From the day she meets Raina Webber, Nancy Takahiro kws that the dazzling All-State shooting guard with the ferocious drive to win is the one basketball player who can match her on the court. What she is t prepared for is the tangled surge of pain and desire that leaves her awkward and shy in Raina's presence. And when Nancy's father and Raina's mother fall in love and decide to move in together, Nancy is even more unsettled - she finds herself living under the same roof as her inspiration and rival, and under the scrutiny of friends and neighbors who react with varying degrees of comfort to her Japanese-American and African-American household. This moving and insightful first vel follows Nancy, Raina, and several of their friends as they go through their last year of high school. For some of them, their senior year will be full of glory, anticipation, and the thrills - and frustrations - of the college recruiting process. For others, however, stranded in an inner-city Los Angeles neighborhood that promises little in the way of opportunity, it will mark t only the end of their time in school but also the end of their hopes for a productive future. Nancy and Raina must negotiate the pressures of being star athletes, the complicated terrain of their home situation, and the ambiguities of their own intense, competitive friendship. The Necessary Hunger is about families, friendship, racial identity, and young people who are nearing adulthood with all the cards stacked against them. It is about sports as a means of salvation, about the nature of competition, and ultimately about the various kinds of love.