ARC Review: Kids of Appetite by David Arnold

kids-of-appetiteAuthor: David Arnold

Genre: Young adult, contemporary

Publisher: Viking Books for Young Readers

Publication Date: September 20, 2016

352 pages, hardcover

Check out the full synopsis on Goodreads.

If anyone was silly enough to be worried that David Arnold’s second book wouldn’t live up to his wonderful debut, MOSQUITOLAND, they should rest assured that it does. KIDS OF APPETITE is brilliant, incredible, emotional, sensitive, not what I was expecting and better than I could hope for. David has a sensitivity in his writing that I haven’t seen anywhere else and his characters have an intensity and passion for life that you can really feel in his writing and that will light your soul on fire. I only hope that I can be half as brave, half as great as his characters; I only hope that I can be a Super Racehorse too. David’s books make me hungry for more of his words, and I will keep eating them up as long as he keeps writing (i.e. hopefully forever and ever, amen).

A couple of people have asked me if I liked KIDS OF APPETITE better than MOSQUITOLAND, and I honestly don’t have an answer. It’s hard to choose between two of your favorite books. But I will say that I related to Vic more than I did Mim. You guys know how much I loved Mim, but the things that Vic goes through because of his Moebius Syndrome – which I am NOT at all saying is exactly the same as my having alopecia – felt so close to home for me. The way people react to him, the horrible things people say to him, the way he sometimes feels about himself, those were things I felt deep down in my bones and soul. And, yes, I cried (like A LOT) at certain points – particularly a scene at the Rockefeller Center, which I won’t talk about but which you should experience.

The bottom line: This is a Super Racehorse of a book, and I read the whole thing in one day. But, like MOSQUITOLAND, it’ll be one I read over and over.

Top Ten Debut Authors Who Have Me Looking Forward To Their Sophomore Novel

Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by the Broke and the Bookish. Today’s theme was:

Top Ten Debut Authors Who Have Me Looking Forward To Their Sophomore Novel (because when you love a debut you just are ITCHING to get your hands on the author’s second book) or Top Ten Sophomore Novels That I Loved Just As Much If Not More As The Author’s Debut (no one hit wonders heeeere!)

This was one of the easiest Top Ten Tuesdays in a while. I doubt many of you will be surprised by anyone on my list. I’m very vocal about my favorites. All author names linked to Twitter.

Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli    Mosquitoland by David Arnold    My Heart & Other Black Holes by Jasmine Warga    More Happy Than Not by Adam Silvera

THE BECKMINDAVERA – Becky Albertalli  // David Arnold // Jasmine Warga // Adam Silvera

The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh     Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon     The Sacred Lies of Minnow Bly by Stephanie Oakes

Renee Ahdieh // Nicola Yoon // Stephanie Oakes

None of the Above by I.W. Gregorio     Made You Up by Francesca Zappia     The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky

I.W. Gregorio // Francesca Zappia // Stephen Chbosky

Which debuts have you excited for their sophomore novel?

Top Ten Tuesday: Six Author Duos I’d LOVE to See Write a Book Together

Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by the Broke and the Bookish. Today’s theme was:

Top Ten Author Duos You’d LOVE To See Write A Book Together (aka my (Jamie’s) world would explode if Gayle Forman and Jandy Nelson wrote a book together) — might be hard to come up with 10 but still would be fun! Bonus points if you tell us what kind of book you’d like them to write!

This is kind of a hard one! I don’t think I could come up with TEN, so I’m going to with five which is technically ten authors. 😉

More Happy Than Not by Adam SilveraAmpersandSimon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli

Adam Silvera & Becky Albertalli
Could you IMAGINE how wonderful that book would be? It’d be all sorts of cute mixed with a little bit effed up and gritty and real, and I would devour it. So, guys, can you make that happen? Kthanksbye!

The Falls Ampersand The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater

Ian Rankin & Maggie Stiefvater
Okay, this one is a little bit weird, BUT imagine Scotland + crime + magic + SCOTLAND. Ian Rankin writes gritty, amazing crime fiction set in Scotland, and I think that plus Maggie’s incredible world-building skills and magic and love of myths and legends would be super interesting to read.

The Young Elites by Marie Lu AmpersandShadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo Ampersand The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh

Marie Lu & Leigh Bardugo
So I’ve only read one book by Leigh Bardugo so far, but I can just tell that the world these two created together would blow all of our minds. And if we added Renee Ahdieh into this mix? HOLY CRAP. I need this to happen.

Mosquitoland by David Arnold Ampersand Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon

David Arnold & Nicola Yoon
Yeah, I would die. Like, I would just implode if they wrote a book together. David’s snark mixed with Nicola’s passion would make for an incredible contemporary chock full of characters to fall in love with and relate to.

