Rage is the story of Missy Miller a girl who is described as an emo cutter. She dresses in black, she is an outcast at school and at home, her boyfriend dumped her and called her a freak and she cuts herself to take away the pain. Clearly life is not going the way she wants it to. Then Death shows up on her doorstep and offers her a package and calls her War, one of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse.
I like how this series is not afraid to tackle tough issues. Hunger took on the story of a girl with anorexia and this is the story of a girl who cuts. Kessler doesn’t she away from the gritty details about why she cuts or how she cuts. She doesn’t sugar coat any of the teen angst of it;; she relishes in it as the heart of her story. Missy is an angry, hurt girl; that is part of who she is and cutting is part of that pain and anger and part of who she is. Her parents, sister and friends do not understand or know about that pain nor can they help with it. I like the war between Missy and War; it demonstrates the war going on within Missy herself and the fact that she has to come to terms with who she is in order to accept herself.
If I do have one problem with this book it is that the battle of acceptance was fought and one a little too neatly. I don’t think cutting is something that can be stopped immediately. It is sort of like anorexia in that it is probably a lifelong battle that you have to fight every day and it seems like Missy fought her battle and accepted herself just a little too quickly. But these are very short books so the battles for acceptance are quick ones. I am also not sure where this series is going. We have now met all the Horsemen, but if there is going to be a great apocalyptic battle I haven’t seen any hints of it.