“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?
To begin with, I couldn’t always relate to Lisa, the main character. She was dealing with an eating disorder and at times I couldn’t believe what she thought of herself and what she was considering. Luckily, the more time she spent as Famine the more Lisa realized how lucky she really was and how important it is to be healthy and do the right thing.
The plot was very different from anything I’ve ever read. The idea of an anorexic teenager becoming Famine was so original and awesome. I loved experiencing everything with Lisa although some parts of the novel brought tears to my eyes. Starvation is such a huge problem in our world today and reading about the village who’s crops were destroyed by rats was heartbreaking. Hunger contained a very positive message underneath all the death and hunger. This novel was gritty and heartbreaking and by the end I just had to sit down and think about it all.
My favorite part of the novel was reading about the Horsemen. Death was a terrific character and one of the most developed in the book. He was honest and actually quite funny. The other (human) characters were not as developed as the Horsemen but I did like them. Lisa’s boyfriend James was honest and kind and truly cared about Lisa and only wanted the best for her. Suzanne, Lisa’s ex best friend, was another character that wanted Lisa to get help but Lisa only had ears for Tammy. I hated Tammy. Although I felt for what she was going through, her actions were disgusting and the way she convinced Lisa to become anorexic was horrible!
Overall, I liked Hunger. It was something completely new to the YA genre and provided a fresh outlook on eating disorders and how they effect not only the person suffering from them, but their friends and family as well.
The next book in the series, Rage, is going to be about War and I’m really looking forward to reading it come 2011. Jackie Morse Kessler is definitely an author to watch!
Overall: 4 out of 5 stars
October 18, 2010/Harcourt Graphia/180 Pages/Young Adult/Book One