The book is marketed as having some sort of amazing, touching relationship between the sisters Yeah well, no Not at all One sister spends pretty much the entire novel practicing ballet off by herself while the other, the narrator, does almost nothing but read the encyclopedia and occasionally harvest plants As far as I remember the only time they really bond is when they decide to split one of their last bottles of alcohol and get drunk together Oh, wait, and then there s the sex scene Basically, after the ballet dancing sister gets raped by a plot device that never really shows up again, she s understandably disturbed and shellshocked for a while And apparently the best way to get over rape is to have incestuous lesbian sex Granted, the scene isn t graphic at all, it s pretty much limited to one line, something like And then we made love, my sister and I I don t have a problem with the lesbianism or the incest, I mean hell, it s a NOVEL But it s just such a random event It s never even really mentioned again after it happens and overall it just really doesn t make any sense.
I could go on, nitpicking this book to death, but I think just covering some of the main problems it has is than enough.
Into the Forest was a random book find I picked it off the shelves and decided it sounded like something my sister would like Two young sisters hiding from the rest of their post apocolyptic world that is rapidly become further rings of apocolyptic mess, learning to survive and make a new world out of the old I, um, pretty much talked her into buying a book that I kinda wanted to read I m sneaky that way Lauren devoured it in one sitting I did the same, but in my case it turned into wanting to get it over with so I can start another book if and when they finally arrive in the mail We had one of our long book talks about something one of us has read I love those talks She told me most of it it would be churlish of me to complain My spoilage ratio is infinitely higher than hers I could move to L.
, start a detective agency, and still never make up for the book souls I have stolen from her I wish I had stuck with her retelling than reading it because now I m feeling disturbed and restless Kinda pissed off Laur, we are going to have some words Don t you just hate Eva She s a pod person By the way, the book jacket liessssssss They don t create anything Eva lives in her self obsessed dreams of ballet She would doubtlessly have perished without her sister to take care of her ahem hover in an annoyingly well meaning kinda way in fruitless hopes it would ever be reciprocated Nell talks the talk about wanting companionship, holding the torch of all the ideas that came before when the world was a world of than the two of them She just wants to own facts, I think, like those encyclopedia entries she attempts to memorize, or her sister s time The only walk she d do is two giant steps behind Eva The apocolypse is neither here nor there The girls live in the forest It s rare that it touches their fringes Their hell is the waiting room variety Worrying where your next meal is going to come from Nell and no dreams Eva When the worrying becomes action a new worry about not being needed enough takes its place Eva dances without music It s a pointlessly feverish dream like if someone lost their legs and can still feel them What the hell is she expressing anyway She wants to be great, but c mon it isn t going to happen There is no one to see her dance She has no emotions to express, other than her own desire to be great She may as well wear a wedding dress or put on outfits for parties she s never going to go to I felt that Hegland tried to hard with the rotten dreams of Eva Being great doesn t really mean anything Sure, I could write here right now that I performed an awesome John Lennon frog legs dance If you can t see me doing it what does it matter Applause, please I could write about some story I plan to write that no one will ever read, as Nell does, that doesn t even do anything for me Pity, please Eye rolls Nell has been desirous of a life and company before there was an unnamed apocolypse this is like The Road misery The hows and whys don t come into it Life with the fam was always like how it must be for a dog It s cute when people want it and then it s a pat on the head and on your way when they have other things to do Maybe dress up time in cute outfits when an ego needs to be stroked pets who look like their owners pageant day The shit was shit before the shit went down I m disturbed that Nell NEVER gets past this dog wagging Look, I brought you your slippers Please notice me The mom says You re your own person repeatedly They should have let her go to school and be around other kids It wasn t fair to keep the dog whoops, I mean girl in their wings in case they wanted her around The point of the book was kinda bullshit because in the end Nell is still just collecting facts and cowtowing to her sister How is that creating anything It s the meaninglessness of Eva s dancing What exactly is it expressing Some pretty vague concepts about what ifs the luxuries were over But these are PEOPLE in the story not what ifs Food does change as it is spoiling Eva has a baby after she is raped She just doesn t want Nell to have anything to do with him Nell wants to have a claim on someone and gives They take and that s that Someone on wrote that they grow up and finally leave the house they lived in They burn it out of fear of the rapist returning It had nothing to do with growing up Nell still goes with Eva Into the Forest where she ll continue to take care of the person who would never care enough to set the boundaries in the first place Ugh A book about enablers Eva s addiction would be herself Jean Hegland and I are going to have words You re your own person my ass Nell never learned any such thing Writing that and it being true are not the same thing None of the above would have been a detriment if You re your own person wasn t written so many damned times They lived outside every day life, right But their own needs became the routine, the every day life You don t get to call no society forever Nell had the chance to BE her own person, away from Eva, and she did not take it She stays in the same spot Not her own person Bullshit ending Maybe I ll go through my um my sister s copy with a highlighter and scratch out every time You re your own person is written P.
