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Lisabeth is a teen like many others. She is daddy's little princess, can never please her mother, is depressed and thinks she's fat. Contemplating suicide, she grabs a bottle of her mothers anti-depressants. After popping only 3 she is visited by a delivery man who hands her a set of scales and pronounces her Famine.
Obsessed with her weight, her daily routine consists of stripping down to weigh and constantly counting every calorie she ingests. Her best friend calls her anorexic and her boyfriend is angry because she doesn't eat. Lisabeth is upset and at risk for loosing them both. Her mother doesn't understand her and her father aware that something is wrong but walks on eggshells.
With the sudden appearance of a mystery horse and a visit by death, Lisabeth is given a choice to either finish what she started with the pills or take on the responsibilities of Famine. With that, she must learn to find balance with her new job and for herself, all the while feeling as though it were all a dream.
After viewing life through the eyes of Famine in a third world country and what it means to be truly hungry, Lisabeth discovers its power and that she can help take away the pain and agony of hunger. She begins to feel confident and accepts that she is anorexic and needs help. Admitting to her father all the things she is feeling she welcomes the help of a clinic and arrives home after 49 days. Lisabeth chose to live and returns the scales to death.
Kessler does a great job of introducing readers to the character Lisabeth. Readers can relate to and understand the thought process of someone with an eating disorder and how it could be overcome with the help of family and friends. Kessler was not real clear on the role of the four horseman and how they relate to anorexia. For a young adult reader more clarification would have been nice.
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