Sunday, August 29, 2010

Hunger, by Jackie Morse Kessler

HungerLisa seems like your typical teenage girl, obsessed with being thin.  But she seems to take her obsession too far, to the point where it interferes with her relationships with friends and her boyfriends.  Now, she has been called upon to become Famine, one of the four horsemen of the Apocalypse.  Death visits her to give her this new job, and her tools of the trade.  Will Lisa fulfill her destiny as Famine?  Will she conquer hunger, within herself and in the world?

What an amazing, dark, stirring book this was.  It left me wondering if the whole "Famine" aspect of it was real, or just part of Lisa's imagination, brought on by her eating disorder. First of all, what an incredible, original way to write about eating disorders, a topic not touched upon enough in young adult fiction.  The fantasy aspect made it appealing to a much broader audience of readers, more than just young girls.  The character of Lisa is so relatable, and I love that we hear not only Lisa's real voice, but also her internal "Thin Voice", showing how she is at war with herself.  This idea of being at odds is echoed when Famine faces off with War later on in the book.

I think that most girls, at one point or another, feel the pressure to be thin, and exhibit dangerous behavior because of that pressure.  That is why it is so important that books like this get written.  This book is nothing short of brilliant, and I believe it can be a lifeline to many young girls.  I would recommend this book to all young adult readers, and encourage parents to discuss this book with their children.  This book is also a great book for anyone recovering from an eating disorder, because I think it is very empowering.  Simply put, it is fantastic.


A review copy of this book was provided courtesy of NetGalley.