Book review: A Certain Hunger

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

The book in one sentence: A raw and deeply personal confession from an unhinged serial killer food writer who loves men—in more ways than one.

Read if: You need a refreshing female character who isn’t grappling with miserable societal norms, fighting her way out of life or death situations, or falling in love. And if you love Hannibal Lecter.

Book length: Less than 300 pages; you can tackle it in a couple of days because trust me, you won’t be able to put it down.

A Certain Hunger left me hungry for more narratives and characters like Dorothy. If you love smart, unhinged, authentic female characters, this is the book for you.

Summers delivers an unapologetic voice and perspective in the main character, Dorothy Daniels. What I really enjoyed about her writing is how fleshed out Dorothy’ is as a character. We don’t get to know her through her experiences or interactions as much as we do her own reflections and commentary. Her knowledge as a food writer plays extremely well with her sexual appetite. Summers created Dorothy in a way so nuanced and multidimensional that it left me wondering how I really felt about her decisions and actions at the end of the book. That’s how good stories should be—they leave you thinking.

The book also tackles the themes of morality, independence, human relationships, and gender norms. You may not enjoy this if you are looking for strong plot-driven storylines, as this one jumps around in timelines, consistent with its first-person narrative style. You will also not enjoy this book if you are looking for a riveting character arc. From beginning to end, our character is consistent.


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