Sunday, March 29, 2009

Recent Read: The Forest of Hands and Teeth

Book: The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan
Current Book Count: 1

So this was the book that actually incited my endeavor to begin this 100 books read by the end of the year thing. I actually picked this up a week ago this past Saturday (that's why I said I wanted to start with the last weekend, not the one that just passed), but I finished it by late Tuesday night. It was after some extensive wandering in the bookstore trying to decide what it was I really wanted to read that I chose this. I'd read some great reviews on this and honestly, with a name like that, I was intrigued.

For anyone not aware, this is a post-apocalyptic zombie book. Think M. Night Shyamalan's The Village meets Resident Evil 3. That comparison is only for visualization purposes because I am not of the mind that a movie is ever better than a book. While there are many book-to-film adaptations there are out there and some are done better than others, none can truly compare to the book. But I digress.

TFoHaT did keep me up once I got into it. It just took a bit longer for me to get to the point of not being able to put it down. Maybe because I don't generally read Fantasy / Horror / SciFi whether it be adult or YA. This book just had me intrigued by the title alone and I got sucked in. Carrie Ryan did a great job building a world of humans coexisting with legions of the undead without making it really feel like I was reading a zombie book.

Mary lives in a village completely enclosed by a fence that separates it from the Forest of Hands and Teeth. The fence is maintained to keep out the Unconsecrated - the walking dead. When she was little, Mary's mother told her a story about the ocean, a vast body of water beyond where the forest ended. But the story was several generations old now and no one living had ever seen it. Mary is the only one who believes it exists. Its this hope she clings to when her village is attacked by the Unconsecrated and she has to do all she can to survive.

To me, the story was basically about a girl feeling trapped: in her her role as a dutiful daughter, in her village enclosed by a fence, in her life. She knows there's more out there and this is her journey to find the life beyond the walls. Trying to find a way out, to find something - hope.

This story resonated with me because I think everyone feels the emotions and maybe we don't necessarily feel like we have zombies coming after us, a lot of times, it does feel like life doles out some tough blows and we lose heart. This just makes me think that no matter what, you can't lose hope. The ocean's out there. You just have to believe in yourself to get there.

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