Inge's Reviews > Hunger

Hunger by Jackie Morse Kessler
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's review
Jun 09, 2010

really liked it
bookshelves: young-adult
Read from June 09 to 10, 2010

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 learns to battle the Thin voice in her head, who tells her she's fat, and even worse, weak and worthless.
Of course, there are the other Horsemen. There's pock and fever-blister-ridden Pestilence. There's a is-he-Kurt-Cobain-or-is-he-not Death, who is not dissimilar to the character of Death found in the Neil Gaiman Sandman series. And of course, Death's handmaiden, and, uh, other stuff, War. She's not Courtney Love, but she's no shrinking flower either.
It's hard to believe that Kessler is a first time YA author, because she writes so well in the teenage voice. There's no painful or awkward overdose of slang. She deals with anorexia in an unflinching and realistic manner.
Being Famine does not "cure" Lisa of her anorexia. Her Thin voice taunts her at the end of the novel:
"What did you think?" the Thin voice asked. That is would all just go away? That you'd suddenly not be fat anymore?...That's something out of a fairy tale".
There is a lovely author's note at the end of the novel, where Kessler reveals that Lisa was based on a childhood friend of hers who was also anorexic.
Hunger is powerful and lovely and an amazing first novel.
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message 1: by Rita (new)

Rita Meade Well, you sold me. Was this an ARC? Do you feel like sharing? :)

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