Monday, April 4, 2011

HUNGER by Jackie Morse Kessler

A teenager is on the brink.  She has swallowed several antidepressants and has the remaining pills clutched in her hand.  Her decision to end it all is interrupted by the delivery of a mysterious package.  The package contains a set of scales and an invitation to join the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse as the rider known as Famine.

Lisabeth "Lisa" isn't sure what to make of the black steed hanging around the backyard munching on her mother's flowering shrubs.  How does disappearing into the night to faraway places where people are suffering fit into Lisa's own chaotic life?  

Fighting her own personal battle with anorexia, Lisa must deal with what she has come to know as the Thin voice constantly echoing in her mind whenever food is near.  As she begins to face the reality that friends and family suspect her condition, she uses her Famine persona to attempt to regain control of her physical and emotional balance.

Author Jackie Morse Kessler pairs the shame and pain of aneroxia with the unlikely plot partner of the Four Horsemen.  The story that results from this pairing packs a punch.  Readers will experience the emotional upheaval of a dangerous condition without the "preachy" tone of most similar novels about anorexia.  HUNGER is an excellent addition to any teen collection.  Kessler has a second novel, RAGE, that explores another sensitive topic - cutting.

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