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Hunger

A book by Jackie Morse Kessler

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Provocative and affecting

  • Oct 3, 2010
  • by
Rating:
+5
Lisabeth Lewis refuses to acknowledge that she's anorexic. She can't be--especially when that voice inside her head tells her she's not nearly thin enough. So Lisa pushes away her best friend, her boyfriend, and the hunger pains, unwilling to face reality. And then things get strange--a man delivers a package late one night, and soon she starts seeing a set of scales everywhere and a horse in her garden, both completely invisible to everyone else. It's then that she discovers she is the newest Horsemen of the Apocalypse--Famine. Lisa's intimate knowledge of hunger and its pain may make her job a little easier and it may provide a bit of an escape from her messy life in the real world, but it sure won't let her duck her own internal problems with food, hunger, and her eating disorder.

Hunger is a gripping and unforgettable read, and Kessler gives The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse an unexpected and modern update in a very relevant way. Lisa's fellow Horsemen are very engaging characters themselves, especially Death's personification, whose laid-back style and philosophical questions are quite unexpected, but thought-provoking. Through various trips around the world atop her steed, Midnight, Lisa learns that her powers aren't necessarily a bad thing, and finds a way to actually help people. This discovery leads her to see food in a completely new light and acknowledge that her friend's bulimia and her own anorexia aren't healthy, nor right.

However, Kessler isn't offering Lisa an easy supernatural fix in being Famine. Instead, she uses Lisa's experiences to enforce the idea that a person can't change unless they want to. Only after Lisa witnesses world hunger on a large scale and stands up for herself and for her convictions can she find the strength to do the hardest thing of all--get the help she needs to get better. Therein lies the power of Hunger and its message, making for a provocative and affecting story.

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More Hunger reviews
review by . October 20, 2010
I was taken by surprise when I initially began to read Hunger.  I originally believed it to be an action-packed story about the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse - and it somewhat is, sans the action, but what it really is, is a story about a girl with an eating disorder.    Ms. Morse Kessler weaves a tale riddled with not only hunger, but depression, friendship, family and how having a disorder can take a toll on all that.  Although the book is short, it almost has a short story …
review by . July 05, 2010
Famine - it's what we associate with places far away from us. Places where people lay dying, bellies bloated and children looking like skeletons. Places they make commercials about - you know the ones: "Your donation can feed a child for a month...". But how many of us would think to associate famine with a very real problem much closer to home - anorexia?     "Hunger" is not your typical teen preach-and-learn novel. It is actually a very good story that stands completely on …
review by . August 22, 2010
Fresh and Intriguing
Hunger / 978-0-547-34124-8      When Lisabeth Lewis can’t go on with life anymore – can’t go on with her domineering mother; her kind, but controlling father; and most of all the Thin voice that whispers to her constantly about the ever present need to be utterly, totally in control of every morsel she consumes – she’s more than a little bit surprised when her suicide attempt brings her a literal visit from Death, as well as a new commission: “Thou …
review by . August 06, 2010
Never having suffered from anorexia or bulemia, I feel I have significant insight into both diseases now. The detail was horrendously accurate and amazingly beautiful, given what it covered. And I loved that while this story was about eating disorders, it was also about an adventure with the heroine a girl who had no control over her own body. A definite must for any teenage girl with self esteem issues! This will help any girl see herself in a new light!
About the reviewer
Tirzah Price ()
Ranked #278
I have a blog called The Compulsive Reader on which I review Young Adult novels, interview authors, post book trailers, and hold contests. I'm interested in anything YA book related!
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Wiki

"Fast-paced, witty, and heart-breaking! Jackie Morse Kessler is one of the most talented authors I know."—Richelle Mead, author of Vampire Academy

"Hunger is not just a good book. It is a great book. It is funny and sad, brilliant and tragic, and most of all, it speaks truth. I’ve always admired Jackie Kessler’s writing.  Now I adore it."—Rachel Caine, author of The Morganville Vampires

"Jackie Morse Kessler hits it out of the park with Hunger. Although this is a book with anorexia at its heart, there are no hidden lectures or story-slowing asides. Instead, Kessler deftly weaves the heroine Lisa’s struggle with food into a beautifully realized mythology, complete with a wisecracking and sexy Death and a new spin on the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. An absolute must-read!"—Julie Kenner, author of Good Ghouls Do

"A fantastic and gripping read that never shies from its difficult subject matter, Kessler illuminates, through the Horsemen of the Apocalypse, a very real problem facing teens today. While Lisabeth Lewis explores her self-induced hunger and attempts to battle the Thin voice, her incarnation as Famine explores the horrors and causes of world hunger. The contrast slots Hunger into its own category of awesome. This book is a knockout."—A.S. King, author of The Dust of 100 Dogs

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Details

ISBN-10: 0547341245
ISBN-13: 978-0547341248
Author: Jackie Morse Kessler
Genre: Young Adult Fiction
Publisher: Graphia
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