We all have a story to tell, but we might not be so willing to share that story easily. When circumstance arise that demand a story be told, such as in Kids of Appetite by David Arnold, strong bonds of friendship can be forged to overcome the greatest of obstacles.
Vic’s father died two years ago and he’s not too happy with his mom appearing to have moved on with her new boyfriend Frank. Storming out of the house with his father’s urn, Vic sets out to properly honor his father’s memory. In this process he encounters Mad and her friends, who have their own struggles to deal with but they help him to complete his father’s mission to scatter his ashes at various, meaningful locations. Before Vic finishes his dad’s mission, he and the group get drawn into the investigation of the murder of Mad’s uncle, the story of which cannot be told without the intermediary chapters that occurred when the group first met up until the time of the murder.
The story was a quick read with areas of thought provoking narration, and it falls very much in line with the tropes found in realistic YA fiction, making it familiar if not cliche. Jumping between a narrative recollection of events leading up to the present and a narration of the present from the perspective of Vic and Mad was craftily done, particularly with an element of meta woven in. While we were told the various ages of the characters involved in the narrative, they all read as far younger than what we were told they were supposed to be. Perhaps that was intentional to try to make the story more relatable to a wider age range of readers and to demonstrate that they are dealing with such serious matters, but for me it simply made their behavior strange and not fit with their supposed age.
Overall, I’d give it a 3.5 out of 5 stars.