Monday, 22 March 2010

Book Review: The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan.

Product details:
Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers.
Release date: March 5th 2009.
Hardcover, 320 pages
Rating: 2 out of 5.

In Mary's world there are simple truths. The Sisterhood always knows best. The Guardians will protect and serve. The Unconsecrated will never relent. And you must always mind the fence that surrounds the village; the fence that protects the village from the Forest of Hands and Teeth. But, slowly, Mary’s truths are failing her. She’s learning things she never wanted to know about the Sisterhood and its secrets, and the Guardians and their power, and about the Unconsecrated and their relentlessness. When the fence is breached and her world is thrown into chaos, she must choose between her village and her future—between the one she loves and the one who loves her. And she must face the truth about the Forest of Hands and Teeth. Could there be life outside a world surrounded in so much death?

 This book came highly recommended to me, but sadly it proved to be a huge disappointment.   I had read countless positive reviews of  this on various blogs, and, though not being a fan of zombie literature, I thought the premise of the book was really interesting, so I went ahead and ordered it. 

The plot did show promise at first, and while I didn't immediately warm to Ryan's writing style, I stuck with it, interested to find out more about the secrets of the Sisterhood. Unfortunately this never happened. In fact, one of my biggest gripes with the book was unfinished plotlines and unanswered questions.  Also, I found that the book really reminded me of M. Night Shyamalan's The Village, a movie which I really didn't enjoy .  I felt that a lot of the time Ryan spent too much time on the mundane here - Mary's entrapment as she enters the Sisterhood, days spent wandering through the forest, which culminated in a slow moving, repetitive book that did not keep me entertained. 

The characters in the book lacked depth, and didn't work for me either.  As our  heroine, I had hoped to like Mary, but I didn’t , finding her fickle and selfish.   The main romance in the book had no foundation and no real emotion, and could have been omitted from the plot entirely.  The ending was abrupt, leaving me unsatisfied, but not wanting more.

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