Kids of Appetite is set in mid-December 2015 in Hackensack and New Milford, two small towns in New Jersey near New York City. 16 Year Old Vic Benucci is still trying to process the loss of his father, who died nearly two years ago because of cancer. His mother has been dating Frank, who she met at a support group after her husband’s death. Vic has trouble warming up to Frank, especially since Frank’s sons go out of their way to be cruel to him. When Frank proposes to Vic’s mom over dinner, Vic flees the house and takes his father’s urn with him. Inside the urn, he finds a handwritten letter from his father detailing where he wants his remains to be scattered.
Along the journey to complete his father’s list, Vic runs into a group of friends who take him in. Baz, Zuz, Coco and Mad help Vic complete the list and help him learn what true friendship feels like. All of them have suffered in one way or another, which is part of what brings them together. In the relative safety and comfort of Greenhouse Eleven, they find love and support in their makeshift family.
Kids of Appetite is a unique and enjoyable tale about friendship, love, loss, diversity, and coming of age. While sometimes the characters are difficult to relate to, they are well developed with complex back stories that come to light throughout the novel. The ending of the book is beautiful, but left me with a good few questions unanswered. I did very much enjoy this novel and hope to see more from David Arnold in the future. Overall, I rate Kids of Appetite 3 out of 5 bookworms.
For more information about David Arnold and his work, visit his website.
I received a proof of this book from Penguin First To Read in exchange for this honest review.