Saturday, November 20, 2010

HUNGER by Jackie Morse Kessler

      My rating: 4 of 5 stars


“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?

I really enjoyed this book. The story, the characters, the twists.

The story centers around Lisabeth Lewis (Lisa for short) and her battle with anorexia. In the first chapter Lisa has just swallowed 3 of her mom's Lexapro, attempting to kill herself, when she is stopped by someone at the front door. Why she decides to answer the door, I am not exactly sure. I am sure that she was nervous about what she was trying to do, but whatever her reasoning it saved her life.

When she answered the door there was a delivery man there with a package for her. Inside the package was a set of justice scales, which she was confused by and unsure of. She soon finds out that she was chosen to be Famine, one of the Horseman.

The story alternates between Lisa in her "real" life and Lisa as Famine. Lisa, in her "real" life is dealing with her issue with food, the "thin voice" in her head that keeps belittling her and telling her that she is fat, her friends and her mother.

Then there is Lisa in her life as Famine. Here she has to deal with how she feels about seeing and feeling others hunger. She is torn between what she is supposed to do being Famine and what she feels inside herself.

While Famine, Lisa meets Death, War and Pestilence. Death is not who you think he would be and War is scary. Pestilence seems easy going, just doing what he needs to do.

In her real life, Lisa is tired of people telling her things. Telling her what she should be doing, basically having to do with food and eating. She feels as if everyone is against her because the people closest to her are concerned about her. She obviously doesn't see what they see. When Lisa looks in the mirror all she sees is a fat girl.

When Lisa is Famine, she doesn't feel comfortable doing what is required of her and discovers that she can actually use her powers for good. Being Famine has made Lisa learn things about herself and about food that she wouldn't have learned otherwise.

This is a rather short book (177 pages) but it seemed neither rushed or cut short. I believe Jackie got across what she was trying to get across and you really got to know her characters. Lisa definitely grew in this book.

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