Sunday, September 27, 2009

The Forest of Hands and Teeth

Ryan, Carrie. The Forest of Hands and Teeth. New York: Delacorte Press, 2009.
[Book cover credit:]

Well, it worked on my sister. That and the trailer:

I just hope she sticks it out through all the exposition/love story/cult-ish stuff for the Big Zombie Payout. But more about in the

Review:I liked this one, but I could have done without all the dragging out of the "is the Sisterhood hiding all of everything from us" in the beginning. I was especially mad about all of the slow lead-up when I got to the end of the book, and none of the intrigue with the Sisterhood seemed to matter.

Well, I guess it mattered in that it gave time and safeness before the Big Zombie Payout for the romance circle to develop: Mary loves Travis but Travis is betrothed to Cass who loves Harry who has been in love with Mary since they were kids. Did I mention that Travis and Harry are brothers and Cass and Mary are BFF's? Well, these things happen when you're living in the post-zombie apocalypse, landlocked equivalent of the Robinson's island (remember both guys being in love with the one girl? At least there are two girls in this isolated go at it). Even though the romance circle is hardly new, it came out in a different way here. Both girls have feelings of loyalty, if not love, towards both boys, and both boys want to remain loyal to each other. I wish somebody, one or both of the guys or even, no, mostly the girls themselves, had made the girls the most important. Though Mary and Cass are still buddies (they're the only girls left after the Big Zombie Payout, what choice do they have), they're never BFF's again. If my BFF agreed to marry the guy I was in love with and I agreed to mary the guy she was in love with to get back at her/because he's the only guy left/cause I don't have the balls to go for the real thing, I wouldn't call her my bestie anymore either. In a book where both of the female protagonists take very different yet both strong, ass-kicking roles, it's sad that they let their friendship fade because of these guys. Neither of which was all that amazing, even though each had their swoon-worthy moments.

But then there's the Big Zombie Payout that I was waiting for! It doesn't erase all the drama, far from it, in fact, since it forces the romance circle into really close quarters. But at least there are zombies everywhere to keep everyone distracted. All of a sudden all of the petty arguments and injustices aren't as important as the imminent threat of the undead. At the same time, given that we're talking about BFF's stealing the loves of each other's lives, the petty arguments are so much more important. And Mary kind of checks out. She thinks she's figured out enough of what the Sisterhood was hiding from everyone to get their little party (which includes the romance circle, Mary's brother and his wife, and a random kid that Harry saved) out of the Forest of Hands and Teeth.

The sequel, The Dead-Tossed Waves, won't be out until March. I though that The Forest of Hands and Teeth could have stood on its own with a reasonable amount of loose ends (can you really wrap of everything with millions of zombies trolling the forest looking for lunch?). I really hope that some of the remaining questions I had about the Sisterhood get answered, as I felt like there was a lot of build-up to nothing on that front. Still, I loved this book, in a way. It was like zombies with brains (haha).

Book Source: Philly Free

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