Hunger by Jackie Morse Kessler

Title: Hunger
Author: Jackie Morse Kessler
Genre: YA/ Teen
Source: NetGalley
“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 battle her own inner demons?
  (via GoodReads)
I was taken by surprise when I initially began to read Hunger.  I originally believed it to be an action-packed story about the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse - and it somewhat is, sans the action, but what it really is, is a story about a girl with an eating disorder. 

Ms. Morse Kessler weaves a tale riddled with not only hunger, but depression, friendship, family and how having a disorder can take a toll on all that.  Although the book is short, it almost has a short story feel to it, I think it still held a powerful punch.  This is Lizabeth's story - how she learns to stop hating herself and acknowledge and accept who and what (in this case one of the Horsemen) she is.  Aside from the eating disorder, we also have the paranormal aspect of the story.  I liked how this aspect played into the story but didn't take it over.  It was almost like a side note to Lizabeth's bigger problems.

Through her adventures as Famine, Lisabeth sees starvation, poverty and even gluttony all over the world - which gives her some perspective towards her own fears concerning food.  I think Ms. Morse Kessler does a great job dealing with a tough subject  - she deals with anorexia in an unflinching and realistic manner. 

All in all, I really enjoyed Hunger.  I thought it had a very interesting and original plot, with characters that you really like and the appropriate amount of humor and paranormal activity to make it a riveting and intense read.  

My Rating:


Savannah said...

OMG! I really love this book as well. Everything in it was so intense!!

La Coccinelle said...

I didn't really like this one. I just couldn't connect with the characters.

It's always good to see another point of view. Thanks for the review!

Sabrina said...

Great review.

I think that the idea of the book sounds fascinating and I will add it to my wishlist.

christina said...

I'm mainly interested in this book for the use of personification. Unique.

Michelle said...

When I first heard about this series I didn't realize they were "issue" books. I thought they were more dystopian fare. But I read this a few weeks back and really enjoyed it. The concept is original and compelling. I've picked up the second book Rage off @netgalley but have heard it's a bit different. I'm interested to see in what ways that is so.

Kailana said...

Oh, this is a great cover! I am going to have to read this book...

Hyacinth Marius said...

Kessler does a great job of introducing readers to the character Lisabeth. Readers can relate to and understand the thought process of someone with an eating disorder and how it could be overcome with the help of family and friends. Kessler was not real clear on the role of the four horseman and how they relate to anorexia. For a young adult reader more clarification would have been nice.
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