May 18, 2012

Review: The Forest of Hands and Teeth

By: Carrie Ryan
Published: March 2009 by Delacorte
Format: Hardback, 308 pages
First Reviewed: January 2010
Buy: Barnes & Noble//Books-A-Million//Amazon//Book Depository
Add it on Goodreads

Could there be life outside a world surrounded by so much death?

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, when the fence is breached and her world is thrown into chaos, about the Unconsecrated and their relentlessness.

Now 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 by so much death?

Rating: 3/5

Okay, so, I saw this book many times at the book store, but I always had my hands full with other books and never got it. Finally, I asked for it for Christmas and Viola! I got it finally. My first impressions after reading the description and seeing the trailer, I was excited. I thought it was going to be great. I like horror books as well as others, so a book about zombies intrigued me. At first, I was let down and I didn't know if I could get through it, but I'm glad I did.

First, I loved the setting. I thought it was perfect for the way the story was going. I wish there was a little bit more of a description of the town, but other than that, I loved it. Creepy and solitary.

Though I'm not attached to any of the characters really. None of them were too well developed if you ask me. I'd have to say the main character was a somewhat strong one. At times she was, but it wasn't consistent. The supporting characters were just okay. Because of this story, it would have been great if the readers were emotionally attached to them, but I wasn't at all. I started to a little toward the end, but by then it was a bit too late and I wasn't as touched or hurt or sad or --insert emotion here-- as I would have liked to. Overall, the characters were just okay. They had potential, but they needed a lot more development. I liked them, but didn't love them.

I think Mrs. Ryan is a good writer, but I don't think she's a great writer. I have a feeling though that she'll grow in her next book. I definitely see the potential there. Throughout the first 100 pages or so, too many characters and scenes were under developed and too many things were repeated. Sometimes the same thing would be repeated on multiple consecutive pages and I kept finding myself saying "I GET IT ALREADY!" I appreciate Mrs. Ryan trying to grab the reader's attention within the first few pages and I think if it were written and developed differently, it would have. Other than under developing a lot of things, especially in the beginning, she's not a bad writer. The grammar was nice to read and mostly everything flowed quite well.

The plot was both good and bad for me. The first 100 pages were almost horrid to get through. Now, it wasn't horrible, but what I mean is, it was both too slow and too fast at the same time. Nothing was really explained enough, so I didn't really know what was going on. And I was bored until the action started. Once the action started around 130ish, the book held my attention and I couldn't put it down. The story is actually quite interesting and I've never heard or read anything like it before. It's mysterious and creepy and dark. There were some twists I didn't expect, but for most of it I was even trying to guess what was going to happen. I figured out basically how it was going to end, but not completely. The end still shocked me and I hated it in a good way. It was shocking and sad and happy all at the same time.

It was a good book, but not a great book. Will I get the companion novel? Yes, I will. Will I ever read it again? Probably. It's not a book that I absolutely love and it's not up there with my other favorites, but it is a very descent book. If you start it and are bored, try to get through until the middle, then I'm sure you'll be okay. If you started it and put it down, I suggest trying to pick it back up.

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