Friday, September 10, 2010

"Hunger" by Jackie Kessler

A girl with anorexia attempts suicide, but Death gives her a second chance by appointing her as one of the Four Horsemen of the Apocolypse: Famine.

Lisa is tired of being fat. She still has a muffin top, for goodness sake! How could her friend suggest that she has anorexia? When her boyfriend agrees that he's worried, she can't take it anymore. Enter: Mom's antidepressants. Lisa swallows one pill, then another. Then another. And then a delivery man rings the doorbell and hands her a package that contains scales, and tells her, "Thou art Famine: Go thee out into the world."

I'm not particularily interested in eating disorders, but the connection to Famine and Lisa's ultimate twist to her duties was intriguing. This book did not read as a self-help book, not at all, but I found the thought patterns a bit disturbing. Anyone who has fought themselves against grabbing an ice cream sandwich by how many calories it contains will recognize the thinking, and maybe even wonder if it would be so hard to lose track of "normal".

In my psych classes, I learned that when asked to select what images match their body types, anorexics will select body types that are more ample than their real body. There's a fundamental shift in perception, and that came across very clearly, as did the way that food becomes the most important relationship in Lisa's life.

"Hunger" comes out in October, and I thought it was worth reading, whether or not you are interested in eating disorders. And for those of you who are looking for books for your own teens, be aware that there are references to Lisa fooling around with her boyfriend. It doesn't get into any details, but from the character's perspective, it is a given that a girl with a boyfriend will be sexually active. I found it interesting that Lisa's self-perception changed when she and James went from being best friends to dating.

Thanks to Around the World Blog Tours for the opportunity to read this ARC. Now I'm off to the post office to send it to the next person! And for anybody that noticed I didn't get this review up yesterday, my apologies. I've come down with a cold.


  1. Wow--what a unique concept. I'll definitely add that to my list of books to read.

  2. This sounds like something I'd really like. Thanks for the review.

  3. Hi Connie- Thanks for stopping by! I hope you like it.

    Elana- enjoy! Thanks!