06 October 2010

Hunger by Jackie Morse Kessler

Hunger by Jackie Morse Kessler
Riders of the Apocalypse #1
Release Date: October 18, 2010
Publisher: Harcourt Graphia
Rating: Essential

"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 fight her own inner demons?

A wildly original approach to the issue of eating disorders, Hunger is about the struggle to find balance in a world of extremes, and uses fantastic tropes to explore a difficult topic that touches the lives of many teens. - Goodreads
This book was simply brilliant. The reader is immediately thrown into the plot, which contains various amounts of action and fantasy, as well as sticking to the main theme of the novel - anorexia. Jackie Morse Kessler is speaking from a topic of experience, and this shows in her writing, as the main character Lisa talks about her new best friend's bulimia and Lisa's own extravagant eating patterns and exercise techniques. The plot flows well, and at no point did I feel bored with what was happening. It was all very intriguing, and at less than two hundred pages it was a very easy read.

The main character, Lisa, was a very likable character who I think teens and young adults will be able to connect with easily. It is clear that she has very little self esteem for a multitude of reasons, most of which leading back to her mother and what Lisa thinks her mother thinks of her. The other characters, understandably, play a lesser role however they are all key to the plot. The other Horsemen of the Apocalypse are all very interesting chracters, even if they haven't been completely explored as of yet - that's what sequels are for!

I think that overall, this book is very good - even great - and it is very imformative on the problem of anorexia and I think it will help teenagers and young adults understand the issues with anorexia and bulimia. The fantasy element of the plot adds so much to the story, and I think people of all ages will love this book - not just the target audience.


  1. Great review. I've heard good and bad things about this one. I'm very interested in it - I've never seen anorexia dealt with in fantasy.
    Re your question of why I read the HP British versions...I like the translation better. HP1 even translated "mum" to "mom" - totally stupid. The later HP books didn't go that overboard with the translation, but I like reading the original version.
    Have you ever seen American books published in England that were translated for British readers?
    New follower, btw.
    Alison Can Read

  2. Thank you! :) I haven't read any American books that have been translated - that I know of anyway. It would be interesting to see the differences, but I don't think books are often translated from English US to English UK because (for example)'sweater' is a word we hear often, whereas I don't think Americans hear the word 'jumper' as much!

    And thank you so much for following!


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