i don t know why, but i went into this thinking it was a horror ghost story, but it s actually about zombies Mary lives in a very religious village ruled by the Sisterhood and the Guardians the Sisterhood is strict and enforces rules for everyone to follow and stay safe the Guardians have always protected against the Unconsecrated zombies and provided for them when the Unconsecrated break through the fences and start attacking the village, Mary has to decide if she wants to find another path to safety or pursue her dreams of finding the oceans and be free this is such a weird book like, it s written so simply and dull but i actually really liked it it s EXTREMELY simple and melancholic, which i feel really complemented the atmosphere of the book.
mary s character has like, zero personality from the beginning she s always mentioning the ocean Ocean OCEAN and that s what s always on her mind she s so bland and has an obsession with this guy Travis which is the worst fucking romance ever her personality is the equivalent of a paper and i fucking loved it she s been raised under a strict leadership and defying them would mean being thrown to the Unconsecrated and when she starts learning secrets the Sisterhood is keeping and knows there s life out there, she wants to leave and be free i kind of related to her wanting to live her life free of the village and find the truth also, this is surprisingly so dark one scene in particular that stuck out to me was the zombie baby one Mary and Travis were in this tree house thing where they saw a zombie baby that someone ditched it was pretty sad because this baby can t move, is crying, and wants food, but it s a fucking ZOMBIE BABY Mary had these thoughts that it s literally a baby who wants to be cared for, but she just tosses the baby out of the fucking tree and the zombie baby dies again from the fall and i was just what the fuck she waited to feel some kind of guilt, but didn t idk, this was just damn really stuck out to me.
there s also a lot of cool zombie attacks and then chasing you shit and death and grossness it was pretty great ok, now let s talk about the god damn bullshit ass romance literally, what the FUCK was this Mary has always liked this dude Travis, whose brother likes HER, so it s a fucking love triangle but our girl Mary here only wants Travis and being without him is like,,, she can t bear it which is lowkey unhealthy, my guy she s OBSESSED with this guy there s zero chemistry with them and from the beginning she just loves him and wants to be with him at first i was like, yaas some smoochy smoochy sex time, because i love romance, but the romance got weird and cringey real quick and i just did not want their romance other than that Harry, Travis s brother wants Mary and it was just awkward also, Travis is disabled he has a limp and broke his leg somehow which is revealed later on i was so happy to read about a character with a disability i feel like, normally, i would hate a book like this but i didn t which is so surprising to me.
overall, aside from the shitty romance, i really enjoyed this book zombies, death, secrets, isolation it was SO GOOD.
Synopsis Sometime in the future, the world is overrun by zombies people infected by an unknown virus that causes them to return as the undead and feed on human flesh called the Unconsecrated Mary lives in a village surrounded by The Forest of Hands and Teeth, where the Unconsecrated are kept out by a chain link fence, and to the villagers knowledge, they may be the last bastion of uninfected humanity Mary s little world is ruled by fear and the people have turned to a Medieval like religious fervor to give them hope Mary grew up with stories of Outside the Forest and fences and her latent desire to uncover the truth eclipses everything when Mary finds out a dangerous secret However, a blooming romance further complicates matters, and Mary will have to make a choiceMy review The story sounds promising, right It does have potential and the idea is rather unique especially with the deluge of vampire related YA novels that has been happening but, ultimately, it didn t do it for me The writing was fine and moved at a nice clip, but lacking in detail So much so, that there were times when I wasn t even sure where the action was oriented I never got a real feel for the setting I also found myself not caring for the characters, and there didn t seem to be much character development one of the pitfalls of first person narrative Travis, the love interest, had no discernible personality and so I had no idea why our narrator was so in love with him And for all her suffering, I had a hard time drumming up sympathy for Mary.
The biggest problem was that the author had too many ideas going on at once, and would completely drop story lines altogether No questions were really answered by the end And while I assume the author is planning one or sequels, I have no compulsion to follow Mary s story Because so many seemingly important threads were cut in this book, I don t know how they can be picked up again if they would be at all.
Oh, and a chain link fence Come on Dear Mary,You went full Shane You never go full Shane.
