Thursday, July 17, 2014

Book Review: Hungry by H.A. Swain

The blurb as seen on Goodreads:
Release Date: June 3, 2014
Publisher: Feiwel & friends
384 Pages

In Thalia’s world, there is no more food and no need for food, as everyone takes medication to ward off hunger. Her parents both work for the company that developed the drugs society consumes to quell any food cravings, and they live a life of privilege as a result. When Thalia meets a boy who is part of an underground movement to bring food back, she realizes that there is an entire world outside her own. She also starts to feel hunger, and so does the boy. Are the meds no longer working?

Together, they set out to find the only thing that will quell their hunger: real food. It’s a journey that will change everything Thalia thought she knew. But can a "privy" like her ever truly be part of a revolution?

Imagine a future where there is no food and the only nutrition you get is through a synthetic substance called Synthamil. Your daily dose of Synthamil is carefully calibrated to your body’s needs and eliminates the need for actual food. So none of this:
Or this:

Nothing! Just a small liquid tube of nutrients. Sounds yummy…
In this future, all forms of food (seeds, animals, etc) have been eliminated or lost to wars. Scientists have found a way to sustain society without the constant struggle of people fighting for food and money. Or so they think. Enter Thalia Apple, daughter of one of the founding scientists of Syntamil. Thalia comes from a life of privilege, having both parents who work for the OneWorld Corporation, until one day her stomach growls.  She’s scared at first; constantly trying to hide whatever is happening to her body, but it just gets worse.

Then she meets Basil, another person like her who also feels hunger. Thalia is then thrown into a world of lies, deceit, confusion, and corporate domination as she struggles to find the truth in what’s going on in the world. 

Honestly, I’m on the fence about this one – not sure how I actually feel. On one hand, I loved the concept. It was original and interesting. And I liked Thalia – she questioned everything, she never followed people blindly instead she challenged them to further understand. I also liked Basil. He was adorable if not a little too easily swayed. Their relationship, although a little insta-lovish, was cute. I loved how they always looked out for each other. 

What was confusing for me was the world set up. I felt like there was so much thrown at us that it was hard to grasp and even harder for me to visualize, especially the Inner Loops. Everything was so hi-tech and scientific that I felt like I was in the Fifth Element.

The pacing was another thing that felt a little off to me. I lost some interest about halfway through and didn’t end up going back to the book for a few weeks. Parts felt extremely cultish and that whole idea freaks me out, so it may have just been me. 

And then there was the ending. At about 90% in, the book enters this crazy, non-stop action ‘omg what’s going to happen’ phase. Its built up so much that you just know something bad is going to happen and I started to wonder how anyone is going to get out of this and how this book was going to be wrapped up in 10%. Well, basically, it just ended. It was so abrupt that I was left feeling unsatisfied. Now, I just want to say, I’m not upset or dissatisfied with how the story ended for our characters, it’s more the way it was so rushed that ultimately I felt let down.

Overall, a good concept and a decent read. 
I received an e-copy of this novel from the publisher via Netgalley in return for an honest review.

1 comment :

  1. Still haven't read a 4 or 5 star review of this book. I'm quite disappointed since the concept is AMAZING! I don't like the info dumping and confusion of the world building but I hope I can keep up with it. Great review!

    - Juhina @ Maji Bookshelf


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