Monday, March 24, 2014

Teen Review: The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan

Fantastic teen reviewer Neeka is back with a review of a very creepy favorite:

On a sunny dystopian day, we venture into Carrie Ryan’s The Forest of Hands and Teeth. We find a town in the middle of a forest. A very special forest, in fact, for rather than being filled with trees, it’s filled with the Unconsecrated--zombies, you guys.

This is so much better than every other zombie book you’ve read, because The Forest of Hands and Teeth is rife with emotional depth. Mary narrates the story, and she is tangled in a most unfortunate love triangle. Yes, she is supposed to marry Harry, but..what if she doesn’t like him?

When the fence separating Mary’s human world (the only surviving place left on the Earth--or so the Guardians of the town say, though Mary is suspicious) is breached, Mary witnesses some questionable events while staying at he meets someone. A boy, whom she really likes. Yep, you guessed it, it’s Harry’s brother Travis.

This book is very intense and creepy. The prose is straightforward and chilling, which makes it a story you do not want to read in the dark, when your mind is already playing tricks on you. (Take it from me.) I am not exaggerating when I say that I spent an hour sobbing at the end of this book. My eyes were all puffy the next day and I couldn’t tell my friends why I’d been crying because they were only halfway through the book.

Mary is one of those bona fide strong, kick butt heroines who are so rare in dystopia these days despite claims of those females actually being tough. I’m talking to you, Tris and Katniss. Girls, take a look at Mary and eat your heart out. The love triangle is so much more complex and thoughtful than one would expect. In short, this book is nothing you would expect. By the end of the tale, the prejudices you initially carried when you began the book will be in a trash can. On Mars.

And then, when you’re done, read the follow-up that’s about Mary’s equally kick butt daughter Gabry. And then, of course, you simply have to read the companion book.

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