Sunday, August 22, 2010

Hunger by Jackie Morse Keller

Release Date: October 18, 2010

Amazon says:
"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 say: It's taken me a couple of weeks to write this review, and I'm not sure why.
When I first saw Hunger, I was a little nonplussed for two reasons. First, I don't like issue books. They can be preachy and annoying. And second, it was short. I don't like short books either.
But . . . I like Hunger.
I actually ended up liking it a lot.
The story takes a new look on old subjects; eating disorders and the Horsemen of the Apocalypse. The second is dealt with wonderfully. The characters are entertaining and still manage to make an impression, even though the book is really rather short. I do wish there was a little bit more of the fantasy here; Kessler deals with it so well that I would have liked to hear a little more.
However. We then hit on the first subject. Eating disorders.
It's . . . hard for me to describe this. I know people that have stuck their fingers down their throat. I know people that probably still do. While the main character, Lisa, isn't bulimic, she does have a friend that is. It was a little bit uncomfortable for me personally to read about it -- which, obviously, is the point, and obviously, not a bad thing. The fact that the book can make such an impression is wonderful. Anorexia is dealt with in a way that didn't seem preachy at all. Bulimia is stripped to the bones. On both cases, you don't see anything glamorous.
 The book straight forward and simple. And something about it rings true. It's tiny, but it is worth your time. I know, this is a short review. There's really not much else to say, though, except that you should give this book a shot. 

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