Hunger by Jackie Morse Kressler
Reviewing a book like this is hard because of the subject matter in context to the fictional story, but I will give it my best shot. I liked the concept of this book. The idea that a seventeen year old girl would be a rider. One of the four horseman of the apocalypse and given such immense power to wield. Hunger’s theme is dealing with the social issue of anorexia. Kressler’s graphic honest approach of Lisa’s destructive cycle of bingeing and purging episodes, gave the story some depth, but not enough. Kessler’s well spun descriptions are a double edge sword because on one hand it shows the disorder in all its ugly-ness but in the process it takes over the story robbing the main character of her personality.
From a standpoint of the story we know more about the disorder and what its doing to her body than Lisa as a person. Dealing with these changes to her body. Getting sick doesn’t completely rob you your personality, does it? I think the whole anorexia arc could have been excuted better if Kressler didn’t just focus on what it was doing to her body, but included the effect on her personality as well there were other options Kressler could have explored to give the story more personality and have a better book in the end.
So many elements don’t ring true in this book for instantance Lisa goes from blatant denial that she’s anorexic to acceptance of her fate as famine in such a short time. It just doesn’t come across as believable. Remember she battling anorexia people go to rehab centers for this. Because eating disorders are tough and take great effort to overcome. In the end the fact that Lisa eventually realizes that she was neglecting her own well being was and causing herself bodily harm was a redeeming moment in the book. Though Kressler writing is superb to me it was missing cohesion.
To be honest I really wanted to like this book but I just couldn’t get into to it. The pace at beginning is so slow and dips periodically through out the book . I think it needed to be longer too much of the story gets left out at 177 pages. Hunger is a departure from the type of books I like which is more action packed. So it took effort to carry on. I think the exploration of Lisa’s eating disorder would have served the story better, at the very least start the story with her in the rehab center or something, and have death visits her there.
And another thing why is she anorexic? It’s never really addressed in the book, or how come no one notices her decline in weight loss — trust me when I say as a person who was healthy and weighed 116 pounds baggy clothes don’t hide anything as matter of fact it highlights. So except for her friend Suzanne no one notices even her boyfriend who should at the very least, that right there would have been great conflict to add to the story, another missed opportunity. Which shows how forgettable Lisa’s character is even at the end when she changes as her role as famine asserts itself she’s still vanilla . I gave Hunger a 3 out of 5, why? Because the concept was original, the writing was great, but what ruined it was the execution. I’m not going to recommend this book to anyone because in all fairness opinions are objective what I may not like others may. So I’m sticking to the phrase if you have nothing nice to say, say nothing at all. Sorry this was a long one.
Favorite Quote – “Thou art hunger, yo. Make with the starvation.” ( can you imagine if death actually spoke like that )
Disclaimer: I always try to be honest and impartial in my reviews my goal is not to tear down a writers work but to offer my most humble constructive opinions. Be it negative or positive it meant to be taken as such, after all these are just my opinions so please take it with a grain of salt.
- Title: Hunger by Jackie Morse Kressler
- Series: Riders of The Apocalypse
- Published: October 18, 2010
- Publisher: Harcourt Graphia
- Genre: Urban fantasy
- Rating: 3 / 5
- Source: Owned Copy
- Format: Paperback
- Pages: 177
- Buy: Amazon | Barnes & Noble
“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.