23 January, 2011

Book Review: Hunger

Title: Hunger
Author: Jakie Morse Kessler
Publisher: Graphia
Genre: Paranormal/Contemporary/YA
Page Count: 174 (paperback)
Rating: 4.2 out of 5
Cover Rating: 4.7 out of 5. I really like this cover--the scales, the font, and the swirly black/blue.

Back Cover:
"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 the 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 awesome new power. Can Lisa find a way to harness that power--and the courage to fight her own inner demons?
My expectations: High. I loved the idea, and I'd read a lot of positive review about the book.

It was better than I expected.

About the book: This is a very interesting take on eating disorders. Imagine--a teenage girl becoming one of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse (Death, War, Famine, and Pestilence) while at the same time battling her own inner voices that tell her she's fat and ugly and will never be successful.

I really like Kessler's writing style. It's to the point, and Hunger being a short book, there really wasn't anything that got more attention that it should. I sped through the book--which kind of disappointed me because I wanted more of it! And despite the fact that it deals with such a heavy subject, this book was actually rather funny at times.

  • Plot:

It's a strong plot, with little twists that keep things moving (it's only 174 pages long, remember!) and I love the ending--it's excellent.

  • Characters:
Lisa is mess at the beginning. She's anorexic--which you don't find often in books--and desperate to find people who understand what she's going through. She's dealing with strained relationships between people she used to be really close to, such as her best friend, her father, and her boyfriend, who all believe that she needs help--only she doesn't think so, and concludes that they're jealous about her skin-and-bones body. But I had to like her determination and spunk, and I grew fond her as time went on.

I hadn't really pictured Death as Kurt Cobain, but that's the way he appears to Lisa in the book; he's surprisingly funny for someone who has the job of taking lives, and I had to laugh at the exchanges.

War was just as you'd picture War: angry, powerful, and easy to provoke. Only female, too. Pestilence was interesting--I found what he had to say intriguing, although he doesn't make much of an appearance next to the other Horsemen.

  • Setting/Elements:

I love the idea in Hunger. It's not your average Young Adult Paranormal/Fantasy, and I enjoyed the freshness of it all.

Other: Some language, references, and some violence.

Do I recommend this book? Yes! If you're looking for something unique, interesting, and funny, and don't mind a novel with a darker side.

-----The Golden Eagle


Tony Benson said...

Looks like I have to add this to my reading list! Thanks for the review.

Margo Benson said...

This sounds an intriguing book, thank you for the review. As someone with lifelong body/image issues (not an eating disorder) I'd be interested in reading about such a sensitive and emotive subject in a novel. What a clever take on things.

Orchid said...

Thanks for the review. I've been wanting to read Hunger since I first heard about it, but I was worried it be a major disappointment. I'll definitely be looking for this one at my library now. ^_^

mist of the blossom rain said...

I love this idea! can not wait to read it.

Old Kitty said...

Gosh - I mean it's literally about hunger!!! Wow!!! Thanks for the review and the info on this book - sounds very intriguing!! Take care

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Death looks like Kurt Cobain? Fitting.

Paul Greci said...

Sounds like an interesting read. I really like the cover!!

Charles Gramlich said...

Definitely an interesting idea.

....Petty Witter said...

I've read a lot of things about this book, some bad but mostly good, thanks for sharing your views - I've finally decided that I do want to read this after having some very mixed thoughts on a character in such a novel having an eating disorder as I was worried about how the author would deal with it.

The Golden Eagle said...

Tony: You're welcome!

Margo: It is clever--I loved the idea when I read the first review of it.

Orchid: Anytime! :)

I hope they have it!

Emily: Hope you get the chance to read Hunger!

Old Kitty: You're very welcome!

Alex: LOL.

Paul: Me, too.

Charles: There are several interesting concepts in this book.

Tracy: I agree--some authors would treat someone with an eating disorder differently than others.

Helen Ginger said...

It does sound interesting - a girl with an eating disorder taking on the role of Famine. I'd like to find out how the book ended.

N. R. Williams said...

I find your book reviews refreshing Golden. I think the plot of this book sounds very original. I will have to get this one.
N. R. Williams, fantasy author

Brian said...

That is a very creative take on a difficult problem!

Jayne said...

I like novels with a bit of a dark side, and the premise for this has definitely got my interest. Fab - I'll look out for this one, thank you!

Jai Joshi said...

This sounds like a fabulous book! I like a story with a dark side and this sounds right up my street.


Ricky said...

Sounds excellent. Not my usual type of book but very interesting.

Janet Johnson said...

What a fascinating premise! I'm definitely adding this to my TBR list. Thanks for sharing. :)

Roland D. Yeomans said...

Your review made it sound so fascinating that I will give it a go. Thanks for the heads-up -- and for those lovely comments on my blog. Roland

Maria McKenzie said...

Sounds like a great read! Fascinating take on eating disorders. I'm adding it to my reading list!

J.C. Martin said...

Sounds like a really interesting book! Will have to look out for it! Thanks for sharing!

Angela Ackerman said...

OMG. I love that cover. And the concept? Shivers, I tell you! I can't wait to get my hands on this book!

Angela @ The Bookshelf Muse

Patricia Stoltey said...

I also love the cover art on this one. Thanks for a great review.

The Golden Eagle said...

Helen: I'm not telling! ;)

Nancy: I'm glad you like my reviews!

It is a good book--I hope you enjoy it, if you do read Hunger!

Brian: I agree!

Jayne: You're welcome! :)

Jai: I enjoy books with a dark side, too; and humor--like the kind in this one--adds even more to the story!

Ric: I was surprised by how much I liked it, especially since it was fairly short--I usually like my books fairly long. :P

Janet: Anytime! I love spreading the word about the books I read.

Roland: You're very welcome. :)

Your posts are always wonderful to read--it's amazing word every time!

Maria: I hope you enjoy the book!

J. C.: It is--Kessler did a great job on this book, especially with the concept.

Angela: I love the cover, too!

Patricia: You're welcome! :)