Friday, April 1, 2011

Hunger Review

Author: Jackie Morse Kessler
Release Date: October 18, 2010
Pages: 184 (e-galley)
Publisher: Graphia
Most Appropriate For Ages: 14+
Where I Got It: For review from Netgalley

"Thou art the Black Rider. Go thee out unto the world."
Lisabeth Lewis has a black steed, a set of scales, and a new job: she’s been appointed Famine. How will an anorexic seventeen-year-old girl from the suburbs fare as one of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse?
Traveling the world on her steed gives Lisa freedom from her troubles at home—her constant battle with hunger, and her struggle to hide it from the people who care about her. But being Famine forces her to go places where hunger is a painful part of everyday life, and to face the horrifying effects of her phenomenal power. Can Lisa find a way to harness that power—and the courage to fight her own inner demons? 
A wildly original approach to the issue of eating disorders, Hunger is about the struggle to find balance in a world of extremes, and uses fantastic tropes to explore a difficult topic that touches the lives of many teens.
 Hunger was an original take on eating disorders that quickly grabbed me until the end.

I think that every teenage girl has a "Thin voice". You know, the small voice in the back of your head that's always pointing out the worst in you. Your nose is too big. You're too short. You're so fat. Lisabeth Lewis (or Lisa, as she's commonly called) has not only let the Thin voice control her diet, but her life. She's pushing away her friends and loved ones due to her depression and extreme issues with food. And because Lisa's so lost to anorexia, we don't really get to know her that well, but Kessler shows just enough glimpses of who she was before her anorexia that we can see how much it's taken her over. It's honest and terrifying.

The Horsemen definitely added a new twist to the average anorexia story. However, I would've liked some more background about the Horsemen. I don't know much about them, and I sometimes found myself confused when it came to them.

Despite it's small size, Hunger is raw and real. I liked it a lot, and think it will resonate with everyone in one way or another. Bring on the sequel.

Book Report:
Plot: Unique and grabbing.
Characters: Likable, but we don't get to see too much of them. And I loved Death.
Writing: Impressive.
Ending: Done really well.
Kid friendly? Well--obviously--there's lots of talk about eating disorders, but I think this one is pretty safe.
Should I read it? Yeah, you should.

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