Hugs and kisses, Kikixoxo More filler YA garbage It had potential I guess but the writing quality, the plot quality, the dialogue quality, I just can t It was like the author lost a bet over how minimal a vocabulary she could use to write a book Ocean Ocean OCEAN OCEAN OCEAN OCEAN I swear to god stop saying ocean talk about something else anything else Seriously Do not hit your readers over the head with a hammer we GET IT WE GET IT DON T REMIND US EVERY CHAPTER I AM DROWNING IN YOUR SEA OF OCEANS.
All the main character Mary cared about was going to the ocean And told us constantly There was almost nothing else in her empty head and her characterization was so one dimensional it was putting me to sleep Then there was her love for Travis, lets put love in quotes because even though she told us she loved him it seemed nothing than a childish obsession with something she couldn t have When she finally did get to live with him, she ignored him, she barely talked to him, neglected he was around her, didn t even tell us what was going on I mean are they kissing Are they having sex Are they doing nothing I don t know I m so glad she filled us in on what it was like living with her supposed love of her life hold on let me stop to roll my eyes okay there we go Because her character is so flat we don t really hear much of what goes on save for her tunnel vision over the ocean and nonsensical diatribe She s one of those famous characters that makes odd jumps in logic for no reason whatsoever and you re like wait how did you get from that thought to the other I hated the book from the outset when we were launched right into a long stretch of her living in the nunnery and I was just like please attempt to find less ways of boring me and it didn t seem to be getting better In fact it got worse, with the whole ridiculous two girls that are engaged to the wrong brother and in love with each other s finace thing Then they finally leave the village and things started to get better, but only barely As I mentioned I thought there was one part that was kind of scary that I enjoyed being creeped out by.
But then we got to the part where Mary puts on the dress and goes nuts about existentialism and then I was right back to bitter searing author hatred Please authors of YA, please give up this vague nonsensical writing you re all so fond of about the outside and the others and and the future, it always just sounds like babble specifically from first person point of view.
The main death in the book was about as predictable as what day of the week tomorrow will be, seriously There was this one conversation scene where it felt like the character was signing their own death certificate Don t worry, you re no longer needed, sign here, here, and here okay great come back in the next scene and we ll get it taken care of, thanks Anyway yes I finished the book, and of course the ending gives us that YA first book in the series ending where there s not enough closure to create any sort of satisfaction And since the second book is about this main character s daughter I guess any lingering questions on the fate of the people who weren t mentioned how they ended up at the end are probably answered barely in passing in book 2 And guess what I don t care, not reading it, bye Okay yes Wigs stop reading YA I know I know I m trying to get rid of the ones I ve purchased and then no.
I was very much looking forward to reading this book Great premise, rave reviews Unfortunately, I was disappointed First of all, I truly disliked the writing style Present tense writing can do wonders in skillful hands see Wake, Fade by Lisa McMann , but in this case this style was mishandled, it didn t add any kind of intensity to the story Quite the opposite, I was extremely irritated by it I don t think this book was in any way original It read mostly like kind of Village Dawn of the Dead I Am Legend combo, just worse than either of those stories Then there were these multiple fumbling romances that had no depth to them and only added a thick layer of unnecessary angst to already boring narrative.
Finally, too many things in this books were left untold I do like it when an author leaves you thinking and allows you to come up with answers on your own, but in this case, so much was left to my imagination, that there was simply not enough information in this book to like the story and get attached to the characters What kind of secret knowledge did the Sisters possess Where did the zombies come from Why was Gabrielle the fast one Did Mary consummate her relationship with Harry or Travis These questions were endless Too much was left untold or just hinted at to truly enjoy the book I know the sequel is in the works, and I am positive I will not be reading it.
I don t think I ve read a zombie book that I didn t like Sorry about the spoiler because yes, The Forest of Hands and Teeth is as story about zombies but it s very gracefully written, you sometimes forget there are zombies in it Carrie Ryan definitely has an effortless way of bringing art out of her words Her writing seems to have this hypnotic effect on me and I just had to keep reading.
