Hunger. Jackie Morse Kessler. 2010. October 2010. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. 180 pages.
Lisabeth Lewis didn't mean to become Famine. She had a love affair with food, and she'd never liked horses (never mind the time she asked for a pony when she was eight; that was just a girl thing). If she'd been asked which Horseman of the Apocalypse she would most likely be, she would have probably replied, "War." And if you'd heard her and her boyfriend, James, fighting, you would have agreed. Lisa wasn't a Famine person, despite the eating disorder.
Hunger has an interesting premise. Lisa, our heroine, has an eating disorder. One night her suicide attempt is interrupted by a strange delivery man knocking on the door. He has a gift and a message: "Thou art Famine." The gift this pale man brings? Scales. Lisa thinks this is all one very strange dream. She even tries to laugh about it with her friends. But. It's not a dream. And Lisa must face her new reality.
Lisa's life was complicated before she met Death, War, and Pestilence. For Lisa is haunted by a voice in her head telling her she's fat. All day, every day, Lisa hears a negative message about herself, about her body. The people in her life are beginning to notice that Lisa is not well. Her boyfriend, James, and her former best friend, Suzanne, are terribly concerned. But Lisa just clings to her new best friend, Tammy. She thinks that Tammy understands everything, for Tammy has her own battles with food. And, of course, her relationship with her parents is a bit strained. So, yes, Lisa's life was complicated enough for any teen BEFORE she became one of the four riders of the Apocalypse.
Can Lisa simplify her life?
I thought the premise was intriguing. I liked the idea of this one. It adds some supernatural/fantasy elements to a serious 'problem' novel about eating disorders. Our heroine is a troubled teen who doesn't quite realize just how much trouble she is in. And Death is able to give her a unique wake-up call in a way.
*Reviewed from an ARC.
© Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews
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