Monday, September 6, 2010
Book Chop: Hunger
Author: Jackie Morse Kessler
Genre: YA paranormal
Verdict: Unique, liked it.
I can't remember where I heard of this book. I think it was an Amazon recommendation. It's not out yet, but I was able to pick up a digital copy on my birthday for an advanced review.
Oh, and a notice to the whatever-your-initials-are-government-agency-who-wants-to-know-where-I-get-my-books, go pound sand. It's not any of your business where I get them, or under what conditions, or how it affects my opinion. Free speech, people. All you need to know is that it was legal. Smiley face.
Sorry, I'm just in a mood. Calming down now.
Anyway, the book is about Lisabeth Lewis, a girl who struggles with anorexia. She is assigned the mantle of Famine, one of the four horsemen of the Apocalypse (Biblical.) Interesting concept--I wanted to see how it played out, and for the most part I was satisfied. (I gave it three stars on Goodreads.)
PROS about the book:
--Quick, crisp writing. It's less than 180 pages and reads fast. No dwelling, no over-descriptive passages. Hit-it-and-quit-it narrative, third person.
--Portrays eating disorders in such a way that you see how people justify them, making them all the more dangerous. It doesn't present them in a positive light. In fact it felt a lot worse hearing about them from the mind of someone who thinks they're acceptable. I think that message will hit home.
--It was a message-book without being a preachy-book.
--Death had a fantastic sense of humor. I think it's cool that a lot of people assign that to him. Mark Zusak did it with The Book Thief, another one I read this year.
--I think this is the first time I've read a book with an obnoxiously self-deprecating female protagonist that didn't try to pretend its female protagonist wasn't self-deprecatingly obnoxious. (A little chiasmus there for ya.)
--The ending resolution was very redeeming. I kept asking myself "How is this going to have a productive ending?" But Kessler delivered on it. She didn't just give you a cool concept and then fail at the end. This book is supposed to teach something to people with eating disorders, and she doesn't offer any quick fixes. Fixing an eating disorder is necessary and hard.
--The author's afterword was sincere and touching, showing Kessler's authority on the issue, given that she had an eating disorder in the past. It was by far the most meaningful part of the whole package.
--A portion of the proceeds of the book go to help people with eating disorders. So that's nice.
CONS of the book:
--Some of the scenes were a little too informative, like when Lisa went to the bathroom. That's one of those things where I know what happens, I don't need it written out for me.
--Profanity was few and far between, but the F-bomb made an appearance.
--It's implied that Lisa's best friend, who is bulimic, has the hots for Lisa's dad. Um, sick.
I think there were a few more things, but none of it is coming to me now. I'll probably follow up with these books, since it's a series and I think there are three more coming out. If the cons don't turn you away or bother you, give it a shot.