Length: 383 pages
Author: H.A. Swain
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
In the future, food is no longer necessary—until Thalia begins to feel something unfamiliar and uncomfortable. She’s hungry.
In Thalia’s world, there is no need for food—everyone takes medication (or “inocs”) to ward off hunger. It should mean there is no more famine, no more obesity, no more food-related illnesses, and no more war. At least that's what her parents, who work for the company that developed the inocs, say. But when Thalia meets a boy who is part of an underground movement to bring food back, she realizes that most people live a life much different from hers. Worse, Thalia is starting to feel hunger, and so is he—the inocs aren’t working. Together they set out to find the only thing that will quell their hunger: real food.
H. A. Swain delivers an adventure that is both epic and fast-paced. Get ready to be Hungry.
Hungry as a story is a case of excellent premise meets haphazard execution.
Thalia Apple is a wonderful protagonist. She has just the right amounts of spirit, intelligence, and naivety to make the make her thought and actions believable.
Likewise, her male counterpart in this food based adventure also reads as true to his role as the rebel from the wrong side of the tracks.
What does not ring true however, is everything else that authoress H. A. Swain does to the plot and characters of this most promising read.
Cases In Point
1. Giving all of your characters food based names.
2. The convenience factor (the way that help just happens to be at the ready in EVERY crisis)
3. The ease with which teens manage to elude adults and tech.
4. The choppiness of the sections of the story.
5. The vague and open ending.
This is a book that one finds oneself wanting to like, but because of the reasons listed above, is never quite able to fully embrace.
It would be unfair to rate this book any lower than a 3, given the fact that the characters are well written and there are moments of brilliance within the plot.
Taken as is, this is a book that would appeal to younger teens.
The reason for this being that while the message contained within the story is very complex, the delivery is more suited to those in the 13 to 15 age range.
It is my sincerest hope that this author sees fit to expound on the world an characters found here. This is a wonderful world and should be revisited after all of the negatives of the first book have been examined.