I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Hunger by Jackie Kessler
Series: Riders Of The Apocalypse #1
Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt on 2010-10-18
Genres: Adolescence, Fantasy & Magic, Girls & Women, Social Issues, Young Adult
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Jackie Morse Kessler’s Riders of the Apocalypse series follows teens who are transformed into the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. In Hunger, 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.
Lisabeth Lewis does not have an easy go of it. Plagued by an inner demon known as the thin voice, Lisa is anorexic. Food occupies the vast majority of her thoughts. Everything she eats is thought of in terms of calories and how long she needs on the exercise bike to burn off any potential weight she might have gained. This obsession with food makes Lisa an excellent candidate for the position of Famine, one of the four horseman of the apocalypse and the main premise of Hunger by Jackie Morse Kessler.
I know I have said before that I rarely read issues books, but I may be converting. Let’s face it, anorexia is a huge issue for teen girls. They are bombarded with image of the impossibly thin female beauty ideal. That’s got to be damaging to self-esteem, to be consistently told you are not beautiful because you are not model thin. And I know it’s bad when even I succumb to it and call myself fat, even though I’m one of the littlest people I know. So, I think Kessler takes on the issue in a refreshing new way. I love the touch of the fantastical. To me, the horsemen was a stroke of brilliance. I dabble in post-apocalyptic fiction, yet haven’t come across the four horsemen. SO void, consider yourself filled.
I won’t lie, however, and say I had an instant connection with Hunger. In the beginning it was hard for me to connect. I wasn’t sure how I felt about Lisabeth and her friend Tammy the Tool, not to mention Lisa’s lacking backbone. But as she went through self-discovery, she started to grow on me. Finally, her ending impressed me. It’s odd, but when a book has an ending I love, I tend to forget my ambivalence towards the book, which is definitely what happened with Hunger.
ALSO, Hunger by Jackie Morse Kessler is released in paperback not hardback, so buying it won’t be a waste of your money. Sorry, this may make me a jerk, but I really think 16$ is a waste of money for a hardback with less than 200 pages, so good call Houghton Mifflin Harcourt on publishing Hunger in paperback.
Finally, a small preview of the writing style, which I quite liked:
“But deep in our souls, or our collective unconsciousness, we know those things we hesitate to define are there, walking among us. We know, even if we don’t see.” pg. 114