3.86 (1,893 ratings by Goodreads)

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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.
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Product details

  • 12-17
  • Paperback | 240 pages
  • 137 x 208 x 18mm | 181g
  • Houghton Mifflin
  • Boston, United States
  • English
  • 0547445288
  • 9780547445281
  • 274,408

Review quote


An ALA Quick Pick for Reluctant Young Adult Readers

* "Realistic and compassionate. . . . the writing is never preachy, and it allows an interesting exploration of both intensely personal food issues and global ones."
--SLJ, starred review

"Jackie Morse Kessler does a fine job of taking a critical issue that has been explored in writing no small number of times, and putting a new and thought provoking spin on it. . . . Sheer genius."
--New York Journal of Books

"Powerful, fast-paced, hilarious, heart-wrenching. . . . This story will grab the reader and never let go."
--Romantic Times Magazine

"Hunger is not just a good book. It is a great book. It is funny and sad, brilliant and tragic, and most of all, it speaks truth. . . . I adore it."
--Rachel Caine, author of The Morganville Vampires

"A fantastic and gripping read that never shies from its difficult subject matter. . . . This book is a knockout."
--A.S. King, author of Everybody See the Ants

Praise for Rage:

A Junior Library Guild Selection

An ALA Quick Pick for Reluctant Young Adult Readers

"Rage is raw and real, a truly dark, honest look at self-harm and the teenage psyche. Kessler left me breathless."
--Heather Brewer, author of the New York Times bestselling series, The Chronicles of Vladimir Tod

"The elegant mix of dark humor, brilliantly developed characters, and just enough moral threads to lead readers to make their own conclusions is impressive."

"Raw, visceral, pulling no punches, this story strikes home like a razor blade. It's unforgettable, heart wrenching, and enlightening."
--Realms of Fantasy

Praise for Loss:

"Kessler blends fantasy, history, humor, and hard reality into a gripping tale."

"Jackie Morse Kessler has a keen eye for capturing the awkward uncertainty of adolescence, which she wraps quite deliciously in a coating of mystery, fright, and suspense. Loss is a treat for readers, a one-of-a-kind, twisty turny carnival ride. . . . I loved this book."
--Andrew Smith, author of The Marbury Lens

"Whip-smart and elegant."
--Saundra Mitchell, author of The Vespertine

"Gritty and raw with powerful truths. An addictive read."
--Sophie Jordan New York Times bestselling author of Firelight

Praise for Breath

A Junior Library Guild Selection

"A riveting read."
--Kirkus Reviews

"The series is a strong and unique attempt to encourage troubled teens to consider their options and accept the help they need, while exposing all readers to the pain their friends may be experiencing."
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Rating details

1,893 ratings
3.86 out of 5 stars
5 31% (593)
4 35% (672)
3 24% (447)
2 7% (141)
1 2% (40)

Our customer reviews

When I heard a young librarian "book talk" Kessler's HUNGER, I took a chance and ordered both HUNGER and her second novel for teens, called RAGE. I'm happy that I did. HUNGER grabbed my attention with its unique combination of anorexia and the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. It was a powerful book that didn't talk down to teens about a serious issue. RAGE has the same Horsemen of the Apocalypse connection, but its focus is on the subject of cutting. This is another topic that mainly involves teens and young adults. The real truth behind the frightening behavior will no doubt remain a secret to adults, which makes it even more important to let teens know others share their pain. Missy is dealing with multiple issues - a fairly new breakup with her boyfriend, Adam; taunts from classmates about her choice of wardrobe; a younger sister who recently became an annoying freshman; and parents who say they understand but still pile on the pressure. Relief from all the stress is hidden away in a lockbox in Missy's closet, and the evidence of that relief can be found in the form of scars on her arms, stomach, and inner thighs. Missy cuts herself with a razor blade. Just as HUNGER begins, an early scene in RAGE details the visit of a deliveryman arriving at Missy's front door with a mysterious package. She doesn't understand the veiled message from the deliveryman and really doesn't have time to waste, so she grabs the package, slams the door in his face, and carries the box to her room, where she shoves it on the top shelf of her closet. She receives another visit from the deliveryman she comes to know as Death on the night of Kevin's party. When Adam approaches her at the party and says he wants to make things right with her again, Missy falls for his ploy and ends up being humiliated in front of everyone at the party. The only thing she can think about is running home to her lockbox and the release she can gain from the silver blade. Unknown to her family and friends, Missy hides in her room and cuts and cuts until, fingers slippery with blood, she cuts too deeply and she realizes her life might be over. That's when she remembers the package stashed on the shelf above her. When she is finally able to knock it from its perch and open it, she finds out the true purpose Death has for her. Becoming one of the Four Horsemen, "War," gives Missy a glimpse of the power she has hidden within. As she witnesses the tragedies of the world while on the back of her blood-red steed, she learns she has the power to defeat and deal with the stress and pressure that make her miserable. Both RAGE and HUNGER by Jackie Morse Kessler are worth adding to your collection. Her unusual approach to problems faced by teens today might be just the answer for readers dealing with similar issues.show more
by TeensReadToo
This is a gritty and dark novel, but it drew me in and didn't let go. Missy was in a lot of pain, and she deals with pain and anger by cutting (self-mutilation). It gets pretty graphic, but it is an accurate representation of what a cutter feels and why. Missy has a pretty good friend that tries to be there for her, her sister and her fight, but you can see her sister cares, and her parents are clueless and works a lot but they at least try to have some family time. Her ex-boyfriend found out about her cutting and made her life hard for her, and this leads to some depression. If you read Hunger, you met the other horsemen, and I was a fan of Death then, but this book makes him even more favorable in my eyes. He is funny, sauve, dark and charming. Him and Missy- who is charged with the seat of War, work closely together and they have a dynamic relationship. There is a big struggle with Missy about control, what she is supposed to do with her charge. She is able to find some sort of balance, and although the ending isn't really a fairy tale ending- I thought that it was perfect for the storyline. It gave hope, but not some unrealistic over-night cure and acceptance.show more
by Brandi Kosiner (Brandi Breathes Books)
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