Monday, May 23, 2011

Rage, by Jackie Morse Kessler- Review

I love this series.  
A totally unique YA concept (ie: no vampires or faeries, can you imagine?), but not just an excuse for a romance in the paranormal trappings, Jackie's Horsemen of the Apocalypse books deal with real issues in a fantastical way.  So I was elated when the folks at Houghton Mifflin sent me Rage (it was on the top of my very long to buy list).

Book two of Jackie's Horsemen of the Apocalypse series, Rage follows Missy becoming the new War.  Like Hunger before it, Jackie weaves the story of a teen suffering through severe issues (this time cutting), with the story of the bigger world issues of war.  And in the mix she gifts Missy with the self understanding to deal with her problems.

Jackie did a beautiful job of handling a difficult subject matter (once again) and this time without the benefit of her personal experiences.  To me that doubled how impressed I was with this book.  To be fair I don't have any experiences with cutting, either myself or through any of my friends, so I'm certainly not the ultimate judge, but the emotions and drama were certainly dead on for how cruel high school can be. 

Missy was a powerful character, and I completely fell in love with her.  Teen fiction being what it is, filled to the brim with romantic trysts and star crossed lovers, it's always refreshing to have a story focused on the growth of character (and not towards the end after a couple hundred pages of melting in some hunks arms).  She's thrown into one of the worst High school horror scenarios I can think of, and the fact that she gets through it but without the perfect ending, is probably my favorite part about the book.

Jackie talks in the acknowledgements about how she was unsure how to start this book, until she had to put down her 15 year old cat.  Sunday was the one year anniversary of when I had to put my beloved 17 year old cat, Topaz down.  Needless to say I emphasize completely, and the storyline of Missy's cat Grey girl broke my heart.  And oddly enough I think that is why Jackie's books resonate with me so strongly.  She takes subject matter I have no experience with (eating issues, self injury), and she makes them real in all the little life ways (like losing a cat) so that although Missy becomes War, I get her.

I can't recommend either of Jackie's books enough, they have depth and imagination mixed in such a meaningful way.  They're escapism with meaning.  And even better, part of the proceeds to both books go to excellent causes.

Rage, by Jackie Morse Kessler
Published by Graphia, April 2011
Buy Rage on Amazon
Buy Hunger on Amazon
Check out Jackie's website
Read my review for Hunger

1 comment:

  1. Great review I really agree with what you write, I have also reviewed Rage on my blog and it's an original and great story. Love her books!
    Thank you for sharing.

    Have a great day:-)