Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Review - The Forest of Hands and Teeth

* Spoiler Alert*
Zombies like vampires have become mainstream. We are surrounded by them in books and movies. The Forest of Hands and Teeth is one of the many. Here is the review that I posted on Goodreads last week with some interesting links, for zombie lovers or not.

The Good

The writing style was easy to read, definitely good for young adults. There are many suspenseful and scary parts which is the point for a horror, post apocalyptic, zombie novel. It has a great title. The cover is effective and aesthetically pleasing. The story line is interesting and complex, and may make a good movie. (see link below)

The Not So Good

I felt that the main character, Mary was difficult to believe. I found myself wanting to skip bits here and there as she "vented" in the text. I agree that her life was tough, in fact it can't get much worse. She is stuck in the middle of a forest surrounded by zombies (Unconsecrated); with a negative religious influence (The Sisters) - whose actions are cruel and oppressive; her mother and father have just become zombies; she's in love with a young man that she morally cannot have; is forced to go into the "sisterhood" because her brother doesn't want her in his home; and lastly she desires more than the small village life has to offer. It's the last complication that bothers me. Specifically, Mary is confused. Like most teenagers she is trying to figure out who she is and what she truly wants from life even though her choices are severely limited amidst this horror. My thoughts are how is that she is even able to contemplate her life choices. Humans when faced with life threatening events and surrounded by constant death and extreme terror, become "survivalists" where basic needs over come desires. But what Mary figures out is that she has to see the ocean. Oh dear, this would be the last thing on my mind.

I have given this book 3 stars.....actually its more like 2.5 stars. I can't say that I disliked The Forest of Hands and Teeth, because I did finished the book. I just had some trouble with it.

But don't let that stop you because it was a scary read, and maybe the movie will be good.

Sfscope film rights article

Click on the title of this post for Carie Ryan's web site for additional information on the book and movie.

Also an interesting and saturated article link to Library Journal's listing of lots of things Zombie.

Another link not as extensive but interesting non the less NPR.

For non US readers coming soon links for buying information for Canada, UK, and Europe.


Amanda said...

I liked this one more than I thought I would. I didn't get the impression that Mary was a teenager, though, more like 21 or 22. I think it's easy in a world where you have such a limited power for action and existance to find yourself focusing on the beautiful bits your mind can put together. I particularly enjoyed the little twist with the gates at the end, when she's talking to the guy on the beach.

Unknown said...

Thanks for the comment Amanda.....I should link your review as a different perspective? I'm not sure I would be able to even get beyond the horror. I also I felt like she was a confused teenager - around 16ish. I'm not sure it says how old they are.

logankstewart said...

My wife just finished reading this book. She liked the beginning and up to a certain point, but ultimately went away with a "blah" attitude for the conclusion. But I love zombies, which is why I wrote a 10 part short story about them on my blog just a week or two ago.

Nice review, by the way.

Unknown said...

Thanks Logan .....I will have to check that story out. I'm generally a pretty easy going reviewer. I like YA and horror so....I just felt a little annoyed with the book and it took me a while to figure out why. Its probably going to be a good movie. Did you checked out the links there's a ton of stuff there?

Unknown said...

I just recently finished this book and really enjoyed it. I didn't think I would because I'm not a fan of zombie stories but this one focused on their survival rather than the zombies. It reminded me a bit of the movie The Village which I liked. It had a lot of edge of your seat moments. I believe there is a sequel in the works.

Unknown said...

Shelley, I also enjoyed the book or I would have ditched it... and yes it sounds like a sequel would be in order, which I will definitely read. I loved The Village too. There are not too many good horror flicks but The Village was great. I hope if they make a movie of The Forest... it will be good as well. Something to look forward to.

Book Dragon said...

just a quick note to say I added links

Unknown said...

Thanks Dragon!

Amanda said...

I don't think it ever said her age, either, but it did say she was in the fourth year after reaching marriageable age. I guess it all depends on what they consider marriageable. 12? 16? 18? I got the impression that she could be no younger than late 19 or 20.

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