4 april 2011

Review: The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Jones

Plot: In Mary's world there are simple truths. The Sisterhood always knows best. The Guardians will protect and serve. The Unconsecrated will never relent. And you must always mind the fence that surrounds the village; the fence that protects the village from the Forest of Hands and Teeth. But, slowly, Mary’s truths are failing her. She’s learning things she never wanted to know about the Sisterhood and its secrets, and the Guardians and their power, and about the Unconsecrated and their relentlessness. When the fence is breached and her world is thrown into chaos, she must choose between her village and her future—between the one she loves and the one who loves her. And she must face the truth about the Forest of Hands and Teeth. Could there be life outside a world surrounded in so much death? (Summary from goodreads.com)

First line: My mother used to tell me about the ocean.

Cover: I don't mind it, but I don't love it either. I prefer the black cover with the red thingie on it (don't know what it is really). It's more esthetically pleasing to me.

My opinion: When I retrace my steps to my last few reviews I notice that they have something in common, namely that they're all first books in a series. I also notice that I complain about being a bit tired of the world building and get to know-ing of all characters. And then... I pick up yet another first. What was I thinking?

Ironically, what I somewhat missed in this book was the actual world building. How did the world as we know it come to an end? Who are the Unconsecrated? Where did they come from? Why? I've read in interviews with Carrie Ryan (don't remember where just now) that she purposely left that part out, but personally I would've enjoyed it.

I put off reading this book for quite some time (or put off buying it is probably more accurate) because I just wasn't intrigued by the whole zombie apocalypse, because let's face it - zombies aren't beautiful, romantic and chivalrous. They're yucky. What made me decide to read it though was the expected romance (which is promoted by the cover blurb), but it kind of fell short for me. It wasn't that whirlwind that I was anticipating, although probably a "healthier" YA romance. Just too bad that I was in the mood for the whirlwind.

Throughout the entire novel I had this constant creeping claustrophobic feeling because the characters are trapped in so many different ways. Obviously physically, they are trapped in their fenced village with a forest full of zombies outside. But also on a totally different level, when Mary wonders if is this really is all there is? Is there nothing more to life? Should she settle? Both for Mary and for the readers, many questions remain unanswered.

That being said, The Forest of Hands and Teeth is a fast-paced and thought-provoking novel about dreaming and daring, hoping and losing. I liked it.

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