Sunday, January 18, 2015


Title: Hungry
Author: H.A. Swain
Number of Pages: 372
Date Read: 1/18/15
Genre: Dystopian, Sci-Fi

Synopsis (Found on

In the future, food is no longer necessaryuntil Thalia begins to feel something unfamiliar and uncomfortable. She’s hungry.

In Thalia’s world, there is no need for foodeveryone 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 hethe inocs aren’t working. Together they set out to find the only thing that will quell their hunger: real food.

My Review:

This book was ok. 

I found the idea of the book to be interesting, which is that humans no longer need to eat food. Instead they drink a synthetic liquid that has all the nutrients that the human body needs. There are no animals and no plants. I liked the book but the ending was weird with a farm cult that I totally didn't see coming and kind of came out of nowhere. 

The main character of the story is a girl named Thalia Apple. Thalia is a "privy", which means her family is one of the richest and top families in this world. Her mother is the one who created the synthetic drink called Synthamil that now everyone drinks instead of eating food. She works for the company One World who has complete control over the food market and is the only food distributor in the world. Thalia's dad also works for One World and he is the top electronic and computer inventor. What starts all the trouble is that Thalia begins to feel hungry, which freaks everyone out because there is no food anywhere on earth and the Synthamil is supposed to suppress hunger and be the only "food" anyone needs. So long story short, one day Thalia meets a boy named Basil (NOT his real name) who also feels hunger and opens up Thalia's eyes about the privileged world she lives in (the inner loops). While she gets all her food for free and is basically rich, there are people like Basil who live in the outer loops which are like the ghettos and poor parts of cities, where everyone has to scrounge for things and Synthamil. He also shows her that she is not the only one who feels hunger; that there are hundreds of people who are also hungry and for who the synthamil doesn't work. So she becomes a Katniss Everdeen and is the face of the rebellion against One World and is on the run with Basil. 

In the beginning of the book, there was a lot of technical stuff that I just couldn't understand and a lot of it wasn't explained. It was like here is everything in this world and the reader is supposed to know what the hell everything is. This world is very into technology and once you figure it out its like our world but the things have different names. There are screens in the homes that act as tv's, computers and skype where people can talk to each other face to face. They're cell phones are called gizmos and do all the things that andriod and i-phones do. The gizmos also have a locator in them and have personal assistants like Siri. Everything is bright lights, holograms, smell synthesizers that make the outside smell like flowers and other things. I really like the privy's version of a car though. They are called Smaurtos and to drive them, all you'd have to do is tell your gizmo where your going and plug it in to the Smaurtos and it drives you around by itself. Our world really needs to make these things- I'd totally buy one. The "kids" all hang out in places called "Plug-ins" which is a combination of our internet cafes and a club, where everyone is logged in through their gizmo and they play games or talk to people. Thalia's friend has a hovercam which she uses to post videos like someone with a youtube channel would. People can also change their appearance by going to spalons, where the stylist can change your eye color, hair color and skin color with injections.I am soo not a technology person and with the exception of the Smaurto, this world would drive me crazy. 

One thing that amazed me is that kids who live in this world have no idea what any animal or plant looks like. This world has been in existence for about 20 years, so anyone younger than 20 has no idea what plants, animals or food looks like. In instances in this book when Thalia sees pictures she had nas no idea what a sheep is or a pig or what cooked chicken looks like. She says she can't even imagine eating a dead animal. Well let me tell her that it tastes pretty damn good. They have a museum in her world with animal, plant and food pictures as well as things like cups, cutlery and plates on exhibit. The museum is called Relics. Another thing that floors me is that the people don't go to the bathroom anymore. They pee once a day and never do number 2. I can't wrap my head around it. 

Another thing about this world. Being hungry and eating is a crime. If you're hungry you're considered a freak and shipped to rehab. Many who are hungry develop Pica, where they will eat anything like dirt, paper, coins, etc. AND eating any of these things is a crime for which you can be arrested for and jailed. There are resister groups called the Analogs who are people who are hungry and want to be able to eat food and then there are the Dynasaurs who are hackers and work online to sabotage One World in any way they can, technically. Dynasaurs are people who hate One World and want the world to go back to the way it was. Thalia is a Dynasaur and Basil is an Analog. 

I liked Thalia a lot. She is so not up with the times and can be considered an old soul. She rather wear clothes like jeans and shirts that she got from her grandmother than all the clothes that are made from new synthetic lab formulated fabrics (remember theres no plants, so not cotton and no animals so no leather or fur). She prefers real books to tablets and is not into any of the popular hangouts like Plug-ins. She finds them very boring. She hates her gizmo also either loses it or has it on sleep mode. She is very concerned for her privacy and always switches off the locator in her gizmo. She is also tech savvy and jailbreaks all her gizmos so she can go on to the Dynasaurs servers. She is very uncontent in her world which makes her likable. She cares a great deal for her family and her friends. She is kind to others and is loyal to those she cares about. She is also helpful but she is a teenager so she can be rude and have an attitude with her family. Once she has her eyes opened about the world, she is very angry about the unfairness in the world and want to fight to make a difference. Hence becoming a Katniss Everdeen or Tris Prior. 

I liked Basil too. He is very worldly and has had a hard life living in the outer loops. He is very resourceful and knows how to take care of himself. He invites Thalia to an analog meeting and opens her eyes to everything. While he loves Thalia he can get angry and frustrated with her easily. But he is also loyal to her. He also has this dilemma inside himself; He wants to help with the resistance but he also wants to leave the loops and find the place people talk about that has food, so he can have an easy life. I think that since Basil has basically been on his own since he was 5 and has had such a hard life that he latches on to anyone who seems like they know what they are doing, like Ana of the analogs and eventually Gaia at the cult farm. Even Thalia points this flaw out to him. When he thinks someone has the answers he adores them and blindly follows them. BUT he always stays with Thalia. 

The romance was nice but I didn't like that it was insta-love. But the rest of it was ok and I liked Basil and Thalia together. Sometimes their fights and spats were annoying but overall they were good and not annoying.



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