Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Book Review - The Forest of Hands and Teeth

"I think about how we are so focused on the peril presented by the Forest that we forget that the rest of life can be just as dangerous. I think about how fragile we are here -- like fish in a glass bowl with darkness pressing in on every side."

I must admit that I have always loved a good scary story - the imminent peril, the racing scene descriptions, the certainty of death. But then the one survives, miraculously, and life goes on, a different life than the main character had ever experienced.

I loved The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan. 
She pulled me in on the very first page as she described Mary's efforts to keep her mother's story of a mythical thing called the ocean alive in her mind. I think the best way to describe this book, and I mean it in the most complementary way, is that I didn't realize it was about zombies until I read the Acknowledgments in the back.  It is a sweet story of unattainable love surrounded by the constant struggle to survive in a harsh, bloody and unforgiving environment. The horrible fate as an Unconsecrated is forever near and only kept at bay by the strength of the fences built by the founders of Mary's village. The religious undercurrent anchors the book without becoming evangelical - the religious order is just foreign enough to seem completely realistic and necessary in Mary's world. She rebels against its rules, of course, and sticks to her full faith in her mother's tales of life beyond the forest that has trapped her all her life.

I highly recommend this book, and I look forward to reading the sequel, The Dead-Tossed Waves.

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