Devoted by Jennifer Mathieu Ampersand The Sacred Lies of Minnow Bly by Stephanie Oakes

Jennifer Mathieu & Stephanie Oakes
I just featured both of these authors in a Quiet YA post, and I think they could write a seriously amazing and realistic book together. I don’t even really care what it would be about because I know they would do whatever subject they chose justice.

Okay, I lied. One more.

The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater Ampersand The Gracekeepers by Kirsty Logan

Maggie Stiefvater & Kirsty Logan
ASDFJKL; This combination would literally be magic. Like, I’m pretty sure if the two of them got together, real, actual magic would fall onto the page and into our hands.

So, I’m going to need for all of these authors to actually get together and make these books happen. Which authors would you like to see write a book together?

Thursday Thoughts: Mosquitoland Book Club at the Library

Last month was my very first YA book club at the library, and it was amazing and wonderful. My teens and I had an hour and a half long discussion about The Raven Boys, and at the end of it, they told me tMosquitoland by David Arnoldhey wanted me to pick out the next read. Well, I’m sure you guys know by now how much I love David Arnold’s debut novel, Mosquitoland, right? If not, just check out my 10/10 review of it, and/or check out my Twitter page because I talk about it like 3 times a week at least/my Twitter header image is my copy of the book. My teens decided they wanted to go with Mosquitoland aka I practically word-vomited my love of it and they liked that. 🙂 Either way, we read Mosquitoland for our September book club, and then discussed it this past Monday.

Last month I decided to ask them to describe each of the characters and the book overall in one word at the end of the discussion and they seemed to enjoy that, so we did it again, and here are the words they used for Mosquitoland.

MIM

Sassy // Witty // Spirit-animal // Adventurous // Relatable // Quirky // Smart // Well-done

BECK

Ahhhhh // Heart-Eyes emoji // Responsible // Moral clock // Compassionate // Nice // Charismatic

WALT

Awwwww // Innocent // Adorable // Huggable // Loveable // Wonderful

ARLENE

She smells like cookies // Pizzazz // Warm // #oldpersongoals // Inviting

KATHY (Potential spoilers)

Redeemed // Underestimated

SPOILERS – PONCHO MAN

Creepy // Pedo // Bigot // UGH // *insert bad words here* // Overgrown primate

MOSQUITOLAND

*Sighs contentedly* // Sassy // Indescribable // Realistic // Beautiful // We can’t just pick one word

——————————-

I’m really happy that 1. all of them loved the book (like, seriously, it was just an hour and half love fest), and 2. we actually had three new members!

So David, being the wonderful human he is, signed some bookmarks for my teens when I met him at the Decatur Book Festival last month, and my teens were SO EXCITED when I handed them out. Thank you again, David, for being so generous – and also answering some last minute questions via Twitter! My teens are as in love with the book as I am, and they are equally as enamored with you. I was somehow able to tone down my word-vomit love to lead a thoughtful, interesting, love-filled discussion for over an hour with a group of 8 teens about Mim, family, Mississippi, psychosis/medication/etc, romance, road trips, flaws, and so much more, and I’m pretty dang happy about it. All of the teens in the book club – except the one boy who had to leave early for Boy Scouts – are teenage girls, and we talked about how well-done Mim is and how they could relate to her so much because her voice is just like theirs. That, to me, is the mark of an amazing YA book.

Check out this picture of my teens with their bookmarks, my coworker (the super tall one) who I convinced to read the book and she also loved it, and me, looking happy af.

Mosquitoland Book Club

Next month’s read is I’ll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson!

Book Review: Mosquitoland by David Arnold

Mosquitoland by David Arnold

Author:  David Arnold

Genre: Young adult, contemporary

Publisher: Viking Books for Young Readers

Publication Date: March 3, 2015

352 pages, hardcover

Check out the full synopsis on Goodreads.

Dear Mosquitoland,

Reasons are hard. Trying to put into words the reasons why I love you is hard, but I’ll try.

Reason #1: You are weird. Like, SO weird. But you’re that special kind of weird that I absolutely love. You’re unique and strange and beautiful and funny and emotional and just brilliantly weird in the best possible way.

Reason #2: David Arnold’s writing is incredible. Like, mind-blowingly incredible. I cannot believe you are his debut novel. How is that even possible? I cannot wait to see what comes from him next if YOU are his FIRST book. Parts of you felt like poetry. I was torn between racing through you and taking my time to savor David’s writing. I’ll definitely be rereading you in the future.

Reason #3: Mim. MIM! Oh my goodness. She is just an incredible character. David NAILED her voice. She’s this perfect blend of hard and vulnerable. Sassy, independent, scared, sad, smart. She is such a teenager. I can’t believe how well David wrote her. I love her so much that she’s made it onto my short list of favorite characters ever.

