Jackie Morse Kessler, HMH/Graphia, $8.99 trade paper (180p) ISBN 978-0-547-34124-8
In adult author Kessler's YA debut, first in a planned series, 17-year-old Lisa, who makes a half-hearted suicide attempt and is in denial about her anorexia, learns that she has been appointed to the role of "Famine," one of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. When Death, unsubtly depicted as Kurt Cobain, gives her the choice between succumbing to him or joining him, Lisa climbs on her black horse and gallops through the night skies, experiencing world hunger in its literal and metaphorical forms. During alternate scenes, she fights with her boyfriend and counts calories with her bulimic friend. Kessler realistically conveys the vicious nature of the girls' eating disorders, providing graphic depictions of their binging, purging, and starvation. However, the paranormal concept often gallops ahead of its supporting framework, muddling rather than addressing the psychological complexity of Lisa's illness. Perceptive readers will recognize that Lisa's most convincing (and painful) moments—her punishing internal monologue as she debates whether to eat a cheese fry and her resentment toward those who try to help her—are solidly anchored in the real world. Ages 12–up. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 11/22/2010
Release date: 10/01/2010
Genre: Children's
Prebound-Glued - 177 pages - 978-0-606-24719-1
Open Ebook - 180 pages - 978-0-547-50509-1
Show other formats
Discover what to read next