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.
You know when you finish a book and you are at a loss for words because it was just THAT good? Well this was me with Kids of Appetite.
I'm gonna keep this review short and sweet because it only takes a few sentences to tell you that David Arnold drove this one home!
I am a big fan of Mosquitoland, I took it on the road with me last summer and what a ride it was, I took KOA with me on my summer travels and well it didn't disappoint.
Vic is on a mission to fulfill his dad's last wishes, written in a letter full of clues.
People deal with grief and change in so many different ways and this was how Vic was dealing with his grief and the changes in his and his mom's life after the loss of his Dad.
When he rushes out of his house that night with nothing but his backpack and the urn with his dad's ashes he has no plan, but then he runs into this group of kids, some young some not so much, they weren't just a group that stuck together but more like a family that took care of each other when they found themselves with no other place to go to. Vic, like the others, is welcomes into their tight little group with the promise of helping him in this mission of his and scatter his dad's ashes in every single place his dad mentioned in his letter.
Baz, Zuz, Mad and Coco are some of the funniest characters ever! They all have a story and a past and you just can't help but love all of them.
Kids of Appetite makes you feel like you are right along with them in this adventure. I legit had this Goonies type of feel from beginning to end.
It's a story full of life lessons, and if there was one that stuck with me one Baz teaches us towards the end one his mom taught him. We are all part of a story, and even though we don't get to pick the plot and the setting we do get to pick what kind of character we want to be.
More than ever now I definitely see that in a world full of sideway hugs and green bean casseroles, what really matters are those few people that will be part of your life who make you a better person just by liking you the way you are with no judgement.
KOA was by far one of my favorite books this year and I really hope everyone reads it because trust me, if you don't you are missing out!
Amazon || B&N || IndieBound || Audiobook
Signed and personalized at Parnassus Books
David Arnold lives in Lexington, Kentucky, with his (lovely) wife and (boisterous) son. He is the critically-acclaimed author of Kids of Appetite and Mosquitoland, which has been translated into over a dozen languages. Previous jobs include freelance musician, stay-at-home dad, and preschool teacher. He is a fierce believer in the power of kindness and community. Also pesto. He believes fiercely in pesto. Learn more at davidarnoldbooks.com, find him on Twitter @roofbeam, and on Instagram @iamdavidarnold.