Reason #4: You are the definition of perfect story telling. Your characters’ voices are spot on, your writing is beautiful, but that’s not the best part. You are just a good story. Entertaining, engrossing, fascinating, exciting. I just want to list all the best adjectives to describe you.

Reason #5: This is what my book looked like when I finished. Green flags are from RachelMarie at Nerd Herd Reads; pink are from me. This is what a book looks like when you LOVED it wholeheartedly.

Mosquitoland - read

The bottom line: Reasons are hard. Mississippi is hard. But you? You’re beautiful and quirky and plain ol’ strange, and I love you.

Signing off,
Stefani Sloma
Reluctant Mosquitoland Resident and Mosquitoland Lover

Rating: 9 – practically perfect

Thursday Thoughts: Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda – Book Launch

Chances are if you’ve been on the blog anytime this year, you’ve seen me post about how much I love Becky Albertalli’s debut novel Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda. I’ve reviewed it, kicked off the excerpt tour, and had an Oreogasm. I’ve also posted about it on Twitter or fangirled with Becky like 100 times. I adore her and her book, so when I found out she was having a book launch for Simon in Decatur (at Little Shop of Stories no less – one of my absolute favorite book shops), I knew I had to go. Who cares that it’s a 5 ½ hour drive? Not me. After I told Becky I was coming, we tweeted each other almost every day leading up to the event with just a bunch of exclamation points.

Becky and meCan I just take a moment to say how absolutely exciting it is to have an author just as excited to meet you as you are to meet them? I’ve been lucky enough to meet some of my favorite authors, but I’ve got to say that having Becky tweet me several times with the same excitement level I had was pretty much the coolest thing EVER.

So anyway, my librarian friend, Kayla, and I drove the 5 ½ hours to Decatur – which was a blast! – and headed over to Little Shop of Stories for the event. Meeting Becky for the first time was awesome! She is super cool and adorkable and was so appreciative of the fact that we drove over for the event that just her thanking me was worth it. But then she’d also brought me a finished copy of Simon that she’d wrote the sweetest note in. As you can guess, I pretty much hugged that book for the rest of the night. [Look how ADORABLE she is!  You can tell how happy I was from that smile.]

Becky talking

And then there was the event too.  Becky had brought ALL THE OREOS, which were obviously very delicious. Most especially the vodka infused ones. Yummmm. After some mingling and hob-knobbing, during which time Becky introduced me to Jeff Zentner, whose debut novel comes out next year, the event started. Becky gave an adorable intro to Simon and thank you to everyone who came, and then there was a Q&A – she talked about her writing process, the publication process, what it’s like writing her next book, and more. Then there was the signing. Since I already had a signed copy, I waited until the end to get another…check out the end of the post to see what I’m talking about!

ALL THE OREOS     OREOS!

This is when I met the super wonderful and chill David Arnold, author of Mosquitoland. He’d come down from Kentucky to support Becky, which is very cool. We talked about Mississippi and YA books and audiobooks. He signed my ARC that I won in a giveaway (Thanks again, David!). I also met Christina from A Reader of Fictions, who was SO SWEET. She gave Kayla and me a HUGE bag of ARCs because she said we looked friendly. Nice people finish FIRST. Thank you again, Christina!! I also left with three ARCs from Little Shop of Stories (I TOLD you they were awesome). I got an ARC of Made You Up by Francesca Zappia (which I’ve already read and loved), ACOTAR!!!! by Sarah J. Maas, and Paper Weight by Meg Haston. For realz, if you’re ever in the Decatur area, go to Little Shop of Stories! They are the BEST.

Our haul     Our haul

We only brought ONE book to the event and we left with ALL OF THESE!!

I’ve talked about my life and my depression before on the blog, so I’m not going into that here. But I want to talk about how I felt at this event. I felt the least stressed, anxious, sad, unhappy, and uncomfortable at this event than I have in months. I felt utterly at home in Decatur and at this event surrounded by brilliant, kind, and bookish people. I haven’t felt normal in so long that I almost didn’t recognize the feeling. I could breathe. I wasn’t worried about anything. I can’t even really describe it nor can I properly thank Becky and everyone at the event, BUT I can spread the love.

Becky holding SimonCheck out how you can win a copy of Simon! 🙂

See that picture of Becky holding a copy of Simon? Yeah, that’s a SIGNED COPY YOU CAN WIN!! Head over to my Twitter then follow me and RT the tweet for a chance to win. The giveaway is US only – I am REALLY sorry to my international friends, but I just can’t afford international shipping right now. It ends on 4/30/15 so make sure you do it before then!