January 26, 2012

Young Adult Review: The Forest of Hands and Teeth

The Forest of Hands and Teeth
Carrie Ryan
The Forest of Hands and Teeth #1
Genre: YA, Horror, Dystopia
Rating: 5

Absolutely amazing.

This action packed YA take on a post-apocalyptic world overrun by zombies made my year. This is the kind of book I am always looking for. A book that makes me completely lose track of the time as I turn each page with a pounding heart. Crazy-ass nuns with freaky persuasive tactics? Yes please! These nuns are bad-ass with their wine cellar leading up into a tiny fenced in clearing surrounding by zombies. They could get anyone to give them whatever they wanted with that thing, but they are content with playing god in their creepy stone sanctuary

I primarily read dystopian fiction because I love reading about distorted possible variations of society. I have a lot of fun exploring the vast possibilities of not only what the world could be like, but also what could make it that way. You could say I am a big proponent of "What if?" entertainment. This book gave me what I was looking for and more.

The most common complaint about this book seems to be that the characters are flat. Sure they could have been developed better, but here is why I think they way they are portrayed is realistic. These people are terrified on a daily basis. Without coping skills of steel, I doubt anyone would be able to have a healthy expression of their emotions. Sure the heroine is crazy as hell, but I doubt any of us would do much better in her situation. Mary has been through more than her fair share of bull and she still manages to survive. She has lost both her parents and her only family left, her brother Jed, leaves her to choose between living with the crazy nuns or living on the streets. With these circumstances, the girl is going to be a bit unstable. On top of all that she goes through a number of horrifying experiences throughout the length of the book that would drive anyone to their wit's end. So the characters may not live up to your standards of what a person should be like, get over it. I doubt you know how the human mind reacts to daily terror and a perpetually disturbing existence of survival.

That being said, I soared right through this book. It barely every touched a surface that wasn't my hand because I was glued to it from beginning to end. Anyone who enjoys thrilling narrative, survival tactics, and zombies galore will enjoy The Forest of Hands and Teeth I will definitely be picking up book two as soon as possible.

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