Just finished reading…Hunger by Jackie Morse Kessler

December 3, 2010 at 10:41 am 10 comments

This review cross-posted from Goodreads.
My Goodreads rating: 5 of 5 stars
View all my reviews at Goodreads.

Hunger by Jackie Morse Kessler

Hunger“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.

This slim (175 pgs) volume was the hardest, darkest book I’ve read in a long time.

This unflinching tale of Lisa, an anorexic teen who’s selected to be Famine, one of the Horseman of the Apocalypse, took a lot longer to read than I thought it would, because it was hard, at times, to live in Lisa’s head.

With an economy of words, the story paints a vivid portrait of Lisa, and how her life is dominated by the “Thin voice”. The ritual and routine of obeying the Thin voice, and the inevitable guilt and self loathing when she is unable to live up to its warped expectations, is powerful and difficult reading.

In the midst of Lisa’s pain, Death comes for her with a new task–to take up the scales of Famine.

As Famine, Lisa is ripped from her internal drama and thrust into horrors of the greater world. She must find strength within herself to take control of the situation, and ultimately, control of her life.

For all of it’s darkness, Hunger, in the end, is a hopeful one. It doesn’t have a fairytale HEA, but Lisa does come into her own power that helps her move forward with her life.

Jackie Morse Kessler is donating portion of proceeds to the National Eating Disorders Association. Book 2 in the series, Rage, will be out April 2011.

  • Jackie Morse Kessler’s site
View all my reviews at Goodreads >>
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And, so it begins… Just finished reading…My Immortal Assassin by Carolyn Jewel

10 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Kris  |  December 3, 2010 at 3:25 pm

    Wow. Ok. I seriously need to get this. Thanks for the review, Renee.

    Reply
    • 2. Renee  |  December 3, 2010 at 6:41 pm

      Sure thing, Kris. It’s really one of those books that makes it hard to settle down to read something after. Just listening to a historical I’ve read before. Need to decompress a bit. *still processing*

      Hope you like it.

      Reply
  • 3. nath  |  December 3, 2010 at 6:30 pm

    Hmmm, very interesting… but I don’t think it’s for me. Glad I read your review 🙂

    Reply
    • 4. Renee  |  December 3, 2010 at 6:42 pm

      It’s definitely not a book for everyone, but really is very good. 😉

      Reply
  • 5. Chris  |  December 4, 2010 at 12:59 pm

    It sounds intense and wildly original. Maybe someday if I start reading something other than m/m again. 🙂

    Reply
    • 6. Renee  |  December 4, 2010 at 1:45 pm

      It sure was. And totally diverged from the trite “misfit girl meets mysterious supernatural boy” storyline.

      Oh, but what about Harry (Dresden)?

      Reply
  • 7. Hilcia  |  December 5, 2010 at 8:57 am

    Sounds like a fascinating and creative way to write about this subject, Renee. I don’t read YA books (usually), but this one sounds to interesting to pass up even for me. I’ll bookmark it. Thanks for the review.

    Reply
  • 8. ~ames~  |  December 5, 2010 at 11:06 am

    Great review and it’s definitely an interesting take on an eating disorder. I’m glad I bought it, now I just need to read it.

    Reply
  • 9. orannia  |  December 6, 2010 at 8:50 pm

    Great review Renee! I have this on my TBR list. I think it’s a book I should read when I’m feeling strong within myself..but I do think it’s a book I want to read.

    Reply
  • 10. Tracy  |  January 2, 2011 at 9:03 am

    Sounds like an interesting read – loved your review!

    Take care and Happy New Year!

    Reply

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