Appetite by Anita Cassidy #BlogTour #BookReview

Appetite blog tour

Big thank you to RedDoorBooks for inviting my on the blog tour of Anita Cassidy’s debut novel ‘Appetite’. Here’s my review:

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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…

amazon ukย amazon com

About the writer

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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

Website | Facebook | Twitter

My review

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.

29 thoughts on “Appetite by Anita Cassidy #BlogTour #BookReview

  1. Amazing review, Inge! As a fellow sweet tooth, I completely get where you’re coming from and would probably have a similar experience with this book. I’m glad it’s not trying to force an idea down the reader’s throat but instead letting them shape their own conclusions by showing rather than telling. Brilliant!
    I have to say I’m not obsessed with sugar but I do have a hard time keeping myself from reaching out to it, especially when I’m stressed out. It’s important to have any vice/obsession under control or at least be aware of their existence. Like you said, moderation is key! And I think that’s why this book might be an important one to read ๐Ÿ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much for reading Sophie. It really struck me that the incentive to eat unhealthy and too much sugar was more present and around than I thought. There’s billboards, advertising on tv, radio, shops, even friends and family who try to transfer their own unhealthy habits onto you. David’s mom makes dinner with lots of gravy for instance, which makes him happy but it’s not supportive at all if you’re all trying to watch your weight.. is he supposed to say no though, it’s not as easy as it seems. It’s definitely an eye-opening book ๐Ÿ™‚

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      • Yup, you’re right. But that’s the great thing about growing up, is that you can kind of discover yourself and what you really want to be/do and not just follow some preconceived values. You learn what is best for you and what you need to be happy/healthy and that’s an amazing thing ๐Ÿ™‚
        You can still love your family without accepting everything they want to enforce on you. That’s something I struggled with for a while and had a lot of guilt, but ultimately it’s my life and my body and my choice.
        So I would suggest telling David to just very politely tell his mom that, even though he loves her cooking and loves her (of course) he would like to try a healthier approach and eat less fatty foods. I know moms/grandmas take that very personally but eventually they’ll learn it’s not an attack but instead just a different opinion. And they’ll learn to understand that and be okay with it eventually ๐Ÿ™‚
        I’m glad this book was so eye-opening for you, I’ll give it a go sometime ^^

        Liked by 1 person

      • You should have been on the blog tour :-). You are right that you have to make the change yourself but you have to come to the conclusion first that it’s not healthy and it’s not so easy to say no as the only one in the household. It is a book about self discovery, like you said and lovely to see this happen before my eyes.

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      • Yeah, I mean, once you move out of your parents’ home is way easier. Before that, you’re kind of required to do as they say (“my house, my rules” kind of mentality). Still, I highly recommend maybe starting to make his own food? I know it may still a bit offensive to his mom since he’s kind of rejecting HER food but again, talking it out with her might be nice ๐Ÿ™‚ Not just to convince her but to reinforce the “I love you mom, you’re awesome, I’m just trying something out for myself and you don’t have to feel bad about it at all”.
        I feel parents are way more understanding than we give them credit for, if given the proper preparation. Mine are incredibly stubborn but I still manage to get through to them, especially when they see it’s something important to me. Challenging someone’s ideas is always difficult – the most difficult thing in the world, one would say. But it’s worth it to at least try ๐Ÿ™‚
        I guess I should have been on the tour yeah hahaha But I’ll still check it out!

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      • It feels like you already this novel, he does make his own food ๐Ÿ˜‰ but it was difficult for him because his mom is also obese and just draws him into her own addiction because she doesn’t want to feel alone. It is easier when you move out but he’s only 16 years and with all the diffulties he’s having, he can’t wait and slowly that realisation hits him too. A bit sad though that your parents don’t help and have your best interests at heart, but then it’s difficult if they are struggling with the same problems I guess.

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      • Yeah, I completely understand. Sometimes they have the best of intentions but it still ends up harming their kids… One should always aim for their children to be better than themselves, and it’s a shame when they do the opposite.
        Maybe he could try and get her to embrace the healthier lifestyle as well? It would make her realize how harmful her behavior was and how it was affecting them both. Sometimes it takes showing rather than telling. I know parents can be super stubborn and overbearing but again, just a suggestion. It would be so beneficial for both ๐Ÿ™‚
        I wish you guys the best of luck! I’m sure things will work out and David and his mom can find a middle ground โค

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  2. fantastic review, Inge!
    When I saw the cover and blurb I thought this book was going to be a whole different ball game… then I saw the author’s bio and thought- oh?! .. and then your review and I was like- Boom, this is what I’m talking about! Very interesting and I will simply have to add this to my tbr pile ๐Ÿ™‚

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    • Thank you darling! Not my usual genre but I have an interest in people who are obsessed, be it in a thriller or something else. I try to find out more, how it started, why they are letting it become an obsession (or appetite but I feel that’s a word used too kindly here, these people don’t have a normal appetite), where it will lead. I still didn’t figure Naomi out completely but I felt like I really knew David, his thoughts and struggles. It made me think and care so it was an interesting exploration.

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