Not quite knowing how to handle the sheer strangeness of…Kids of Appetite by David Arnold


I feel like this review is just going to be all over the place. So many mixed feelings. So much confusion on how to word them.


Let’s talk about Kids of Appetite!


Title: Kids of Appetite

Author: David Arnold

Publisher: Headline

Series Status: Standalone

Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary

Number of Pages:  331


Found on Goodreads

In the Hackensack Police Department, Vic Benucci and his friend Mad are explaining how they found themselves wrapped up in a grisly murder. But in order to tell that story, they have to go way back…

It all started when Vic’s dad died. Vic’s dad was his best friend, and even now, two years later, he can’t bring himself to touch the Untouchable Urn of Oblivion that sits in his front hall. But one cold December day, Vic falls in with an alluring band of kids that wander his New Jersey neighbourhood, including Mad, the girl who changes everything. Along with his newfound friendships comes the courage to open his father’s urn, the discovery of the message inside, and the epic journey it sparks.


*I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review

Where do I even begin?

I don’t really know what to think of this book because it was just so different to anything I’ve ever read before. Whether that’s a good or a bad thing, I can’t quite make my mind up.

I enjoyed the book…but at times it was just so strange. I know David Arnold wrote Mosquitoland, and while I’ve not read that one, I’ve heard countless amount of people say it’s a bit odd. So I’m wondering if he just likes writing oddness? Now, I’m all on board for strange little oddities. But I feel like when it comes to something being a bit weird, you either fall in love with it and jump on that bandwagon before it rides away without you. OR, you sit there, appreciating the strangeness, but also…not really know what to do with it. You’ve been handed this little oddity and yet you don’t know where to place it because it doesn’t seem to have a place.

And that’s sort of how I felt with this book. While I’m all for weird and wonderful stories, sometimes little oddities are just not needed. Sometimes I’ll be given them and be left thinking “right, so I have this information…but now what do I do with it? It doesn’t seem to have a use.” It’s just there.

Maybe that’s the point. I don’t know.

See why I was hesitant to begin this review? My thoughts are scattered everywhere.

I did learn something from this book though. I learnt about Moebius Disorder. I never had a clue this existed, and it just made me so eager to read more about Vic (the main character). I wanted to understand, and gradually – to some extent – I did. Learning about the disorder, seeing how other people handled it, and just seeing how Vic functioned in everyday life fascinated me, and I felt like I could come out of this book a little bit more enlightened than before. Which I really appreciate. 

I do have to say, this book gave me a John Green-esque sort of feel when it came to the characters though. Teenagers, but not the average sort. The sort who are way more philosophical about life and take to words reaaallllyyyy strongly. The sort who live by quotes and manifestos and don’t live the “normal way”. I think that may be why I didn’t attach to them as much as I’d have hoped too, because the same happened with John Green’s characters too. I don’t know. I don’t usually compare books to each other, but that link I just can’t seem to get rid of, and that’s the best way I can describe the characters.

“We are all part of the same story, each of us different chapters. We may not have the power to choose setting or plot, but we can choose what kind of character we want to be.”

I think my favourite thing about this book is the little snippets of police interviews at the beginning of each chapter. It hinted that something more had happened. It raised your suspicions, tried to throw you off. It made the book just that little bit more gripping, made you turn the pages that little bit faster just to find out what the hell is going on.

And speaking of pages turning faster, I went through this book so quickly! I’m still surprised by how quick it is to read. It’s almost like you get caught up in the rough and tumble gang of kids and march your way through the days with them.

So I did enjoy this book. It was different, but sort of in a refreshing way. Sometimes you just need something different, you know? And while I couldn’t quite wrap my head around all the little oddities and the characters themselves, I flew through this book, and was satisfied come the end.

Rated 3/5 stars




Share your thoughts!

Have you read this book? What did you think?

Have you read his other book?

If you  haven’t read it, do you plan to?

Let me know in the comments!

Until next time…


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13 thoughts on “Not quite knowing how to handle the sheer strangeness of…Kids of Appetite by David Arnold

  1. I’m really curious about this book. Good to read that the teenagers are the John Green-esque types, I will make sure to read it at a time when I will need such types in my life, or just when I’ll be able to tolerate them.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Well, your review has definitely left me intrigued! The comparison to John Green has made me a bit hesitant, though, as I cannot stand his characters or any like them. The mystery is still definitely pulling me in and I want to know why they’re being questioned and what happened. You never know, maybe I’ll end up loving it!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I read and reviewed this book the other day too and I really loved it. I get that the oddness, like you say, might be a bit much for some but I think that’s why I liked it. I am slightly obsessed with Mosquitoland too; David Arnold’s style just really appeals to me. I’m really interesed to read other people’s views on KoA because I think it will be one that divides opinion.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I have definitely read books where I’ve felt unable to start the review because I’m a bit lost– so you’re not alone. I’m currently attempting to write a review for Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro and experiencing the same feeling.
    I think your review is really intriguing. I’ve never read anything by David Arnold, but now I am interested!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I have way too many reviews on here that start with something similar to “I don’t know how to even start this” 😆 It can be so hard sometimes!
      A lot of people really love this book, so if you’re interested I’d definitely recommend looking into it more 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I (almost) bought this book…then I read the description and I was hesitant.
    And I’m glad you agree that high school kids don’t talk like people in a John Green book! Thank you!!
    But I think I get what you’re saying: if you’re gonna do something weird, don’t do it just to be weird. Have it have meaning. Make it make you smile or frown or understand more. But just don’t do it to be weird.
    Thank you for the honest review. I’m glad I skipped this one when it went on sale. 👍

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah, the John Green sort of characters annoy me. They all seem to be my age (or possibly a bit younger, I don’t know) and literally no one I know acts or talks like that.
      With the whole weirdness thing in this, it was sort of like…they’d be weird, but then they’d try to explain a really profound reason for being weird and how it would alter one’s life…but then I’d just be sat there thinking “there was really no need for all that”. Like the youngest character adores eating entire tubs of ice cream all the time, and it was treated like a quirkiness. She’s eleven, of course she loves doing that! Even I love doing that! 😆


  6. Ooooo, I think I may purchase this book soon – even though you know how big my TBR is oops hahaha. But I’m a sucker for any John Green / John Green vibe book, I’ve always loved them and this one seems really intriguing 🙂 Xxx

    Liked by 1 person

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