Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Review of Hunger by Jackie Morse Kessler

Hunger by Jackie Morse Kessler

Series: Horsemen Of The Apocalypse (#1)
Pages: 180
Publisher: Graphia Books
Published: October 18th, 2010
IBSN: 9780547341248

“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?

[Synopsis by Goodreads]

Hunger is told through the third-person perspective of Lisabeth (Lisa for short) Lewis, a teenage girl suffering from anorexia who becomes the Black Rider of the Apocalypse: Famine. The story is about her adjustment to the role and about her stuggle with her eating disorder.

I wasn't surprised to find out the author once suffered from an eating disorder while reading the author's note at the end, because the description of Lisa's anorexia was so vivid and realistic. The 'Thin Voice' and the huge realisation it took to make her seek help made her condition feel genuine.

The paranormal aspect is what initially made me want to read this book (I named my fish after the four horsemen, after all), though I wasn't disappointed that it took a backseat to the contemporary issues. I like the way how two completely different genres met in Hunger.

The plot was intense, focusing on Lisa's mental battles rather than her physical ones - which felt like metaphors for psychological ones. The writing style was simple and raw, and the book itself was short and captivating.

I give Hunger a 4 out of 5. Look out for my review of the sequel, Rage, going up tomorrow.