Tuesday, September 21, 2010

#46: The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan

A teen girl is torn between two brothers, even as zombies strain at the fences to tear them apart, in Carrie Ryan's Young Adult horror novel The Forest of Hands and Teeth.

I picked this up as a recommendation after enjoying Suzanne Collins' Hunger Games novels.  Ryan's story also features a post-apocalyptic setting, this time a few generations after a zombie uprising, where the residents of a small town deep in the forest now believe they are the last living humans on Earth.  Their village is surrounded by a lot of chain link fence that has to be constantly maintained to keep the dead at bay.

A young girl remembers her mother talking about the ocean, and yearns to set out on what seems to be a doomed quest.  In the meantime, she deals with the various heatings and coolings between herself and the brothers as well as herself and various family members.

A curious mix of teen romance and gruesome horror, sort of a version of Lois Lowry's The Giver as directed by George Romero.  It's hard to recommend for those who like a few chills with their romance, as there are some pretty grisly sequences (including a pregnant zombie and a baby zombie, of all unpalatable things), but it's even harder to recommend it to gorehounds as the teen pines away even as civilization gets torn down around her.

An interesting read, and not without its merits for the careful reader. 

I picked this up with my Books A Million gift card I got for my birthday and read it at a steady pace.

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