At only 180 pages, I was VERY hesitant about this book. I loved the idea of it, but I didn't think it would be worth a credit (and it's currently a Bargain Book on Amazon for $3.51.) But I was very surprised and pleased. I plan to read the next book, Rage, and I've already added Loss to my wishlist, with a release date in 2012. A keeper, and 4.5 stars for me :)
I will add that it's ironic; the book I read before this one was Silver Phoenix by Cindy Pon, which I noted in my review of that book that the author goes into detail about food a lot, more so than normal, and that I found myself wanting to go raid the pantry while I was reading.
Reviewed by LadyJay for TeensReadToo.com
Lisa can never escape the thin voice. It screeches and tears at her - telling her how fat she is; counting the calories in one chocolate chip cookie; calculating the number of minutes on the exercise bike.
No matter how thin she is, it's never enough. Lisa's anorexia spirals out of control; she swallows a handful of her mother's antidepressants. That's when Death comes for her.
He doesn't want her soul - not just yet. Instead, he bequeaths a gift. Lisa will now embody one of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse - she will become Famine. Midnight, her black steed, whisks her away to lands that are ravaged by hunger. She is witness to great suffering and pain.
Through all of this, Lisa discovers that possessing Famine can do incredible harm as well as good. She learns how to sustain life, and in return, that inspires her own will to live.
I was amazed by the premise of HUNGER. What a creative and thought-provoking way of looking at eating disorders. Kessler handles the subject matter with incredible care, without preaching or lecturing to the reader. I believe that this novel will truly resonate with some teens. I know it did with me.
Lisabeth Lewis is an anorexic 17 year old who has just learned that she is to be Famine, one of the Four Horseman of the Apocalypse. As typical with many girls with eating disorders she is all about control. Her mom is a very controlling absent mother who wants everything perfect and her dad drinks to cope with everything so he does not notice the problem.
Lisa has a boyfriend named James who cares about her deeply. He wants to help her but she sees it as betrayal. Her best friend Suzanne had tried to approach her about this also and Lisa ended this friendship and instead became friends with a girl named Tammy who is bulimic. Since they share a secret she sees this as a great friendship.
Lisa decides that she wants to die. She is about to kill herself when a messenger shows up with a package containing an old fashion scale telling her that she is the Black Rider. When she wakes up the next morning she thinks it is all a dream until she notices the scale sitting on the table that only she can see. When she looks outside she sees her Black Steed (who funny enough just wants to eat pralines). And so begins her adventure as Famine and her fight for her life as she must choose between living and dying.
Very interesting read. I thought it would be more about the Four Horseman of the Apocalypse but it was half that and half about dealing with the inner turmoil of anorexia. Since the author herself dealt with an eating disorder all the inner dialogue (you're so fat) is very real. The whole describing Tammy's purging was a little graphic for the young adult but maybe it is something that should be read to understand how horrible this is to do to oneself.