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Hunger (Riders of the Apocalypse #1)

3.55  ·  Rating Details ·  3,802 Ratings  ·  866 Reviews
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 h ...more
ebook, 180 pages
Published October 18th 2010 by Hmh Books for Young Readers
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Zombieslayer/Alienhunter {Gandalf the Blonde} Could definitely be viewed that way. Each book in the series (Riders of the Apocalypse) is about a different Horseman. This one was about Famine, and…moreCould definitely be viewed that way. Each book in the series (Riders of the Apocalypse) is about a different Horseman. This one was about Famine, and I believe the next one is about War.
Reading this one on its own would be fine, since the next book isn't really a sequel. (less)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Jan 12, 2016 karen rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: why-yes-i-ya

five stars for INtent, three stars for CONtent.

so the premise of this book is that an anorexic teenage girl is chosen to fill the office of Famine. yeah, Famine - as in four horsemen of the apocalypse Famine. that one. awesome, right? as someone who de-voured all of piers anthony's "incarnations of immortality" books as a teen, this is right up my alley. (incidentally - for fans of that series - did you even know that a "new" one came out a few years ago that he self-published?? Under a Velvet
Jackie Kessler
What can I say? If I didn't love it, I wouldn't have written it. :)

HUNGER was brewing for 10 years before I finally sat down to write it. And then it all came pouring out. It was cathartic. I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I did writing it.

A portion of proceeds will be donated to the National Eating Disorders Association. So if you buy this book -- thank you for helping to make a difference!
Mar 17, 2011 Kristen rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I am confused as to the overall arc of this series. And I am confused by Death telling our main character that she can die or be Famine and then when she doesn't want to be Famine anymore he just lets her out of it and she doesn't die. Maybe I missed something (although it would be hard to do that given how short the book was).

This book was not what I expected. It was a trip through the mind of someone with an eating disorder. Although it wasn't as horrible as I would have expected (especially
"Thou art Famine,yo."

How can you not love a book that has that line in it?It's impossible!
When I first read Hunger's summary, I thought that that is the book for me.I love the Four Horseman/Apocalypse/Harbinger 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,
Rachel Caine
Feb 09, 2010 Rachel Caine rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I got tremendously lucky and had an opportunity to read an advance copy of HUNGER. I can say without exaggeration that I *loved* this book. It was fierce, uncompromising, fun, shocking, private, painful and beautiful, and I feel very privileged to have seen it early.

Jackie's written a book that is as intense as anything I've ever had the good fortune of reading, and I think that in addition to being a great book, this is also a very personal book, full of raw power.

I wish I'd written it.

Mike Mullin
Dec 27, 2010 Mike Mullin rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Insane genius in a slender paperback. I read it at one sitting and cried my way through the end of chapter 17 and most of chapter 18. If those bits don't make you cry too, you may not be a parent or child. Easily ranks with Before I Fall and You as one of the best books I've read this year.
"My job?" Lisa said as Death helped her to her feet. She was a seventeen-year-old high school junior in the suburbs; she didn't have a job.

"Thou art Famine, yo," Death said. "Time to make with the starvation." (pg49)

Realistic but unique? Funny but dark? Hunger sounds promising right?

It does – Kessler's book certainly has an exciting premise. The basic overlay of 2010’s popular debut is simply a twist that incorporates teenage eating disorders into the biblical myth of the Horsemen of the Apocal
Jan 11, 2015 hayden rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
HUNGER makes WINTERGIRLS look like TWILIGHT . . . but worse. Just throw in a little Apocalyptic lore and you're good to go!

It's really interesting to get inside the head of a girl with an eating disorder. Jackie really knows what she's talking about; she actually went through it herself. (Not for long, but it happened!) Overall, I just loved it, from the Famine aspects and the eating disorder aspects. I just loved the whole thing from beginning to end.

The only thing that angered me a little was
I don't normally set expectations for things because if whatever it is doesn't live up to those expectations, you have no one to blame but yourself. So outside of reasonable expectations, I don't go into things like, say, most books, all ramped up for it thinking it was going to be something great. Usually. Unfortunately I did that with this one and, sad to say, my expectations were not lived up to. My bad.

I guess going in the concept I had brewing of an anorexic girl as Famine was beyond what t
Jul 17, 2010 Torzilla rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arc, reviewed
Hunger is a compelling tale that eloquently captures the mindset of a person suffering from an eating disorder. From page one I found myself captivated by the text, unable to put it down to eat. There's something almost ironic about admitting that.

