KIDS OF APPETITE by David Arnold is a tragicomedy of first love and devastating loss for fans of Rainbow Rowell and Jennifer Niven.
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.
Arnold (Mosquitoland) again showcases a memorable cast of outsiders carving out space for themselves. Bruno Victor "Vic" Benucci III, a 16-year-old Jersey kid born with a rare condition that leaves him unable to use most of his facial muscles, is reeling from his father's death two years earlier. After his mother's new boyfriend proposes to her, Vic bolts from the house with his father's ashes. Vic's destiny is changed when he meets 17-year-old Madeline "Mad" Falco, who is part of a gang of semihomeless kids who vow to help Vic decipher his father's final note, which dictates various places to spread his ashes. Told through Vic and Mad's alternating narratives, interspersed with police interviews centered around the murder of Mad's abusive uncle, the story focuses on the unbreakable bonds of these forgotten, mistreated kids who include two brothers born in the Congo and a brilliant, sharp-tongued 11-year-old as well as Vic's enduring loyalty to his father's memory. Arnold writes with a Hinton-esque depth and rawness, building Mad and Vic's stories with practiced patience. Ages 14 up.