Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Review: Hungry by H.A. Swain

Hungry by H.A. Swain
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.

Publishes in US: June 3rd 2014 by Feiwel & Friends
Genre: YA scifi
Source: MacMillan via Netgalley
Series? No?

Buy it: Amazon Barnes & Noble IndieBound Book Depository

 2.5 rounded up 
    I wanted to read this one because I love the premise of the technology taking us this far, and how not having to eat would really impact society. I wanted to know why it didn't work for some people and was intrigued by the boy and his society that she will undoubtedly be drawn into. 
    Thalia was a great character to read about, I connected with her because she seemed on one hand so ordinary but on the other she had this thirst for knowledge. She didn't want to just blindly accept how things are now and not remember the past. Or question how society has set itself up and made people follow because they have the answer for hunger when starvation and food supply dwindled and wars began. 
    While I didn't quite understand how Thalia got around a lot of the government sites and found the underground, it is probably because I don't know how to do much with computers besides blog, check my email and google. So hacker and highly complex gadgets like their gizmos, a device that connected them to the internet and beyond. There were robot like assistants and virtual get togethers. But I do think that the food angle and how things are set up is definitely something original and a new idea out there in ya sci fi and dystopia. 
    But Thalia would rather get her hands dirty, or talk about cooking, eating and the other things that her grandma grew up with. Their relationship really endeared to me because of how close I was with my Grandma, and also just that even generation apart, they got each other. 
    Thalia has an adventurous and fun best friend, who drags her to new experiences and also questions why Thalia doesn't use her gizmo more, and why she was interested in the past. 
    Then there is also Thalia's stomach growling and the discovery of what hunger felt like. It was wild to think that even bodily functions are different in this world of hers, but I can scarily picture it is conceivable that our own future could move towards things that they have going on. Patches that monitor metabolism, heart rate, etc. Gadgets that society can or doesn't want to live without because it is their entertainment. Food and clothing become so artificial. And that the one with the food and the answers to survival could just take over and control everyone, because everyone needs to eat. 
    As far as the setup, I didn't feel that it ever really explored the difference between being hungry and the opposite of being satisfied... Did the metabolism start working differently on certain people? Because knowing how good it used to taste do they get cravings and treated like an addict and put in rehab? Should they not know any different? Could a girl actually be good enough to hack through a system? If there is no food and no animals, no trees, how are they breathing? Mentioned something about the sun being obscured... wouldn't it get too cold? Maybe I just didn't understand the basics, or maybe I should have just sat back and suspended belief on these? 
    I skimmed a little towards the middle, but it really picked up once they were able to get out. What they found though was in some ways even more appalling than what they left, but I can see why that was included because they also learned a lot there. That with power comes responsibility and that you need to be careful what you listen to and remember to think for yourself. 
    I enjoyed the concept, and I liked Thalia for the most part, but I wish it would have been a stand-alone. Unless it is, in which case the ending just needed a bit of tweaking to completely wrap it up and give me more of hope and completion. If there is a second I am wavering if I will read it because I am not sure where they will take the story based on the world building so far. 
Bottom Line: Decent story with original premise.

My question to you, my lovely readers:
If you could only eat one food for rest of life and otherwise be given water/pill for other nutritional needs, what would you pick?
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  1. Hmmm... yeah I'm not sure if I'd like this one. I wasn't really drawn to it before anyway. I think I'd rather eat the one food than have a pill but I don't know, after awhile that pill might look way better than the food!

  2. Great review sweetie. <3 I'm glad you liked this book. Though you did not love it :D But you did like it more than me, lol. I just could not enjoy it. At all :( Ack. But anyway. Thank you for sharing. <3

  3. I was curious about this one, but now I am going to pass. Sounds like it missed on execution, Thanks for the honest review.

  4. I remember you not liking this one... a lot

  5. There were parts worth reading, but others that I didn't like

  6. That is true. Food is good because of variety

  7. Andrea @The Bookish BabeJune 3, 2014 at 4:32 PM

    Hmmm...that's a very interesting premise. I'm sorry Hunger didn't fully work for you. And not sure it would me, either.

  8. Coffee. They can slip the supplement right into it. Yep, coffee. I am bummed this just didn't work for you and after reading your thoughts I am sure I would be disappointed. I love the simplistic cover.

  9. Well, I'm not sure if this one would work for me either, but I'm glad you enjoyed the concept over all. I'm with Kimba - put the supplement into my coffee, NO COFFEE, I'm out of here! Nice review, too. :)

  10. Sounds like it's all over the place... and I'm hungry

  11. That sounds kind of like an impossible situation, but if I had to choose I'd also choose coffee like others have said. I need it! :-) Great review!

  12. despite some points, I'm glad you had a good time with it. I confess I'm not sure. Even if I'm curious too I think I'll take something else. thanks for the discovery.

  13. It's hard to invest in a story that doesn't quite make scientific sense. I can only suspend my belief so far. Great review, Brandi! :)

  14. Being a foodie, I can't even imagine a world with no food. That's a crime! I'll give props to this book for having a very unique dystopian world, but like Rachel said, if the facts don't match with the reality, it hard to take this book seriously. Hopefully the sequel might answer some question. Great review :)

  15. Yeah, when I first heard about this book, I had to admit that the concept was original, but it just didn't interest me all that much. Based on your review, I'm sticking to that line of thought. And if I could only eat one food for the rest of my life, I choose pizza--it's the perfect food ;)

  16. I like the idea for this book. Food replaced by pills. Truth be told, I hope that never happens. That would NOT be fun.

  17. kirstymariejonesstudioreadsJune 4, 2014 at 12:46 PM

    It is a pretty good concept and pretty unique (I mean, the synopsis, never heard anything like it before- don't know if that's a good thing or a bad thing haha). But, it definitely sounds like a thinker and on a part, would get you thinking about if it was real, there wouldn't be eating disorders, you're health would generally be better. But, also sounds like it needed a bit more explanation for it to be more believable. It's interesting at least! :) Ohhhh that questions cruel. I'd say chicken because I do eat it every day, but I'd want to eat macaroons, yummmmmy.

  18. The concept does sound really interesting and definitely something I haven't heard of before. Sad that some things weren't explored enough, especially with a book that sounds like it good be such a great, intense, and very thought provoking book. Great review!

  19. Great review, I gave it three stars myself. I loved the concept, but felt some things were missing depth.

  20. This is a little disappointing, I thought Hungry was going to be great, seeing as it's on blogs everywhere. I think I still might read it, but now I won't be as let down if it's not as good as I thought it would be.

  21. Hm, it was a shame to see such a book get such a low score. And the idea does seem like something good could've come out of it as well. As for the food I would eat? Probably noodles, or rice. Rice definitely. I could eat that seeing as I loooove it and there are tons of other types as well. :D Variation is key, when it comes to loopholes!


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