I just wanted to make a quick blurb about how important I think this book is.
The story is about an anorexic teenager named Lisabeth who, on the brink of suicide, is interrupted by Death and summoned to be Famine, of Four Horsemen fame. Kessler has written an empathetic and authentic portrait of the psyche of those suffering from anorexia. She also addresses the mistakes that friends and family members can make while trying to help people like Lisabeth, and she accomplishes both of these difficult tasks without coming off as preachy or sappy. While Kessler doesn't shy away from harsh descriptions of starvation and bulimia, Lisabeth has a dark sense of humor and a witty sort of nihilism about her, which lessens the "emotional porn factor", as I call overly weepy and dramatic fiction (thanks, Russell Brand). By the time I finished, I was certain that this is a book every teenager should read.
What makes this book stand out to me is the interpretation of the Four Horsemen
(extremely original) and especially the ending (don't worry, no spoilers here). I'll admit I was at first wary of potential worn-out Christian tropes and a rushed and unrealistic ending. There was absolutely no need- the ending was excellent, and if there's any religious sort of undertone at all in this book, it is definitely Buddhist.
Overall, a beautiful and important piece of YA fiction in the vein of It's Kind Of A Funny Story that deserves much more attention.
From the back of the book: