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Friday, April 8, 2011


Title: Rage

Author: Jackie Morse Kessler

Genre: YA Fiction/Fantasy

Publisher: Harcourt Graphia

Paperback: 228 pgs.

Stand Alone or Series: Horsemen of the Apocalypse, Book 2

Free ARC

Missy didn’t mean to cut so deep. But after the party where she was humiliated in front of practically everyone in school, who could blame her for wanting some comfort? Sure, most people don’t find comfort in the touch of a razor blade, but Missy always was . . . different.

That’s why she was chosen to become one of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse: War. Now Missy wields a new kind of blade—a big, brutal sword that can cut down anyone and anything in her path. But it’s with this weapon in her hand that Missy learns something that could help her triumph over her own pain: control.

A unique approach to the topic of self-mutilation, Rage is the story of a young woman who discovers her own power and refuses to be defeated by the world.


This book is the 2nd in a Series and you can find out more about the first book Hunger if you would like.

I actually really like/disliked this book. Here is another book review on this book that is pretty spot on how I felt. As a social worker who works on a daily basis with adolescents who self harm and specifically cut I thought that Kessler did a great job of introducing the idea. I was pulled into the story and emotionally sympathetic about Melissa and her trauma.

I couldn't get into the fantasy parts—in fact, to me, they were more a distraction than anything. I kept wanting to get back to Melissa and her life and how she was going to deal with her self harming. I didn't buy the struggle Melissa had with War. It was sudden and dramatic and although she came out the conqueror I didn't believe. To me Melissa had so much hate she would have loved to destroy everyone and everything. Given more time, a little more interaction with her family, sister, coach, etc I could have bought that she really loved people and life. It was too quick for me and not enough background on the 4 Horsemen of the Apocalypse.

I picked up this book a bunch of times and just felt disconnected and disjointed and found myself trudging through to get to the end. I really loved the character of Melissa, her interactions with her family, and how Kessler does an amazing job of helping us to feel her pain. The cutting scenes are so real it's as if we are there in her room. Those scenes steal the show for me.

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