Author: Carrie Ryan
Genre: YA post-apocalyptic
Pages: Oversize paperback, 404
Opening Lines: "The story goes that even after the Return they tried to keep the roller coasters going. They said it reminded them of before the time."
"Gabry lives a quiet life, secure in her town near the sea and behind the Barrier. She's content to let her friends dream of the Dark City up on the hill while she warches from the top of her lighthouse. Home is all she's every known, and all she needs for happiness.
"But life after the Return is never sae, and there are threats even the Barrier can't hold back.
"Gabry's mother thought she left her secrets behind in the Forest of Hands and Teeth, but like the dead in their world, secrets don't stay buried. And now, Gabry's world is crumbling.
"One night beyond the Barrier . . .
"One boy Gabry's known forever and one veiled in mystery . . .
"One reckless moment, and half of Gabry's generation is dead, the other half imprisoned.
"Gabry knows only one thing: if she is the have any hope of a future, she must face the forest of her mother's past."
Thoughts: After reading The Forest of Hands and Teeth, I rushed to my computer to hold the next two books at the library. Even though I loved The Enemy, I think Ryan's books are the best YA zombie novels I've ever read! However, since I didn't read the back before I started it (I knew it had to be good!!), I was not ready for the book to start with Mary's daughter. I loved Mary from the previous book, but I really liked how Ryan decided to follow her teenage daughter. It gave a different element of the book.
After a late night adventure with friends beyond the Barrier, Gabry's whole life is changed in a way she could never imagine. While the teenagers race to the roller coaster, a Breaker attacks them. Several of the teens are bitten, including Gabry's crush. And if the children being bitten is bad enough, the teens that do survive are forced into a ranks of the Recruiters. Without giving anything away, Gabry is forced onto the trails that leads into the Forest of Hands and Teeth. Mary's book of Shakespeare's sonnets help guide her and her companions.
The first lines of the book drew me into the book in a different way. I felt fully immersed in this book! The talk about the roller coaster made me think of Zombieland. At first, I wasn't sure whether I liked Gabry/ Mary was spunky and always yearned for something more. She had a wild spirit that could not be sated. Gabry, however, is drastically different. Where Mary desired for freedom, Gabry was content to live out her life in Vista and the lighthouse. I wasn't sure whether I would like Gabry as the narrator; however, I couldn't imagine the story any other way! It helped the reader grow along with her.
Even though I adored the first book, this one is my favorite . . . So far! The characters are engaging, and I loved the element of the zombie cult. As disturbing as it was, it was nice to show that people reacting differently to the Return. Also, the history behind the villages in the forest and on the coast added a nice history. I am really curious to see how Ryan plays on this in the next book.
If you enjoyed the first book, I would definitely recommend this one! It is a fast paced, engaging, and action packed read.
Currently: The Dead and Hollow Places by Carrie Ryan
Current Pages: 26703