around him.
Last, but certainly not least... She'll never let you forget that... is Coco. Our dear Coco. She is frakking insane and has a potty mouth just as bad as a sailor. And she is beautiful in every way. A feisty little redhead with the most snark I've ever seen from an eleven year old. "Said it once twice thrice now infinitous." What other girl could be as sassy and talented as little Coco? She (w)rapped the entirety of The Lettuce Rap. And boy was it glorious. You have that to look forward to. Another on of my favorite moments involves her and learning something about animal secretions. My god was it hilarious.
Now that we have got our central characters talked about... The plooooot.
It started out like each section did. Being interrogated by one of the Officers on the case of the murder of Mad's Uncle.
Honestly, I don't want to let you know anymore about the plot. The synopsis does a really good job of listing 13 things that this book is about without spoiling it.
My favorite quote in the entire book has to be: "Quiet observers tend to be loud thinkers" The simplicity of these words hold such meaning. And this quote alone made one of my friends want to read this book. It's such a great quote and resonates so well.
To the Super Racehorses out there, this book is for you.
Kids of Appetite is my FAVORITE book of this year so far. These characters are dynamic, unforgettable, unique, and damn compelling. The story of theirs never ceases to entertain and mean everything to us readers. They evoke emotion, and tear at your soul through each scene. Each sentence is constructed carefully and each character is distinct and more importantly, REAL. I will forever recommend this book. A highlight in YA novels today. Simply unforgettable and life-changing. This is a book for adventurers, those that seek to move mountains, those that care deeply. This is a book for the seekers of stories, the lovers of literature. This is a book for the child in you, and the adult in you. The lover in you. The romantic in you. This is a book for all of you. Absolutely required reading.