“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?
A wildly original approach to the issue of eating disorders, Hunger is about the struggle to find balance in a world of extremes, and uses fantastic tropes to explore a difficult topic that touches the lives of many teens.
Reading level: Young Adult
Paperback: 180 pages
Publisher: Graphia; Original edition (October 18, 2010)
After reading the summary for Hunger, I was intrigued and fascinated with the idea of using the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse as a way to get the message out about eating disorders.
It was amazing how the moral of the story didn’t get lost in the supernatural mix. In a society where models are way more tiny than any healthy person could possibly be, I find this story to be a fitting read for our teenagers. So much can be learned from Lisabeth Lewis. Lisabeth is the girl next door, our best friend, our roommate.
Lisabeth Lewis is an amazing young woman who has an issue with herself. She is anorexic and finds herself in a position she couldn’t have imagined would be possible, she is Famine the Black Rider. She is also plagued my her “Thin Voice” a voice that tells her she is fat, ugly, and not good enough. Her weakness becomes her strength as she turns her back on the so called “Thin Voice.” Armed with Famine’s scales, she sets out into the world to learn her job. Becoming Famine saves her. It allows her to see herself, her friend, and her life like she never has before. She uses the scales to be her true self and save others, and by saving others, she saves herself.
Lisabeth’s adventure begins when she meets up with Death, and you’ve never seen Death like this before! He is a guitar-wielding philosopher with a very laid-back style. Truly, not what I would picture when thinking of the grim reaper. The pale rider was an interesting addition to the story, providing some comic relief with so much seriousness in the plot.
The rest of the horsemen were exactly what I had pictured. War was a harda** and seemed to be more than just drunk with power. Pestilence was shockingly gross but, strangely enough, was there to help Famine, even though War was not.
Overall, I found this to be a fulfilling read that covered a serious topic in our society but wasn’t exactly smothered with reality. Jackie Morse Kessler has stepped outside the box in creating this outstanding line-up of characters and a plot that reaches out and grabs you, pulling you into the world of Famine and the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. It was easy to relate to Lisabeth as herself and as Famine. The emotional ride was an experience to say the least. I look forward to reading the rest of the series.