Author: Jackie Morse Kessler
Series: 1st in Horseman of the Apocalypse series
Published: October 10, 2010 by Harcourt Graphia
Source: ARC from We Love YA Tours
Description: Lisabeth Lewis is no stranger to starvation. Her life revolves around counting calories, constant exercise, denying herself even the strongest cravings. Lisa is in a constant battle with hunger for control over her body. When, in a moment of desperation, she almost gives up that control completely, she is visited by a wisecracking messenger who turns out to be Death. He offers Lisa a rare opportunity: to become one of the four horsemen of the apocalypse—Famine. As Famine, Lisa travels the world on her black steed, visiting parts of the world where hunger is a painful part of everyday life. She’s horrified to see her own power destroy crops and turn food to dust. But when she finds a way to harness her power as Famine and use it for nourishment rather than deprivation, Lisa finally gains the courage to face her own problem.
I Give This ...
I have to admit this book was completely original. I loved how the author has taken a biblical reference and made it into something modern. All 4 of the horseman are included in this book, but we only get a real look at Famine (although Death plays a pretty good role as well). By the end of the book I truly wondered if Death choose Lizabeth as Famine because she was anorexic. It was a way to help her see past her problem and see people who were really hunger. I think it helped put her eating disorder in perspective. I liked how the supernatural played into this story. Horses that no one can see, traveling huge distance in the blink of an eye, and the awesome power to create hunger. I thought it was impressive that Lizabeth managed to find away to use her power for good. In turn I thought this created an awesome showdown with War. I was impressed with how the author handled the delicate issue of an easting disorder. It showed Lizabeth vulnerable. I liked how the author was able to show that even those who you think are total control of themselves are likely putting on a show. And sometimes, the ones who care about you the most are saying something you don't want to hear.
So, why the 3 butterflies? There's two main reasons. First, I really think the book could have been longer. At under 200 pages, I just wasn't satisfied. I know everything ties up nicely, but I wanted more. I think the author could have expanded on some things. Second, I hate nitpicking, but when something still stands out in my mind 2 weeks after I read the book, I have to mention it. I dislike talk about bodily functions. There's a passage describing Lizabeth's struggle to have bowel movement. Now maybe this is a real problem with eating disorders, but I just didn't like the way the author presented it. And, it didn't add to the story. There's also a part with a very detailed description of Lizabeth's friend and her bulimia. While, I do think this helped show something important to Lizabeth, it was just really hard to read (I think this might be partly due to my own aversion to throw-up).
I will be continuing this series though. The author has something to offer her and I want to see were the series goes!