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Thursday, January 6, 2011

Hunger by Jackie Morse Kessler

Title: Hunger
Author: Jackie Morse Kessler
ISBN: 9780547341248
Publisher: Graphia
Page #: 177
Source: From my public library

"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 the 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 awesome new power. Can Lisa find a way to harness that power - and the courage to fight her own inner demons?"
First Lines:

"Lisabeth Lewis didn't mean to become Famine. She had a love affair with food, and she'd never liked horses (never mind the time she asked for a pony when she was eight; that was just a girl thing)."
Page 1

Very often, I judge books by their covers. I know what people say, but you really can't help it. And what I got from this cover was a lot different from the story inside. Though, it's not a bad thing, just a lot different. This is a story about a girl who unwillingly becomes one of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse.

The kicker is that this girl has a huge issue with food - namely that's she's unable to eat anything without her inner voice telling her calorie counts and how worthless she is. Because of this, she attempts to kill herself and Death offers her a way out. And she spends the rest of the book trying to learn how to use her gift and in the end is uses her.

Apparently I don't know very much about the Horsemen. I spent a lot of the book trying to figure out what exactly their role is. I do understand that each of them cause some form of chaos - Pestilence, War, Death, Famine... I get it. But there was never much of an explanation about what their purpose was. Were they working toward a goal? Or just to cause mayhem? I dunno.

I have read a few reviews that discussed that Death's character in this book was really odd. I'll agree to a point - Death is treated as a light character. As in, very snarky, a little crazy, and a bit silly. It's weird, but I picture him as the Doctor from the current Doctor Who (Matt Smith). He seems just a bit too easy for a Death character. But on the other hand, I think he sounds fun. But he probably shouldn't. :)

The other huge thing is the anorexia. I don't have any experience with eating disorders (unless it's eating too much), so I don't know how true to life this is. But in my opinion, I like the way the whole issue was dealt with in this book. And I appreciated the ending - that it wasn't easy or pretty. It felt a lot more real that way. You don't get a whole lot of her friends in this book - even though they play a big part in her life before this story starts.

All in all, I think this book was very interesting, unique, and a bit eye-opening for me. I'm not sure what audience this would be for, though. I would say fantasy lovers, but it's so much more than that. It also doesn't really fit into realistic stuff either. I do think it will be for girls though - it's very girl-issue centric. Oh, and definitely older teens - there are some graphic bits. Well, graphic-gross, so maybe it's okay for younger.

There is another book coming out in April for another of the horsemen. Check out her website for more info.
Other Blog Review:

YA Book Reads
The Book Smugglers
Paperback Dolls
Reading Angel
Book Hooked Blog
Bewitched Bookworms


Anonymous said...

Well, I've been hearing lots of mixed reviews about this book.

I like the premise of it, it sounds interesting, but I'm not sure about the execution after all the reviews I've read.

Tasha said...

I've got this on my wishlist. must get to it soon. Thanks for sharing a great review.

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