Publication date: October 18th, 2010
Published by: Harcourt Graphia
"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?
*I'm reposting this review, due to Hunger's publication, October 18th 2010.
This review was initially written July 19th, 2010.
"Thou art Famine,yo."
How can you not love a book that has this line in it?It's impossible!
When I first read Hunger's summary, I thought that this is the book for me.I love the Four Horseman/Harbingers Of The Apocalypse stories and I was so excited to read this,I can't even tell you!To be honest, I was expecting it to be more to the paranormal/supernatural side and it surprisingly wasn't, and thank God for that because I find that the matter it approaches is way more important than any paranormal story, however good.
Anorexia and bulimia are diseases.If you're thinking of losing weight by not eating or by throwing up what you eat, you are sick and you should immediately seek help.That's an undeniable fact.No way around it, no loopholes, no excuses.Lisa,the lead, is ill.Kessler herself,was ill for a short period of time and through her amazing writing,we are witnessing Lisa's slow and painful demise.I am not even going to dwell on the myriads of negatives aspects of being anorexic or bulimic.The one-chapter, "ritual" ,of Lisa's friend stuffing herself with anything she can find and then forcing herself to lose it was shocking, to say the least,and if that doesn't make you want to even reconsider doing something resembling that, I don't know what will.
But,in the end,Lisa found herself and through her eye-opening experience as Famine, she learned first hand about misery and poverty and finally,actual hunger.It was not easy,of course.Even in the end we see Lisa struggling to eat, even though she knows it's the right thing to do, it's what she HAS to do to help people in need, and I loved how Kessler used Lisa's compassion for others as a way to make her start eating again.She was not able to care about herself because she neither understood nor believed that anything was wrong with her , but she could still care about others, and that was enough to save her.
That being said, there is also a fun side to this book.Difficult to believe,but it's true!You can't help but crack a smile at Kessler's clever humour and witty one liners, a very welcome change to the otherwise gloomy and depressing content.I mean, come on!Death playing "Come As You Are" on his guitar?Awesome!
The only problem I had with Hunger was its length.It was so short!I would like some more character development, especially War.And basically I wanted more material to read,more printed words,please!
So, even though Hunger left me wanting a lot more pages to gnaw at, it was an amazing start to a series and to all of you teens out there who don't even like paranormal:you should read this book,regardless!
Looking forward to Rage, coming out Spring 2011!!
Note:A portion of the proceeds of Hunger will be donated to NEDA(National Eating Disorders Association) so go buy the book, you guys!