Night Hunger by Alan Gibbons - Barrington Stoke Book 30

I said I had been reading a lot of Alan Gibbons recently, and here is another. Night Hunger is a classic Barrington Stoke book. It is very short and written in the first-person, so we get very direct story-telling with no words wasted. We learn first hand about 16 year old John's mental state. But this is not just a bad case of puberty, John has the Hunger!

Even before John meets sexy, disturbing Beth, he is going through some changes, especially in his diet. He eats anything and everything. But when Beth gets her hands on him, things get a lot more serious. There are some vivid descriptions of meals of raw steak and chicken bones. I'm vegetarian, so might be particularly sensitive, but I think most readers will find it pretty gross (and therefore a possible reason to read the book!) Next come dreams, which are all too real. More vivid descriptions, this time of Beth as a predator-hunter.

This is all really entertaining and gripping but the seriousness of the story really goes up a gear in the second half of the book. I am not going to spoil it, but what happens to one of John's teachers, comes as quite a shock, especially at it is told to us directly by John.

A "thirst for blood" builds to a party on the night of the full moon. A night of lust and fear. John has to manage his out-of-control instincts and "fight the hunger". It does not end with out some blood being spilled.

The issues (girls, school, bodily changes etc.) and the gory nature make this perfect for 15-16 year olds, looking for a grizzly tale. My stomach turned, but I couldn't put it down.

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