Friday, April 25, 2014

Hunger (Review)

(Riders of the Apocalypse, #1)

Publisher: Harcourt Graphia
Release Date: October 18th, 2010
Genre(s): YA Fantasy

My Review: (4/5 stars*) 

Hunger is raw, heart-rending, and it'll be firmly locked in hands from beginning to end. In so many ways I can relate to this book and to the lead character Lisa. The story shows the darker side of eating disorders and the affect it can have on you and your loved ones. Sure this is a fantasy about the four horsemen but it does exploit real issues and sends a strong message in the process that's significantly insightful. Kessler unites personal experience and reality with supernatural circumstance in an awfully brilliant way.

I love that not only is this about the four riders of the apocalypse envisioned anew as youths which alone is a totally riveting idea but Kessler spotlights the self-harming dangers of extreme eating habits. The protagonist Lisabeth Lewis' view of food is not that of enjoyment but instead a hellish nightmare. She's battling a war within herself just to keep going and some days the scales tip out of her favor. It twists her thoughts and makes her feel worthless and weak. Not everyone of course will understand it in the same way but it reached for my emotions most unexpectedly. I felt crushed for this girl who sees the weight in everything all while carrying a huge weight of her own. While dealing with this crucial disorder she is pushed into a supernatural role she neither wants but can't walk away from. It's emotionally tormenting to read and I think that's the point.

Lisa's daily routine consists of counting calories and exercising excessively. At just seventeen food consumes her life, controls it, and destroys it. Horrified by her own mirror image and the voice that whispers that she's "too fat", that she'll never be skinny enough she sinks into the dark depths of anorexia. Angry over weight gain and the inability to view food as anything other than her own worst enemy Lisa's world starts to fall apart. Her life worsens when her family and those she believed to be her friends ambush her about her destructive behavior. After a near-fatal incident Lisa wakes up to find herself as the new rider of the apocalypse—Famine. Her life takes on more meaning than its ever held before when she has a responsibility greater than she's ever known. Lisa's journey begins when her life almost ends, and follows a path full of surprises.

Hunger sates reader's appetites with a heartbreaking story of truth and discovery. Equal parts paranormal and realistic this novel is eye-opening and will leave you fully satisfied and ravenous for the next.
Hunger is a short novel that packs a hard-hitting and gut-churning punch. It's an upper teen read with dark content that may be unsuitable for 14 and under. This one is going to take me awhile to digest because it's so good and thought-provoking. Consider me pulled out of my YA slump! I'm ready for war in the next installment and sequel, Rage!


“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?



*My interview with Jackie Morse Kessler! I asked her 5 questions at YAFest and they will be featured here, so check it out!*

1 comment:

  1. This story was quick to read but will certainly not be quickly forgotten. I recommend it to all teens. Lisa is worth getting to know.
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