Writing aside though, I think the plot is also very commendable and I think very original The utopian world is literally juxtaposed with the dystopian world and I was very impressed with the idea The main characters live safely in a Pleasantville ish village and believe they are the last humans on earth while outside the fence where lies The Forest of Hands and Teeth, the Unconsecrated surround them keeping the people inside and leaving them no choice but be content with how they live But Mary, our main character is a curious sometimes too curious it s annoying girl and couldn t accept that all there is to life is their sorry one in the village This is where all the conflicts in the story shall arise.
Perhaps one of the setbacks of the novel is the heavy romance despite not being really romantic I m not particularly sure why Mary earns a lot of affection from the boys since she s not a very likable character to begin with I didn t find real chemistry with any of the matches and I don t like how Mary is too indecisive of her feelings I also find it weird that these sinister Sisters are the ones imposing these weird rules and rituals among the villagers I don t think this will be addressed in the sequel because WTH, I checked it and it has nothing to do with these characters But I want answers on why the Sisterhood rules the village What are these secret passages they re hiding in their cathedral What s their connection with the Unconsecrated What happens to the people left behind To Mary To Jed Overall, it s still a gripping post apocalyptic read and I would have been eager for the sequel if it would answer all my questions but I guess it won t so bummer Guess I ll just have to find out what the sequel is about.
S I hear this is going to be adapted into a movie starring Maisie Williams That would be so awesome
It is told from Mary s point of view, but I didn t really like her very much I found her obsessive need to see the ocean a little annoying I know, I know Without it, there would be no plot Still She didn t come off as an adventurous young woman who wouldn t settle She came off to me, anyway as a girl who s single minded selfishness caused everyone around her nothing but pain Ok, maybe that s too harsh I think she did care about the other people in her life, just not enough to think about them until it was too late.
Her love interest, Travis, seemed one dimensional and flat I couldn t understand why they were attracted to each other to begin with It was like she had to pick someone to fall in love with and he was the only one who was sort of acceptable Even at the end, their love story seemed like it was lacking something substantial I was also disappointed at the lack of answers that the ending provided I suppose that is because this is only the first book in this series Still, I would have liked at least one or two things cleared up Having said all of that, Forest of Hands and Teeth was different enough to make me feel good about having read it.
See this family Or this family Take a good long hard look at all of their faces See how happy, how healthy, how loving they are Imagine you ve known them your entire life and that you love each one than life itself.
Now imagine if you were one of the people in that photograph with them Now imagine that I told you and all those other people standing and smiling with you that I was going to kill you all so that I could go for a trip to the beachOkay, now you know the basic plot of The Forest of Hands and Teeth.
I ve mentioned before that I have a love hate relationship with zombies On one hand, I love reading zombie books and watching zombie movies On the other I will then spend two weeks wide awake clutching a baseball bat while waiting for the shuffle of feet and the moans of the undead outside my bedroom door.
I actually have something like this in my houseI love the chase as things fall a part and slowly people are picked off one by one That s the thing that s almost a constant in the Zombie genre is the psychological breakdown of the group Usually in a zombie group, you ll find the differing personalities and human flaws are what slowly kills the group not so much the zombies.
The difference between most of the zombie media, and this book, is that usually you watch things unfold from the sole sane person who is trying to keep all the crazies from turning themselves into meat patties and throwing themselves to the horde.
In this story you get to watch the gradual mental breakdown of a woman until she s willing to sacrifice anything and anyone just to live out a damn fantasy.
Okay, so I know the point of it is that there are dreams and dreams are important like freedom is important and you must always follow your dreams blah de blah blah Sorry, I m a very pragmatic person Kill zombies first, fulfill life long dream of of seeing ocean second.
Yet, despite my utter hatred of the main character by the time I finished this novel, I still can t give it less than five stars.
I can t give it less than five stars because I spent most of this book gripping the bed covers in suspense The characters were all great, realistic and interesting Mary s decent into madness was COMPLETELY understandable and very well documented and this book was very well written and paced very well.
Then, of course, I had the satisfaction of knowing that if it had been me I totally could have survived better than them And that, my friends, is the biggest satisfaction you can get out of the zombie genre.
Oh yeah, baby.
My Zombie Plan totally beats the crap out of their Zombie plan.
So what s YOUR zombie plan