Genre: YA Fantasy
Page Count: 180
Publication Date: Oct. 18, 2010
Why I read it: netgalley review copy
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 battle her own inner demons?
This book felt pretty depressing all the way through. I guess, given the subject matter, that's not surprising. It's just that reading so much about the mind of an anorexic girl isn't my favorite thing. Probably not anyone's favorite thing, but that's beside the point. The whole book just made me feel sick and uneasy.
The reasons behind things were also pretty unclear. It was never really clear why Lisa was chosen as famine, what she was supposed to do, what her requirements were, etc. Could be because the book was only 180 pages, which makes it hard to pack in a lot of detail. Especially when the focus is on graphic details of a girl who won't eat, and everything going on with her body (including details about a bout of constipation). I was also subjected to a very, very detailed scene of Lisa bulimic friend in the bathroom. I'll leave any more of that to your imagination, which I wish the author would have done.
I understand the author suffered from these diseases at one point in her life, and maybe her goal was to help girls who are also suffering. Maybe it will inspire them to get help. I don't know, because I'm not one of those girls, and have never been close. So it's really hard for me to say if the author accomplished what she was going for or not. I almost feel like I'm not the target audience for this one.
There were a few scenes that I thought were pretty cool, and I felt I could have liked the story if it were focused on those things instead of eating disorders. I can't really fault the book for not being what I would have liked. I just realize it wasn't the book for me.