Source: ARC received from Thomas Allen and Sons (Distributor of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt in Canada) in exchange for an honest review.
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Release Date: April 8, 2011
After reading Hunger, I was anxious and excited to read Rage, and I wasn't disappointed! Hunger focused on Famine one of the Horsemen of the Apocalypse, but this time, in Rage, it was War's story. While the main character was different, I was pleased with the fact that Rage still carried the same beautiful writing style that I loved in Hunger. While Hunger had characters with eating disorders, Rage centers around the new War, who happens to be a cutter. I absolutely love that Jackie managed to write a story that broaches such a serious topic as cutting without it coming off as preachy or self-righteous. She manages to approach the subject in a way where the reader can understand what the main character Melissa, or Missy, is going through.
Missy was a character that I could really empathize with, her methods for dealing with things were definitely different than my own, but I could relate to the feeling of being overwhelmed by life in general. Being overwhelmed and stressed out is something that I think most people can relate to because let's face it, we all get stressed out sometimes, and I think that while most of us choose not to use Missy's self-destructive method of coping, we can understand how it could happen. As a teenager, Missy is at the age where pretty much everything gets dramatized and seems like it's the end of the world. I'll be honest, in Rage, Missy faces some pretty intense situations, and I'm not sure how I would cope with it myself. I'd probably cry, but for Missy, cutting is how she releases all of the overwhelming emotions inside of her, she uses the physical pain to cope with the emotional pain and turmoil inside of her. I've always kind of seen this as an irrational way of dealing with emotions because hurting yourself just causes more pain and also guilt, which in turn leads to even more self-inflicted pain. It's a vicious cycle, and the thing that endeared me most about Missy was the fact that she knew this. She was completely aware of the fact that what she was doing was unhealthy and extremely harmful to herself, and she wanted to stop.Whereas, in Hunger, the main character Lisa didn't actually believe she had a problem, so while the characters both had struggles, they handled and understood them in very different ways.
Once again, I absolutely loved Death in Rage. I don't want to spoil anything about Death in this one, but if you've read Hunger, you probably already have an inkling about Death and War in this one. I thought that he was just as hilarious as he was in Hunger, and he totally ruled the one-liner department. The horse also totally rocked it in this one! This time it was the red horse, who is the warhorse out of them all, and I loved the little parts where we got to see the horse's narrative. I'm not sure why, but I absolutely love the horses' points of view in these books, they never fail to make me smile, even if the horse is thinking totally violent thoughts that should appall me. :P
Finally, I loved the progression of this story. It was incredibly realistic, and very believable. Melissa struggles with her problem and it doesn't just go away. She works at it, and she slowly learns to keep her anger and emotions under control. She doesn't let her anger take control of her, and because of that she finds her balance. It's a precarious balance, but it's one that she tries to maintain.
I thought that Jackie did a wonderful job with this story. Missy was someone who was so different from myself, yet I was able to connect with her and I was also able to connect with her problems. Rage was a beautiful and wonderful sequel to Hunger, and I cannot wait to read the upcoming books in this series. Over at Tynga's reviews I read an interview she had with Jackie (HERE), where Jackie mentions the next two books in the series, so I thought I would share some of that info with you all. The next book with be Pestilence's, called LOSS, and the fourth book will be Death's, called BREATH. I also just want to say that Jackie donates proceeds from her books to certain causes. With Hunger donations go to the National Eating Disorders Association and with Rage donations go to the organization To Write Love On Her Arms. I just thought that was a wonderful way to donate to some great causes, while also helping with awareness through her stories.
If you like to read emotional stories, written with beautiful language, then you should definitely check this series out! It honestly wouldn't even matter if you read them out of order, so if you want to start with Rage, I say go right ahead! Also, if things like self-inflicted harm bother you, you might not want to read this book, just giving you a fair heads up and warning, although personally, I think it's done in a way where it's not overly graphic or disturbing, but to each their own, right? :)
This book comes out in just over a week, will you be getting a copy?
What are your thoughts on Rage? Or on Hunger if you feel like talking about that one?
Any other comments/thoughts/things you'd like to share? I'd love to hear them. :)