Audiobook Review: Louder Than Hunger by John Schu

Posted June 18, 2024 by Richetta in Audiobook, Book Reviews, Middle Grades, poetry / 0 Comments

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I received this book for free from Candlewick Press in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

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Audiobook Review: Louder Than Hunger by John SchuLouder Than Hunger by John Schu
Narrator: John Schu
Length: 3 hours 41 minutes
Published by Candlewick Press on March 19, 2024
Genres: Juvenile Fiction / Boys & Men, Juvenile Fiction / Social Themes / Depression & Mental Illness, Juvenile Fiction / Stories in Verse
Pages: 528
Format: Audiobook, Hardcover
Source: Candlewick Press
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The instant New York Times bestseller!

Every so often a book comes along that is so brave and necessary, it extends a lifeline when it’s needed most. This is one of those books.” —Katherine Applegate, author of the Newbery Medal–winning, The One and Only Ivan

Revered teacher, librarian, and story ambassador John Schu explores anorexia—and self-expression as an act of survival—in a wrenching and transformative novel-in-verse.

But another voice inside me says,
We need help.
We’re going to die.

Jake volunteers at a nursing home because he likes helping people. He likes skating and singing, playing Bingo and Name That Tune, and reading mysteries and comics aloud to his teachers. He also likes avoiding people his own age . . . and the cruelty of mirrors . . . and food. Jake has read about kids like him in books—the weird one, the outsider—and would do anything not to be that kid, including shrink himself down to nothing. But the less he eats, the bigger he feels. How long can Jake punish himself before he truly disappears? A fictionalized account of the author’s experiences and emotions living in residential treatment facilities as a young teen with an eating disorder, Louder than Hunger is a triumph of raw honesty. With a deeply personal afterword for context, this much-anticipated verse novel is a powerful model for muffling the destructive voices inside, managing and articulating pain, and embracing self-acceptance, support, and love.

Louder Than Hunger by John Schu is a very visual novel-in-verse that tells the story of a young man battling an eating disorder. The author uses words as part of visual imagery that contributes to the emotions of the main character Jake. I really liked listening to the audiobook of this one, but I recommend checking out the physical copy. The size, arrangement, boldness and font choices convey as much of the message and emotions as the poetry does. 

Louder Than Hunger by John Schu is deceptively thick. But if you flip through it you will notice that because of the spacing of the words, the majority of the poems are actually short. 

Jake is the main character and The Voice is the villain (in my opinion). Most of his story is set in an in-patient care facility. It was hard at times to listen to how alone Jake was, but the hope that grows with each page even amongst the setbacks was something that readers will latch onto. 

The story of Jake is based on John Schu’s own experiences. You can hear the pain, the hope for healing and the beauty of small growth throughout the story.

Thank you @Libro.fm for the ALC!

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