Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Horseman the Second


Written by: Jackie Morse Kessler

Released: April 18, 2011 by Harcourt Graphia

Summary: Missy didn’t mean to cut so deep. But after the party where she was humiliated in front of practically everyone in school, who could blame her for wanting some comfort? Sure, most people don’t find comfort in the touch of a razor blade, but Missy always was . . . different.

That’s why she was chosen to become one of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse: War. Now Missy wields a different kind of blade—a big, brutal sword that can cut down anyone and anything in her path. But it’s with this weapon in her hand that Missy learns something that could help her triumph over her own pain: control.

A unique approach to the topic of self-mutilation, Rage is the story of a young woman who discovers her own power and refuses to be defeated by the world.

As I write this review (which is several days before it will be posted) I have only just finished reading this book and I’m still in shock. Rage was just as good if not even better than Kessler’s debit Hunger and the subject matter still has my head reeling.

This is a fantastic novel and those words can’t even describe how wonderful it is. Completely setting aside the base subject matter of cutting, how true it is to emotion is not only phenomenal but it’s breathtaking and hard to find in novels period, let alone young adult. Missy, like Claire before her, is obviously a broken girl who, try as she might, can only give off the appearance of being whole. Her routine to put on her battle gear and her war paint every morning not only mirror War but also show just how fragile her actual armour is in the face of her every day battles.

The things that Missy goes through in this book are events which I wish I never have to deal with. I’ve never been one to cut but I have known people who did and yet I can’t imagine torturing a person who did and put them through what Missy endured. Yet she was such a strong character even during her moments of weakness; I couldn’t help but admire her greatly for that.

I rather loved the ending to this book purely because it felt as though it’s the way that it would have ended. It was just so realistic and, in some ways, sweet. I liked it better than the ending for Hunger, though not by much.

The writing in this book is such that can take a taboo subject like cutting – a subject that so many don’t understand – and not only portray it in this heartbreaking spotlight, but relate it to something like the horsemen of the apocalypse in order to reach more people with the supernatural/fantasy/sci-fi aspect. I have to give major props to Kessler for writing this novel and bringing the subject to more people. Hopefully it’ll help with understanding when a person decides to cut themselves.

When this novel is released, not only am I going to be purchasing a copy for myself, but I’m going to buy it for friends of mine too partially because I want to own my own copy and pass it along to as many people as possible, but also because a percentage of the proceeds is going to go to To Write Love On Her Arms; a non-profit organization designed to help those who struggle with self-injury, depression, addiction, and suicide.

So, of course, from everything that I’ve said above, it’s no secret that this novel is a complete 10/10. If you are able to, read it, and if you haven’t already, check out Hunger which is on shelves now.

I received a copy of Rage via netGalley. Thank you to them and Harcourt Graphia for the opportunity to read this advanced copy.


Dazzling Mage said...

The subject matter is shocking, but I really admire her for writing about it. I can't wait to read her books. Great review.

A Story Untold said...

Excellent review!!!I absolutely loved Hunger but I think I like Rage a little bit more!