Rage (rj)n.1.a. Violent, explosive anger.b. A fit of anger.2. Furious intensity, as of a storm or disease.3. A burning desire; a passion.intr.v. raged, rag·ing, rag·es1. To speak or act in violent anger2. To move with great violence or intensity3. To spread or prevail forcefully Missy has a burning desire to relieve an overwhelming pain. This is a book about channeling pain into purpose. Missy moves against herself with violence and intensity. This is a book about finding balance, and gaining control. This is a book about rage, and a book about hope. Melissa Miller is a high schooler with a few good friends, a love of soccer, an ex boyfriend she’s still got mixed feelings about, and a family that loves her, but doesn’t quite understand her. Sounds pretty typical, right? But Missy also has a secret. When things in her life start going very wrong, she can’t control the crushing feelings and pain she has. She creates an outlet for the pressure with a tool she keeps inside a lock box in her closet. Missy cuts herself. She has a driving need to release the toxic pain she feels by shredding her skin and bleeding out the hurt. What Missy doesn’t realize is that one mistake following a particularly horrible evening will change her life forever. One mistake will bring Death to her door. And Death will bring War. I have to admit, this book was icredibly hard for me to read. I have never considered making the choices Missy made. I have never thought that doing myself harm would somehow make any situation better, or make me feel like I was in control of something that was spinning out of control. I can say, however, that I am so very grateful to Jackie for writing this book, and for the insight it provides for someone like me. Missy appears to be, for all intents and purposes, a normal girl. A “goth girl” with some attitude, maybe, but a normal girl all the same. What makes her so compelling is her struggle to fight through some pretty overwhelming circumstances. The choices she makes, and the results of those choices, are very real for an alarmingly high number of people. What most people will never experience, however, is discovering a Cobain-ified Death, from the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, in their room, offering them the mantle of War! This story builds itself around Missy’s compulsion to harm herself, and her crash course in War’s desire to cause harm in others. Can she learn the control she needs to start healing herself? Can she become the embodiment of an ancient evil, and do good? Jackie continues the amazing storytelling from the first book in this series, Hunger, and creates in depth characters that pull you into the story. We meet the new Famine and are introduced to Pestilence. Both adding some perspective on Missy’s battle with War. This is not a happy book. Oh, to be sure, there are some fantastic one liners and clever banter that break up and brighten some of the darker points in the story. Death is always good for equal parts snarky wit and enlightenment. It IS a book, however, that will make you care. Your heart will break when Missy’s humiliated (trust me, I’ve never wanted to punch a fictional character so much IN MY LIFE) and it will swell with pride as she learns how to create a better life for herself.As much as Hunger brought to light some unpleasant truths about eating disorders, Rage exposes us to the seemingly incomprehensible choices of those dealing with the kind of pain that literally tears them apart. It’s an important book. I am proud to have shared the journey with Jackie, and with Missy.