Big thank you to RedDoorBooks for inviting my on the blog tour of Anita Cassidy’s debut novel ‘Appetite’. Here’s my review:
What’s it about?
Because everyone hungers for something…
Food and Sex: two appetites the modern world stimulates, but also the ones we are expected to keep under control. But what happens when we don’t?
Embarking on an affair, lonely wife and mother Naomi blossoms sexually in a false spring while David, the fattest boy at the local comprehensive and best friend of her son, struggles to overcome bullying and the apathy of his divorced mother.
David finally starts to learn about the mechanisms of appetite through a science project set by his intelligent but jaded teacher, Matthew. David’s brave efforts to change himself open Matthew’s eyes to his activist girlfriend’s dangerous plans to blow up VitSip, a local energy-drink company where Naomi works.
At the mercy of their appetites, this exciting debut novel shows that some hungers can never be satisfied…
About the writer
I am a writer, a relationship radical, a mother, a daughter, a sister, an aunt and a friend. I am also a lover of old books, new music and (mostly) clean food. Whilst I understand the limitations of labels, I do identify as bi-sexual, polyamorous, kinky. Above all else, I am curious about everything: about life, about learning and about love.
I have been writing fiction and non-fiction since discovering National Novel Writing Month in 2012. Before that I was a sales manager and trainer in the world of regional press and recruitment advertising. I have two wonderful children and divide my time between London and Kent.
Connect with Anita Cassidy
I underestimated the impact that reading Appetite would have on me. I have a little sweet tooth too but my appetite for something sweet was nowhere to be seen while reading this novel. That’s what a well-written novel will do to you. The impact of sugar is one of the important themes in this novel. I was happy to discover it wasn’t told in a marmish way but I could see the consequences first hand by following David around.
Appetite not only follows the live of David but also of Naomi and Matthew. I caught on very quickly that these three parties have their own individual problems but there’s also a larger picture and they each represent a certain side to one core problem. Naomi works at VitSip, a company about to launch a new drink which contains more sugar than is desirable, Matthew takes on the role of nearly activist, he has a new friend who crusades against the big companies’ sugar production and he gets sucked into her cause, because she’s so passionate about it and he wants to feel passionate about something as well, and David, well David is who it’s all about clearly, he’s the victim here of all that sugar, he’s consuming sugary edibles all day long.
I came to follow David’s struggles with his food-obsession, Naomi’s sex-obsessed chats and Matthew’s problems with the new love of his life. To be really honest, I couldn’t really connect with Naomi and I did have questions about her marriage with Scott and how she could carry on like this. She didn’t even feel guilty nor does she want to go for a new lifestyle. Matthew came across a little weak and when he meets Polly I immediately asked myself questions too. Can she even be really interested in him if all she ever thinks about is her own cause, her passion for Snap Out of It?
No the person that I held closest to my heart was David. Honestly, I never had such an insight into the life thrown at an overweight person. He didn’t win me over instantly though, at the start of the novel I was still pretty judgemental.. someone who starts to eat chocolate bars and drinks cola before school even starts, no wonder he’s fat… but then I also felt all the insults, the stares, the guilt and shame he felt on a daily basis and I came to notice that the snacks and sugars are really pushed onto him. The advertising everywhere, his own mother who struggles with obesitas as well are obstacles that I didn’t see at first but I was very much made aware of while reading. What would it take to change this? Does the answer lie in the hands of the companies, in those of the protesters and activists perhaps or is it all up to young David to make the necessary change?
This novel is called Appetite but it could be called Obsession because all these characters are quite obsessed, thinking every minute of every day about one thing. Appetite lured me in and had me eating out of the palm of its hand, it was an exploration and a very enjoyable journey with an important message, like Aristotle said: “moderation in all things”. Very thought-provoking!
I received a free copy of this novel from RedDoorPublishing in exchange for my honest opinion.