Readers are introduced to Lisa, the new Famine. I've always been interested in the Horsemen of the Apocalypse. They're one of those concepts that are fun to talk about, but nobody every really explored further, much to my chagrin. When I heard Larissa
Jan 06, 2011 Ebehi rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Rating: One and a Half
Frankly, I think I wasted my time with this book. The premise seemed so interesting and after I read about it on a book blog, I decided to check it out at the library.

I like the way the author was able to get inside Lisa's head to show us how her mind worked. I found it very believable and easy to relate to. The was also a message, albeit not very stong, against eating disorders and such.

But what was wrong?

Well, first of all, I was irked by the author's intrusions. She wo
Feb 28, 2011 Heather rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Heather by: Tiffany's b.o.b pick
This book read like a very bad after school special or Lifetime movie of the week. The narration was overly preachy. I couldn't help but think it was meant to be a collage essay on the pitfalls of eating disorders, the hunger in the world, and how wasteful humans are when it comes to food. But,with the added element of sci-fiction.

Lisabeth Lewis was one of the most annoying characters. I include the Four Horsemen in that statement as well. Kurt Cobain as one of the horsemen took this book to a
Aug 17, 2010 Tina rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ebooks, 2010, netgalley, arc, fantasy, ya
Original review at One More Page

I cannot imagine myself having an eating disorder. I love food too much, and I can't imagine not eating. Of course, when I lost all the extra weight, I was careful to follow my nutritionist's advice and keep myself well-fed to keep my metabolism up. I guess I'm blessed enough not to be too conscious of how fat/thin I look, and that I had good friends and people around me who always kept me in check.

But that doesn't mean that I have never had encounters with any ea
I deem it unnecessary to be forlorn if you are plumpish or whatsoever, as long as you’re not excessively fat. Trust me; looking healthy is much better than looking sickly. Do you even think you’ll look good without enough flesh or curves to fit into your clothes?

According to statistics, In the United States alone, it has been estimated that 8 million people have an eating disorder—7 million goes to women while the remaining 1 million goes to men. One in 200 American women suffers from anorexia,
Hunger is almost like two books in a small (180 page) package. There's the paranormal fantasy with a somewhat unusual premise, and then there's the YA issue novel. They only barely come together as a whole, and it's the issue aspect that makes this book worth reading.

Lisa is anorexic, and in denial. Her turning point comes when Death (here cast as essentially Kurt Cobain) gives her the job of Famine. Yes, the Horseman of the Apocalypse. It was this fantasy aspect that I felt was a little weak. I
I would not give this book to an at-risk child or teenager, for all that it is essentially a cautionary tale about eating disorders with some fantasy trappings. The author clearly intended something good, but the execution and writing were not strong enough to make this anything other than horrible and offensive to both feminists and mental health advocates. She clearly researched the physical symptoms of the disease, but seems to have skipped over the mental* and emotional.

In fact, this entire
In this novel, the author writes a modern story about a teenage girl struggling with anorexia and ties her story to the biblical mythology of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. Seventeen year old Lisabeth is anorexic and while she thinks she's in control of it all, she's really spiraling further into trouble. No one seems to understand her anymore--not her parents, her best friend or even her boyfriend, and she feels as if everyone is sabotaging her road to happiness. The only one who doesn't ...more
Jun 10, 2010 Inge rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: young-adult
What a bad-ass premise. A teenage girl, Lisa, is dealing with depression and anorexia and is summoned to be one of the Four Horseman of the Apocolypse. Guess which one? Famine. Duh.
Through her adventures as Famine, she sees the gluttony as well as the starvation and poverty in the world, which gives her some perspective on the nature of humans, as well as her own fears and desires concerning food. Lisa finds her own strength and her ability to spread destruction as well as aid to others. She lea
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Brynne Shelton
Apr 07, 2015 Brynne Shelton rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Honestly, I didn't expect to like this book so much. I just got it from the library because lately I've had an obsession with the Horsemen of Apocalypse. But I related to Lisa in a way I wouldn't have expected.

I'm not sure about the length though. I mean it's nice not to have trudged my way through relational angst that authors think might have to do with character development or something, but I don't know, it seems like there could have been... more. A lot more. At least more Death, because he
Wicked Lil Pixie (Natasha)
Hunger follows Lisa, a teenage girl who doesn’t want to admit she is anorexic. She calorie counts & sometimes doesn’t even eat. Lisa has been trying to hide her food issues from everyone around her, even her boyfriend. But after a nasty fight with her boyfriend, Lisa tries to kill herself but Death comes to her & appoints her Famine. At first Lisa thinks it was a hallucination due to the drugs she used to try & kill herself, until she sees her horse & a mysterious scale appearing ...more
Sep 30, 2010 Crystal rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Why I read this: Since my teens I have had a fascination with the book of Revelation and the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse are very much a part of that book. So it was a given when I heard there would be a book series based on the Four Horsemen I was intrigued. Add to that dealing with hard teenage issues and I was definitely in.

