If you told me in January that I'd read even one zombie book this year, I would have laughed. The Forest of Hands and Teeth marks my THIRD zombie book this year. Craziness! I'm seriously not a zombie-book-reading kind of person. But after shocking myself by enjoying World War Z and one of it's spin-offs (the Zombie Survival Guide: Recorded Attacks) and after reading and loving some YA books recently, I decided to give this one a try. I didn't even know it was about zombies until I started reading it.
Basically the plot revolves around a post-apocalyptic/dystopian world (I loooooove post-apocalyptic/dystopian fiction! Heather, I'm ready to read yours any day now...) where a zombie-making disease spread and there was a zombie-human war. In the Forest of Hands and Teeth, the people are living in a Puritanical society in a small village surrounded by fences that keep out the zombies (Think The Village + Night of the Living Dead). They've heard of an outside world, but no one knows if it really exists until the fences are breached and they have to set out through the Forest of Hands and Teeth to find refuge.
After reading reviews where people talked about being afraid to sleep with the lights out, I was expecting a good, scary read. And it was a good, entertaining read. I read it quickly and cared about the characters and wanted to know what happened to them. But I was a little bit disappointed by how not-scary it was. I think I would have enjoyed the book more had I not been expecting to be scared through the whole thing. It was something of a let down to get to the end and realize that the scary wasn't coming.
But that doesn't mean the book wasn't a good read. I was entertained and sucked in to the story from the beginning. The characters weren't perfect, but they were relatable and mostly likable. If you're a fan of YA or if you're a fan of dystopian literature, I say give it a try. I'd like to hear what other people thought of it, since it's been on my mind for the past few days. I think being unable to get a book out of your head is one mark of success for the author. I've already got the second book in the series on hold and I'm looking forward to reading it with different expectations this time.