Friday, May 27, 2011
The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan
The premise of this book really freaked me out. Not that I'm a stranger to post-apocalyptic tales (although this was my first zombie apocalypse story), but The Forest of Hands and Teeth is written in a way that really got to me. Not in a bump in the night kind of way, not in a "oh my god the zombies are going to eat my brains" kind of way, but in a "what would you do if the world as you knew it ended and you were one of what could be the last 6 people on earth". Does that make sense? I think it was the fact that they really didn't know what was out there that freaked me out. It's the same reason that the idea of space (as in outer-space) scares me to this day... the major unknown factor is super creepy and it's makes me very uncomfortable. Ryan skillfully crafted a story about desperate isolation in a giant and strange world. Creepy.
There's definitely a lot of excitement in this book. Although it starts out slow, the adventure begins rather suddenly and is spread through the rest of the story. It's not exactly "scary" but man, the unconsecrated are gross. There's no cheese factor to these zombies.... they are just plain nasty, and the world Ryan creates where life is constantly surrounded by death is just a little terrifying.
Along with the adventure and suspense comes a lot of really intense writing about personal emotion, life, love, sacrifice and really, the reason for existence. It's a very interesting combination of themes and somewhat surprising in a YA novel.
When I finished last night my husband asked me if I had enjoyed the book. My response, after thinking for a few moments was, "yes! definitely. But I never want to read it again and I won't read the next books". It's one of those stories that I'm glad I read, but it just made me too uncomfortable to want to revisit.