Tag Archives: Kids of Appetite

Kids of Appetite – David Arnold

Kids of Appetite – David ArnoldTitle: Kids of Appetite by David Arnold
Publishing Info: September 20, 2016 by Penguin
Genres: Young Adult, Realistic Fiction, Contemporary
Find it on the web: Buy from Amazon // GoodreadsDate Completed: September 19, 2016

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.


I should have guessed that I’d be a little bit of a black sheep on this one. I know so many people who rave about David Arnold and though I still haven’t read MOSQUITOLAND yet, I did get to meet David Arnold last year at Anderson’s YA Lit Conference and he was just so delightful! I was really excited to receive a copy of KIDS OF APPETITE from the publisher (I actually received an ARC from Penguin Random House and audio from Listening Library) for review and for participation in the blog tour.

It wasn’t that I disliked KIDS OF APPETITE. It was very well-written, clever (especially the way the ending tied up), and displayed some really beautiful friendships… But I know that I’m not in the right place in my life to read this book. I’ve been avoiding more “serious” contemporary novels as of late as a personal preference and prefer lighter, fluffier contemporary novels to balance out some more serious things in my life right now so I just didn’t appreciate some of the heavier moments in KIDS OF APPETITE that others may connect or sympathize with.

It was a little bit of a style clash too. There were just little things in the book that went against the grain of what I connect with as a reader that really stood out to me. There was just something about this group of kids that I just can’t put my finger on that I just really didn’t connect with. Maybe it was the audiobook narrators that played into that a little bit but despite the detailed character histories, uniqueness, and diversity, I just had a hard time feeling like I really connected with them and I’m not sure why. Then there were little things like the many, many instances of repetition that really got under my skin. I just really hate when things are repeated over and over again and I know that it’s like a mantra but Vic’s “super racehorse” was repeated way too much and it started to bother me. Again, a personal preference that just happened to clash with this book.

I also just never really got into the book overall. I think it was almost too much for me. There was a lot going on which wasn’t BAD but I don’t know… I just didn’t quite connect with everything. Like the characters were somehow too distant for me to connect with or our personalities didn’t mesh. Everything came together really, really well and I was expecting how everything really clicked into place so that was really awesome! The writing was really quite good but I think it just isn’t quite my style, or at least not something that I’m looking for at this point in time. What’s even more sad is that now I don’t feel the pull to read MOSQUITOLAND since I didn’t quite connect with this book.


Source: Digital review copy from Listening Library
Narrator: Phoebe Strole, Michael Crouch, Ryan Vincent Anderson
Performance: Very good

The narrators weren’t my favorites but I still think they did a very good job with this book! I didn’t quite connect to the as much as I had hoped, though. I think there wasn’t as much energy and enthusiasm for each character like I always hope for and for some reason the narration for all of them just fell a little flat. It probably didn’t help that I wasn’t super connected to the story though. I’d be interested in trying more of Phoebe Strole’s narrations but I wasn’t super sold on Michael Crouch which is a shame because I think a lot of people like him!


“The View from Goodreads” is a featured section in my reviews that I decided to incorporate! I tend to update my Goodreads status a LOT when I read — reactions, feelings, notes — so I thought it would be fun to share the sort of “reading process”! All status updates are spoiler-free (no specific plot points will be revealed) but will contain reactions to certain pages and/or characters!




Kept Me Hooked On: Bands of misfits. I really loved how this group of kids really came together because of their many differences. I love with “misfits” form their own group/gang and seeing how their relationships grow because of their uniqueness!
Left Me Wanting More: Connection. It’s just one of those books for me, I guess. I think maybe it was just too much in a few too many ways and it just wasn’t my personal favorite style.

Addiction Rating
Get a second opinion

I may or may not be a good resource for you on this. I know some people who have felt the same way and we are just the people who don’t jive here… But I have MANY friends who absolutely loved it. Check out your trusty reviewers and see what they had to say!!



(Click the cover to see my review!)

    we are the ants

Kids of Appetite Blog Tour | Book Recommendations for Characters

banner Welcome to the blog tour for
Kids of Appetite by David Arnold!

