Title: The Forest of Hands and Teeth (The Forest of Hands and Teeth #1)
Author: Carrie Ryan
Format: Paperback, 308 pages
Pub. Date: February 9th 2010
Source: Libby Blog
2.5 Stars, Rounded up.
For as long as Mary has remembered, there has only been The Forest of Hands and Teeth. There is only their village, only the Sisterhood, and the Guardians. They are all that remains since the Return. Their village is gated in, keeping the Unconsecrated in the forest. The Unconsecrated were once friends and family, but no longer. Once the bite sinks in, and the infection takes hold, it's only a matter of time before you're one of them- a zombie. But Mary's mother has told her stories, stories of a large body of water called an ocean, and men who have walked on the moon. After she learns of a few secrets that the Sisterhood is keeping from the village, she has to wonder if her mom wasn't so crazy after all. She must decide how much she's ready to risk- her love, her family, herself- in order to find out what lays beyond the forest.
This book was very difficult for me to rate. I am not a fan of the zombie genre, as a whole, and was hoping that this would be the book that would finally satiate me. Sadly, it wasn't. The book wasn't badly written, nor was it amazing. I found it to be average, and I hope to explain why that is below.
-From the beginning, I felt a major disconnect to the main character. For this reason, I felt disjointed throughout the rest of the novel. I often disagreed with her decisions, and was more often than not indifferent to her as a whole. I found myself agreeing more often with the friends/family that told her to grow up and get real. Maybe I'm just a cynical adult these days.
+That being said, I appreciate that Mary turns into a bad ass when she needs to. When people that she know become infected, she doesn't hesitate to turn into the killer that her village trained her to be.
-I felt like this book was a prequel, not a series-starter. The first two-thirds or so passed by really slow for me, and I was bored for a long time. But in the last third, it kicked into gear, and it seemed like the story actually began.
+The story is very descriptive. I was able to picture the scenes, especially the Forest, very well, and it did help to make me commit to finishing this book. If not for the well written details, I probably would have abandoned it.
-One problem I did have with the writing was the time lapses between chapters. Sometimes it was just over night, sometimes it was a month or a week. It was easy enough to catch up on once the author explained how much time had elapsed, but the inconsistencies did bug me a bit.
Upon finishing this book, I am primarily indifferent. I won't be adding it to my list of favorite books, that's for sure. But, it wasn't a waste of time reading it either. So, my opinion is this: If this book comes into your possession, read it. If it does it, I don't think you're missing out on much. If you like zombies, you may like this book a hell of a lot more than I did. If you're a fan of dystopian books, you may be a bit disappointed. As it stands now, I'm unsure if I would like to continue the series. I think it may be better than the first one, since all of the back story appears to be out of the way.
Thank you to Libby Blog for my copy.