Sunday, August 17, 2014


Title: Hungry
Author: H.A. Swain
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Publication Date: June 3, 2014
Genres: YA, Sci-fi, Dystopian
Reviewed by: Ellen Fritz
Ellen’s rating: 3/5


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.


Imagine a world where food is no longer available, a synthetic cocktail replaces all nourishment and one gets inoculated to suppress the desire to eat. Add to this that people talk to one another through their electronic gizmos rather than through direct face to face contact, and dystopian society is the word that comes to mind.

Unfortunately, although all seem fine on the surface, the discontent of those for whom the inoculations and genetic tampering do not work all the time, as well as a few resistance groups, lurk just under the surface, waiting for the opportunity to start a rebellion.

The world building in this book is remarkably imaginative. The depiction of underground organizations like the Dynasaurs and Analogs, as well as how unrest starts and escalates, is highly realistic.

I, however, found it difficult to connect with the characters. The main character, Thalia Apple, is torn between loyalty towards her parents and love for Basil. Basil, unfortunately, is in so many minds about so many things, I ended up thinking of him as bipolar. No wonder then that the attempt he and Thalia makes at romance isn't exactly successful at first.

There is no shortage of action and suspense in this novel. Apart from a rapidly developing plot and the main characters' romantic interludes, this book accurately portrays the possible downfall of one corrupt power just to let in a new social order that could be an even worse alternative.

From a synthetically oppressed society through a mostly destroyed world, to a nature-worshipping cult; this book takes the reader on a suspense-laden, highly exciting, and often emotional journey. (Ellen Fritz)

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1 comment:

Jennifer Lane said...

Wow, that cover is stunning. I also like the premise. Hunger for food is often related to hunger for life, so I wonder if the characters are pretty numb most of the time. Too bad you didn't connect with the characters. Great review!