s Lauren gave this five stars even though she didn t agree with the ending I knew the ending was coming because she told me That threw the whole other book in a light that it was not going to be going anywhere than where it already was Why did I read it then I don t know I was hoping the rottenness was gonna be the fascinating kind, I guess The kind that takes on other rotten shapes.
Set In The Near Future, Into the Forest Is A Powerfully Imagined Novel That Focuses On The Relationship Between Two Teenage Sisters Living Alone In Their Northern California Forest HomeOver Miles From The Nearest Town, And Several Miles Away From Their Nearest Neighbor, Nell And Eva Struggle To Survive As Society Begins To Decay And Collapse Around Them No Single Event Precedes Society S Fall There Is Talk Of A War Overseas And Upheaval In Congress, But It Still Comes As A Shock When The Electricity Runs Out And Gas Is Nowhere To Be Found The Sisters Consume The Resources Left In The House, Waiting For The Power To Return Their Arrival Into Adulthood, However, Forces Them To Reexamine Their Place In The World And Their Relationship To The Land And Each OtherReminiscent Of Margaret Atwood S A Handmaid S Tale, Into the Forest Is A Mesmerizing And Thought Provoking Novel Of Hope And Despair Set In A Frighteningly Plausible Near Future America 4.
25 5 THIS BOOK WAS SO GREAT The writing was so beautiful and the descriptions were gorgeous and haunting and made the characters and images leap off the page My only issue was the way the story was told through journal entries that Nell wrote I feel like if the story had been told in third person it would have given a complete picture of what the two sisters went through, and would be realistic than Nell constantly writing in a journal despite all of the other things keeping her busy Other than that, I was obsessed with this book, and I think anybody looking to read a really realistic apocalypse story should give this a try ALSO THE MOVIE IS SO GOOD I saw the movie before picking up the book, and I definitely prefer it to the book, so I recommend that as well Finally This book was a burden to get through Now that I m done, I feel as if I ve stepped out from the shadow of a dark cloud Now I wonder, was it really worth finishing The language was descriptive and precise, but the tone was very depressing And, it contained some of the most offensive material I ve ever read or seen I m even horrified to repeat it Graphic sex is one thing, but this book has a scene where two sisters make love That goes far beyond crossing the line It makes me want to throw up and then wash my ears out with soap Audiobook version.
This book is weird.
For the first 100 pages or so, I loved loved LOVED the story Its a scary portrayal of the breakdown of Americaand the story of a family that lives out in the middle of nowhere, right on the edge of a forest They end up having to survive on some canned food they harvested from their garden The dystopian aspect of the story is captivating, horrifying, and poignant Basicallyit half scared the crap out of me, and half made me want to dance around my house hugging everything from my clean socks to the light switches.
