"A library doesn't need windows. A library is a window." – Stewart Brand

Jul 21, 2010

Read Something! _The Forest of Hands and Teeth_ (Carrie Ryan)

The Forest of Hands and Teeth

310 pp.
YA / Horror

Mary chafes against the demands of her life. Despite the dangerous Unconsecrated who lurk beyond the village fences, she longs to escape her isolated home in search of freedom. When, impossibly, an Outsider comes to the village, Mary's hopes of being able to embark on a new life rise. But the outsider's presence soon becomes a threat, and Mary's escape from the village comes at a high price. Now Mary and her companions are alone in a hostile world. Will they survive, or fall to the Unconsecrated? And will Mary ever find the freedom she seeks?

Appeal characteristics
  • Characterization: Independent-minded, teenage, female main character
  • Characterization: A few chapters mostly about the characters and their relationships alternate with a few chapters of heightened action or suspense
  • Frame (?): First-person narration
  • Frame (?): Romantic elements/subplot
  • Frame (?): Mysterious elements (but the mysteries are mostly never resolved
  • Frame: Extensive worldbuilding
  • Pacing: Short chapters -- 5-10 pages each -- often ending on a revelation or cliffhanger
  • ??: Not very much detailed description of things outside of the main character's feelings and thoughts (visuals, etc. often just get a few words to a couple of sentences)
Other notes
  • I Am Legend? (I've never read this book, so I really have no idea)
  • The later Harry Potter books? Both take place in a fantasy world connected to, but unlike, our own (though HP is present-day and Forest is set in the future); similar emphasis placed on characters and their relationships vs. events; similarly dark; similar protagonists (teens, to some extent with the world of the book revolving around them, faced with life or death choices); semi-similar endings that are happy but not quite fully fleshed out or satisfying (yes, that's a subjective judgment, but I couldn't help myself -- these books frustrated me in remarkably similar ways)

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