Saturday, January 14, 2012

The Forest of Hands and Teeth

Image Detail
Cover: 3
Plot: 3
Characters: 2
Setting: 2

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?
I first heard about this book on the back flap of another book I really enjoyed, so I thought, "Hey, why not read it?" This cover is okay, but not very eye-catching at first. I also was looking for that quality that led up to the title, which sadly never came. It was literally just a sad-looking girl on a plain binding. Unless Ms. Ryan's publishers chose the plain-Jane dress, backdrop, and model for a reason, this cover wasn't that satisfying.

Next, the plot was actually pretty good, despite the fact that I found it slightly slow in the middle. And in the beginning. This book is already so short, but Ms. Ryan used a few details in there that weren't necessary. Also, most of the time, Mary was just torn between these two boys—brothers—who loved her both. I have a little more to pick about Mary, but I'll get into that later.

The characters. Oh, goodness gracious, the characters. This is what made me finally cut the last string. Mary, the MC in this book, was nice and living the post-apocalyptic nightmare at first, so I easily accepted it when she cried a few times when tragedy struck her family and herself. It's a post-apocalyptic and dystopian setting where zombies plight the world. I was forgiving in the first few chapters. And then IT started.

Mary was sent to work with the Sisterhood, and she was always nosing around because they were hiding something, which I got with not too many complaints. Mary cried a few times because her brother had abandoned her with the Sisterhood, and the guy he loves—Travis—was horribly sick.

But THEN, Mary went down to the cellar and ended up somehow hiding from the Sisters, and then she just starts SOBBING. Just like that. No explanation whatsoever. Move forward a few days to later and Mary's crying again. And again. And again. Mary's always just so desperate. For example, she starts screaming and crying and you don't know how many times the author writes in Mary's POV: "I desperately...." "I grow more desperate as I..." It's not exactly those words, but you get the point. Mary's desperate, needy, and stubborn. Not in a good way. For example, Mary always dreams of the ocean and to visit there, but when Travis tells her of what the ocean really is, Mary starts hitting Travis and screaming that he's lying.

When this happens, I'm so entirely fed up with Mary that I just wanted to throw the book. But, of course, it was a library book. The rest of the characters were just as poorly developed as Mary and I can't say anything else. And the setting was just wrong. A chain-link fence. Holding back hordes of zombies. A chain-link fence. What's wrong with that picture? Everything.

Two Snowflakes

1 comment:

  1. Oh, I completely agree! I just could not get into this book, mainly because of the characters. Great review, and excellent point about the fence ;)


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