I am so excited to be on the blog tour for KIDS OF APPETITE by David Arnold! I was so excited to dive into this book because I’ve heard nothing but good things about David Arnold and his books! Thanks to Penguin Random House for having me be a part of this blog tour!

For today’s blog tour post, I’m sharing some book recommendations for the characters! I always take pride in giving out book recommendations and I think it’s so much fun to wonder what books these characters might like, especially with one character being a reader! (Or at least obsessed with one book) Check out my selections below — and no worries! There are no spoilers for KIDS OF APPETITE!


Victor is one of the main characters in KIDS OF APPETITE and admittedly is not a reader. For Victor’s book recs, I opted for reads that deal with more close-to-real-life events that he might relate to. I didn’t think Vic would like reading fantasy or sci-fi or if he might end up enjoying them someday, they’re not the books to throw a non-reader into, as thrilling as they might be. I tried to pick books that Victor might either relate to or connect to on a broader level and that wouldn’t be super long or intimidating.
I also chose some books for him that I thought he’d appreciate for the beauty in their asymmetry.

  • The Smaller Evil by Stephanie Kuehn | A quick read, a gripping concept, and a kid just trying to find his place within a group
  • When We Collided by Emery Lord | The loss of a father and two unique souls finding each other in a complicated world
  • The Distance from Me to You by Marina Gessner | I thought Vic might appreciate the reality and true setting of this book! It’s also a book about finding yourself and gaining confidence.
  • Since You’ve Been Gone by Morgan Matson | Maybe not quite Vic’s style but I thought he would connect with the concept of following a list left behind by a loved one
  • Midwinterblood by Marcus Sedgwick | This totally seems like a Vic book. It’s a story about traveling souls and has all of the heart that he so loves about his father. It’s also one of the most unique books I’ve ever read and I think Victor would appreciate its depth, writing style, and content
  • Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein | I think Vic would appreciate some historial fiction. CODE NAME VERITY is one of the best historical fiction books I’ve read and although it’s not short, I couldn’t put it down. I think he’d stay hooked and even as a non-reader, he’d be interested.


Mad is a reader, at least when it comes to THE OUTSIDERS. I think she’d appreciate similar books or similar concepts, as well as books that show the connection between characters and strong bonds.

  • Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo | Mad loves THE OUTSIDERS and even though SIX OF CROWS is a fantasy, I think she’d love the kids of The Dregs and everything their stories/histories encompass.
  • We Are the Ants by Shaun David Hutchinson | I don’t know why but I just get a feeling that Mad would like WE ARE THE ANTS. This is one of those book recommendations that I make not necessarily on content but on an over all feel/vibe and I just see this one clicking with Mad.
  • All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven | This is another feel/vibe recommendation and I really like the connection that occurs between Violet and Finch when they both grasp onto that connection between each other. It reminds me a little of Vic and Mad in a way.
  • This Song Will Save Your Life by Leila Sales | I think Mad would love Elise and her story of pursuing what she really loves, marching to the beat of her own drum, and finding friends in unexpected places.
  • Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell | Aside from the fact that I think she could enjoy the book, FANGIRL has a specific OUTSIDERS scene and she would gobble that right up!
  • If I Stay by Gayle Forman | IF I STAY is a story about love, loss, friendship, and tough decisions. I think Mad could appreciate all of these things.


I don’t know if Coco would be interested in reading so I tried to choose books for her that I think would hold her attention, characters she could root for, and books that incorporated a lot of action! Coco seems like a sponge, eager to soak up knowledge and I can really see her getting into exciting action sequences!

