Book Review #953 The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan Rating: four stars (out of four)
Initial thoughts: AAAHHH! Oh my goodness. How did I NOT know this was the first in a trilogy.
Basically I had seen a lot of hype around this book on goodreads and various book blogs and I decided to check it out. I had no clue what I was in for and was utterly spell-bound after the first sentence.
This book was horrifying. It was scary. It was amazing. It was crazy. It was wonderful. It was intoxicating.
After finishing this, I couldn't walk straight. And because I had finished around dusk there were shadows all over and I kept glancing over my shoulder convinced I had just seen one of the unconsecrated dead. It felt like a cross between The Giver, The Hunger Games, Uglies, The City of Ember, mixed with zombies. But it didn't feel exactly like any of those books at all, but it had elements and pieces of them woven in.
And yet was a completely original story. I was captivated.
I read it all in one 2 1/2 hour time span and didn't even get up from the couch because I was so tied into the story. But for those of you wondering, there was a definite ending to the story, it didn't leave you completely hanging. But it still brought up some very unanswered questions during the final pages. I was livid with curiosity. I wanted to know what would happen next, what would happen to the WHOLE WORLD. Man, I've put the second book on hold a the library, but I'm really kind of depressed that the last book isn't coming out til spring 2011. Gee whiz. The story completely pulled you in and gripped you until the very last page. I felt like the characters were real and I wanted to know how they were going to survive in this world full of ZOMBIES. I also thought the author did an Excellent job of creating a scary environment that was realistic without being incredibly gory or terrifying. I mean, I was always scared that zombies were going to attack, but not so terrified that I couldn't keep reading because the suspense was going to kill me. This book definitely isn't for the faint of heart, and especially not late at night. But Carrie Ryan did a swell job of incorporating scary images with a writing style that portrayed them in a realistic light but didn't make it overwhelmingly bloody or gruesome.
This book stayed in my head for several days after I was done reading it. I couldn't seem to get a firm grasp on reality. My head was in a zombie induced fog. I kept replaying the images my mind had created over and over, trying to figure out what was going to happen to the world. The author wrote in such a way that I had exact images of the forest and the world she had created in my head, almost as if I had seen a movie. Man, if they ever made this into a movie I don't know if I would be able to handle it, I can't even begin to image all the terrifying scenes jumping out at me from the big screen. But I don't think I'd be able to help myself and I'd be first in line to see it at the theater.
I loved this book. The characters, the setting, the dystopian theme and how it left me turning each page in a rapid succession. I would totally recommend, but make sure you have the second book handy. Because you will be hard-pressed to sit still until you've read more of the story.