Book Review: Hunger by Jackie Morse Kessler

As Lisabeth drifts in and out of a sort of hunger-induced fantasy, she struggles to balance the stresses of her every day life with the pressure of her new post. She's been appointed "Famine" and is one of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. This is a huge honor, but a huge task as well. Does Lisabeth have the strength to soldier on?

So, this book is not what I expected. Which is not necessarily a bad thing. The main character has a serious eating disorder and is in complete denial about the reality of her shrinking body. She is skeletal. I'm not trying to give away anything that happens in this book, but I think it's good to know in case it could be of help to a teen who's struggling with an eating disorder.

This book is hard to read. Not just because of the main character's anorexia, but because of her fantasy. I wanted to shake her and wake her up and help her. Every time she slipped into her role as Famine, I felt her slipping away from me. It was scary.

This is a hugely unique and creative story. It was not what I was expecting, but I was definitely moved by Lisabeth's journey.  It is short and quick but so, so powerful. I am interested to read Jackie Morse Kessler's next book, Rage, which is due in the first part of 2011.