  • Alanna: The First Adventure by Tamora Pierce | I recently read ALANNA and I think it would be a fun book for Coco! With Coco being that gap between middle grade and young adult, I think ALANNA would be such a fun book and series to grow with.
  • Walk Two Moons by Sharon Creech | WALK TWO MOONS may be a little more serious than I’d normally suggest for Coco but it’s such a beautiful story and I think she could relate to Sal, who ends up finding out information about her family — specifically her parents — along the way.
  • The Red Pyramid by Rick Riordan | THE RED PYRAMID is such a fun book and I can totally see Coco going for action/adventure/fantasy. She has a curious mind and I can see her imagination running wild with this adventure! Plus, main character Sadie is so sassy, Coco would just love it.
  • Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead | I think Coco could also read up to some young adult books! She’s very mature for her age and has a lot of world experience already that has forced her to grow up qucikly. I chose VAMPIRE ACADEMY because I think she’d love Rose and I can totally see her cheering on these characters in their quests!
  • Something Strange and Deadly by Susan Dennard | I also think SOMETHING STRANGE AND DEADLY would be a fun book for Coco! It’s a young adult read that easily encompasses all ages, has action and adventure, and Eleanor is a great heroine who doesn’t take crap from anyone.
  • Also Known As by Robin Benway | I could totally see Coco getting into spy/espionage novels! ALSO KNOWN AS is so much fun, has a great main character, is smart and sassy, and as a bonus, it takes place in New York.


Baz is an interesting character for book recommendations! Being that he’s compiling his own book, I think he’d be interested in checking out different writing styles. I also think he’s extremely interested in personal connections, friendships, and situations that better people’s lives. The books I chose for him were ones I think he’d appreciate on various levels and offer strong bonds as well as deep lessons.

  • Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell | Baz is sort of the caretaker for the Kids of Appetite and I think he’d really appreciate this beautiful friendship between Eleanor and Park and how the whole story starts because Park just wanted to reach out to Eleanor.
  • The Lies About Truth by Courtney C. Stevens | I love this book for Baz because of its depth and the complicated friendships detailed throughout the book. It’s also one book that I remember specifically for its characters and how real they felt and I think Baz would appreciate this reality of bringing people to live in a novel.
  • Kiss of Broken Glass by Madeleine KuderickStardust by Neil GaimanBeauty Queens by  Libba Bray | These may seem like odd choices but since Baz is pursuing a writer career (or more specifically, writing a specific book), I like all of these suggestions to really give him a taste of different literary styles! KISS OF BROKEN GLASS is a story written in verse. STARDUST is a modern novel with a fairy tale feel. BEAUTY QUEENS is a great example of satire (and I’m sure some of those girls would remind him of Coco’s spunk)!
  • The Giver by Lois Lowry | I think Baz would love THE GIVER on so many levels. It’s the perfect story to show how a Utopian enviroment isn’t always what it appears, amazing love for a family that is not blood-related, a strong mentor bond, and all of the lessons that Jonas learns along his journey.


Don’t forget to check out he rest of the KIDS OF APPETITE blog tour! All the stops are listed below and each blog has something special in store!

Week One:
Monday, 9/19: Owl Always Be Reading (Review)
Tuesday, 9/20: Bookish Lifestyle (Top 5 Reasons to Read KoA)
Wednesday, 9/21: Perpetual Page Turner (Interview)
Thursday, 9/22: YA Bibliophile (Review)
Friday, 9/23: Fiction Fare (Favorite KoA Quotes)
Week Two:
Monday, 9/26: Bookiemoji (CYO KoA Group of Misfits)
Tuesday, 9/27: Here’s to Happy Endings (Review)
Wednesday, 9/28: Grownup Fangirl (Review + Instagram)
Thursday, 9/29: Book Addict’s Guide (Review)
Friday, 9/30: ButterMyBooks (KoA Bookish Scents)
Week Three:
Monday, 10/3: YA Wednesdays (What Makes You a KoA)
Tuesday, 10/4: Lost in Lit (KoA Lookbook/Mood Board)
Wednesday, 10/5: MundieMoms (KoA Playlist)
Thursday, 10/6: Andi’s ABCs (Review)
Friday, 10/7: Bookworm Everlasting (Review + Instagram)

Thanks so much for taking the time to check out the blog tour for KIDS OF APPETITE! I had so much fun picking out these book recommendations and I would hope the characters would love them! What would be your book recommendations for the KOA crew?