Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Review: Hunger by Jackie Morse Kessler

Hunger by Jackie Morse Kessler

Publisher: Harcourt Graphia (October 18, 2010)
Age Group: Young Adult
Pages (Paperback): 177
Series: Riders of the Apocalypse (Book 1)
Source: Purchased
ISBN-13: 978-0-547-34124-8
Genre: Urban Fantasy
“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?

This book tackled the serious topic of anorexia, the invisible disease. It pulled out a strong and intriguing message about the life, the true life, of an anorexic. The life they live of denial, of pain, of constant hate, and the constant counting...the thin voice.

As a short read, it did very well at depicting the reality of the life that Kessler was trying to convey; however, her character development lacked the same strength. We saw the full and complex version of Lisa, but the other characters that were her source of interaction were two-dimensional. Even in her own thoughts, she hints at what might possibly be a great relationship between herself and Death but yet the character, Death, remains shadowed and inconsistent.

I thought the idea of the newly appointed Horseman of the Apocalypse was a very inventive and genius idea. I love the story of the Four Horsemen and their tie to the apocalypse; her take on this story has set up some questions that I feel were answered, but answered in that "Let the character unravel what the riddle means" kind of way, without the opportunity for her to fully do so. Even if she got her answers, we as readers, did not get ours.

In the end, I don't feel like Lisa fully accomplished anything regarding her disorder or her office; this left me feeling unsettled with many questions by the end of the book.

Having more of an understanding of the protagonist in Rage (Book Two), I will continue to read the series hoping to see more of a three-dimensional Death and a stronger character base for the next girl.

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