Then, the characters take over the book, and it is downhill from there The only character I liked was the father, because he was hilarious Once he died, I wasn t a huge fan of the story The two sisters never grew on me, andI don t know Their personalities were both just WEIRD I imagine that the way they acted would probably be somewhat realistic if you really did lose all the things we take for granted, but stillthey just didn t captivate me like the background of the story did Especially when they made love Sorry for the spoiler, but I sure wish someone had warned me about it So the portrayal of a dystopian America gets 5 starsand the characters get nil I compromised and gave the book 3 stars I still recommend picking it up though, because its pretty short and the story s backdrop is fascinating.
Update okay, nevermind I m changing the rating to 2 stars, hehe.
Nell and Eve are precocious teenagers living with their anti establishment parents in the middle of a redwood forest Their contact with the outside world is sporadic, so it takes them a while to realize that civilization is crumbling around them Hegland is vague about the reasons a far off war, new strains of disease, terrorist attacks on US soil She wrote this in 1996, when all of this was less hackneyed But after a few seasons of this, the family is left without electricity, internet, telephones, mail, or gas They are stranded in the woods, with nothing and no one to rely upon but themselves It sounds much interesting than it is The story is told through Nell s POV, and it would be hard to craft a generic character Her sister Eve has a bit personality, but that personality is so broadly drawn that it s hard to give much credit Although the girls are alone with each other for most of the story, their relationship has only the trappings of intimacy, and none of the depth of it This book has all the emotional intensity of a school essay and reads like one, too.
OK, so the characters and emotional life are a bit lacking surely their methods of survival would make up for it Alas, no Hegland is as vague about how to can or make acorn flour as she is on the intricacies of the girls relationship It s all very thinly sketched If you want to read about surviving amidst the ruins of Western civilization, I d recommend reading how i live now or Parable of the Sower, or heck, even Hatchet before bothering with this It s not a bad book but it s not a good one.
In this haunting and thought provoking book, a series of natural disasters and man made events conspire to bring the U.
S to its knees as the infrastructure gradually begins to falter Eventually all utilities shut down completely, and without electricity and gas, there is no real news just rumors Stores quickly empty, and desperation and fear set in The story focuses on two teenage girls who live about 30 miles from the nearest town in the northern redwood forest of CA The deaths of their parents leave them completely dependent on each other At first they sit cozily by the fire, carefully rationing their food, taking an inventory of everything in the house, and waiting for things to return to normal Even as they begin to grow and preserve their own food, and then develop aggressive survival skills, they watch their resources dwindle How incredible to make a decision about when to use the last aspirin or how to use the last can of gas Or to savor a single Hershey s Kiss, knowing that it may be the last chocolate you will ever taste in your life It s hard to read this book without feeling like an unappreciative squanderer This is an amazing story about survival against all odds and about the gifts of nature, and finally about a much tested love between sisters There are some disturbing elements to the story and I haven t quite decided whether it ends on a depressing note or one of triumph But it is a very compelling read.
This became one of my favorite books as soon as I read it I was totally immersed while reading and continue to dwell on this book I almost gave it 4 vs 5 stars though, because I didn t like the end But, I realize, it s not that I thought the end was poorly done it was just difficult for me to agree with aspects of the decisions made The fact that certain happenings were so painful for me, shows how powerful this book seemed to me This is a beautifully told story about 2 sisters who must fend for themselves in a world where civilization has broken down Suspenseful and heartwarming Does make one think about relationships, what s important in life, and how much courage one would have if faced with similar circumstances.
Where to start First off, I was a bit irritated by the implausibility of the characters transformations from civilized girls to wild women After reading The Omnivores Dilemma just a couple months ago, it was hard not to scoff at, say, the pig hunting episode, or the I m gonna teach myself how to shoot a rifle today episode, or the ease with which the girls begin identifying edible plants in their yard with nothing but the help of a poorly illustrated field guide But the real death knell for me were the feminist themes that start as subtle overtones and evolve into heavy handed garbledygoop She wondered what was worse a bear or a man Ugh This is particularly frustrating because, in order to imagine her feminist pagan utopia, Hegland feels the need to evolve the sisters along traditional gender lines, with one receding into the standard female role while the other rises to the occasion to become the provider, hunter, problem solver.
Margaret Atwood she ain t.