How is the novel driven: Character, this is all about Lisabeth and her coming to terms with her own self and her problems.

My thoughts: A fascinating and short book. Bu
Little Bee
Mar 04, 2016 Little Bee rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I discovered this book in a random search of recommended books on Goodreads. From then, I actively sought out this book, but could not find in the bookstores. So I ordered it on Amazon. It took approximately 4 days to read, shorter if I had more time to donate to it.

This story has a powerful message, and I admit, there were times I felt it was TOO much. But overall, I am glad it was TOO much at times, because in real life, outside of the stories, it can be MUCH worse for REAL people. Lisa is an
Previously read March 2011 - re-read as prep for sequel Rage

While the concept is nothing new - humans becoming a power/concept/force of nature incarnate (see Piers Anthony's On A Pale Horse & the rest of the Incarnations of Immortality, Death in Terry Pratchett's Discworld series, and, for that matter - the 4 Horsemen in Pratchett & Gaiman's Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch) I think Morse Kessler's twist on the idea is intriguing. An anorexic girl is ta
Steph Su
Oct 05, 2010 Steph Su rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: best-of-10, bea10
HUNGER is a succinct but powerful tale with mythological undertones, yet a very relevant modern topic. Jackie Morse Kessler weaves together old-style storytelling with contemporary charm to create a memorable and 100% fascinating read.

HUNGER draws on mythology, but its fairy-tale-like feel comes from much more than just its premise: it’s the way Kessler writes the story. Lisa’s conflicting emotions never feel forced: Kessler’s choice of words, their rhythm and their placement, portray that for u
Jennifer Wardrip
Reviewed by LadyJay for

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
Vicky N.
Oct 09, 2010 Vicky N. rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: young-adult
Jackie Morse Kessler weaves a dramatic YA read about a real subject that in today's world where appearances are everything is killing many people, coated with a bit of fantasy and just enough humour she writes about the 4 Horsemen of Apocalypse and what would happen if an anorexic girl was chosen as Famine, the Dark Rider.

Hunger is an enthralling read that talks about the struggle of a girl with her body, after been caught in a catch-22 situation by Death she finds herself engrossed by her job a
Dec 23, 2010 K rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: library
Death just hired a new Famine. Lisa, a seventeen year old anorexic high school student, is the newest Horseman of the Apocalypse, the new Black Rider. Perks include a black steed, a set of scales, and the chance to visit distant (if awful) locales.

This was a short book and a quick read. It took a while to warm to Lisa. It wasn’t until the very end that I started to care about what might happen to her because I didn’t really know where the story was going. Was it going to be a story about eating
I had been looking forward to this one, but the 177 pages didn't give it enough time to grow. It lacked character development and plot explanations, and while some of that may happen as the series continues, I wish this first installment had a little more. The story itself is amazing: Lisa, a teenager struggling with anorexia, is chose by Death to become Famine--one of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. Lisa's character is great, and there are some great scenes as we watch her try to work thro ...more
Jan Lewis, Author Sidekick
This book is a tough one to review. I really enjoyed the book until the end. It just didn't feel right. The heroine's struggle with anorexia is very well written, and I could tell even before reading the author's note at the end, that she had suffered from an eating disorder too. I loved this book for the message and I think it was a brilliant idea, but I was just really disappointed with the ending.
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Incarnations of Immortality, the next generation? 3 21 Apr 03, 2011 08:00PM  
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Some kids want to grow up to be doctors, or movie stars, or political assassins. Me, I wanted to draw comic books. Not Archie comics, either—superhero comic books. Maybe it was all the heavily muscled guys in spandex…

Around the time I was 15, I realized that as much as I enjoyed drawing (note that I’m saying nothing about the quality of those pics), it was a lot of fun putting words in the charact
More about Jackie Kessler...

Other Books in the Series

Riders of the Apocalypse (4 books)
  • Rage (Riders of the Apocalypse, #2)
  • Loss (Riders of the Apocalypse, #3)
  • Breath (Riders of the Apocalypse, #4)

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“Living means constantly growing closer to death. Satisfaction only temporarily relieves hunger. Find the balance, and plant your feet.” 45 likes
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