Hunger is a brief yet substantial novel. It’s an original story – integrating fantasy with the topic of eating disorders. Hunger tells the story of Lisabeth (Lisa) who is battling anorexia. Her friends and family are starting to notice and confronting her about it. Lisa is spiraling out of control and even contemplates taking her own life. Suddenly Death appears (assuming the appearance of Kurt Cobain) and gives her the role of Famine, one of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse.At home Lisa battles the Thin Voice who plagues her with negative thoughts and calorie counts. In contrast, as Famine, she rides her black horse Midnight and confronts real hunger. She spends a little bit of time with the other Horsemen of the Apocalypse: War, Pestilence, and Death. Mainly she is on her own figuring out how to carry out her role as Famine. Her accessory is ironically a set of old-fashioned scales that she carries along with her on her journeys.Lisa’s struggle with anorexia is presented in a very realistic way, complete with self-loathing, over-exercising, and carefully calculated food portions. Lisa has a bulimic partner in crime, Tammy, who enables her habit. Their scenes are disturbing and hard to read at times.The book shined for me with the fantasy scenes of Lisa as Famine. It was fascinating to see her thrust into this world and how she learns to use her powers on her own. I hoped she would have a little bit more help with her role, but perhaps that was intended to help her heal and grow.Hunger is a well-written, fast-paced and powerful read. I was surprised by the ending, and am curious to see what happens in the sequel. Rage is due out in April 2011.