Jackie Morse Kessler's YA first YA novel HUNGER is out this week.
The product description:
"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 fight 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.
In the Void City series, we really don't explore the dangers of a human with an eating disorder. Eric makes a throw away line about "never turn a vampire with an eating disorder" and that's about it. Greta's eating disorder does make her very scary, but when it comes right down to it, her problems make her more of a danger to others than to herself. In a way, she's empowered by her human flaws.
In Hunger, despite the paranormal element, Lisa's problem seems all too real and I found the resolution to that portion of the novel to be particularly satisfying. That's not to say that you won't find action, adventure, and some genuine sweetness, but anorexia is almost like it's own character. "The thin voice" in Lisa's head and is more frightening than any of the other horsemen of the apocalypse with whom Lisa deals.
A portion of the proceeds go to the National Eating Disorders Association, so go ahead and buy your copy. Not only is it a good read, but it's for a great cause.