Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Hunger by Jackie Morse Kessler + Contest!

Published October 2010.

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 to 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 fight her own inner demons? (book back blurb)

I don't normally set expectations for things because if whatever it is doesn't live up to those expectations, you have no one to blame but yourself. So outside of reasonable expectations, I don't go into things like, say, most books, all ramped up for it thinking it was going to be something great. Usually. Unfortunately I did that with this one and, sad to say, my expectations were not lived up to. My bad.

I guess going in the concept I had brewing of an anorexic girl as Famine was beyond what this story provided. And that's okay, but I wasn't all that impressed with where it went. And I do think that's thinking outside of my original expectations of it.

Lisabeth is anorexic and for some unknown reason, Death knights her into Famine to spread the doom piece all over the world. Her outward battle with her new-found powers and the bitch that is War blatantly mirrors her inner struggle with her eating disorder. I get that. But I couldn't help but feel that the story was missing something.

The writing's pretty good and it helped that the story was short so I zipped through it pretty quickly. I liked how Lisa's problem is portrayed in conjunction with her friends that want to help her and her "friend" that enables her. It's a good dynamic. But tied in with being Famine, I just felt the connector was a little flat.

Lisa goes from petulant denial that's she's anorexic to fully accepting the fact that she's anorexic in only a matter of pages but there wasn't really any big revealing action that caused that epiphany. One moment it was denial and the next she was kind of going over herself as Famine and the word just sort of fell into her thoughts. And she was okay with that. I didn't like that.

But the lack of a 'why' was what really turned me away from the story. Death kind of latched onto this sick girl, gave her these crazy powers, all to teach her a lesson? Why? It just seems like such an infinitesimal thing for such an infinite being to do and the explanation for it wasn't anywhere near what I felt it needed to be in order to properly explain that why. At the end of the book Lisa isn't suffering from Special Child Syndrome. She doesn't differ from any of the other thousands of anorexics in the world. So why her? That question wasn't answered for me and that really bothers me.

Overall it's a decent book. I liked all of the characters and the situations they were put in but I just didn't feel it was strong enough to carry the premise. There were a few too many holes in a very interesting topic for me (the Horsemen) that were left unexplained. I honestly don't know if I'm going to venture further into the series as it comes out. If I don't have anything in my pile to read, maybe because I wasn't uninterested. But I'm not itching to grab the next book.

Contest Time!!!

Want my ARC? All you have to do is fill out the form below for your chance to win. Open to US residents 13 years of age and older only. One entry per person per email address. Duplicate entries will be deleted. Contest ends February 15th at midnight, EST.


La Coccinelle said...

Nice review. I felt much the same way. Maybe it was just that the book was too short to really flesh out any of the characters or the issues properly.

Orchid said...

Thanks for the honest review. I haven't read Hunger yet, but I'm still interested in giving it a shot. ^_^

Vidisha said...

Great giveaway!!

GFC follower

Marie said...

I liked the idea of the book but I wish there was more build to her over coming her problem. It did feel like something was missing.

Great review!


Giveaway looks great!!!!

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