Rage is the second book in Kessler's Horsemen of the Apocalypse series. I actually haven't read the first in the series, Hunger, but I plan to rush out and get it as soon as possible. The premise of this young adult series revolves around the four horsemen--Death, Famine, War and Pestilence. These beings work to purge the world--a type of supernatural catharsis.
Missy Miller is a troubled sixteen year old in the midst of personal crisis. Her ex-boyfriend told the whole school about her scars. Missy is a cutter. Her love affair with the razor blade is the only way she has of coping with the relentless teasing and bullying at school. When events at a party end in a humiliating trauma, Missy rushed home to the comfort of her blade. Unfortunately, this time she goes too far and nicks an artery. While uncontrollably bleeding out in her bedroom, she is paid a visit by the Horseman of Death, a man who bares an uncanny resemblance to a certain dead alternative rock star. Death gives her a choice. Die...or open a box and accept the gift which he presents. In accepting the gift, Missy becomes the embodiment of War.
The rawness of this book captivated me. The world of cutters is foreign to me, but Kessler's description of the emotional release brought about by the blade opened my eyes. I think teens who know cutters or are cutters themselves will be able to achieve a level of understanding and healing from reading this book. The emotional prose cuts you down to the quick before it builds to a triumphant release.
Overall, I give Rage...
Plot - 4 1/2 bookmarks
Character Development - 5 bookmarks
Supernatural Elements/World Building - 4 1/2 bookmarks
Dream Cast (otherwise known as who I pictured while reading) - Gia Mantegna (Missy), Hunter Parrish (Adam), Kurt Cobain (Death), Christian Serratos (Famine), Christopher Heyerdahl (Pestilence)