After a brief meeting with author Carrie Ryan at the National Council for Teachers of English's national meeting this year, where I too was proud to present, I could not push her books out of my head. She intrigued me so much in her session that I couldn't make myself think about reading anything else but the Forest of Hands and Teeth. So, the moment that I finished my semester at the University of Alabama I downloaded my first purchase on my Nook and started reading. I read and read and read and read so much that my fiancé got slightly aggravated at me, because I was so consumed in the book! It was greatly impossible to put down - even to make the 10 minute drive from his house to mine! I crawled into bed last night at about 11:00 or so and picked up my nook and started reading again at around page 115. I told myself, "I'll read until midnight." Well, that turned into "I'll stop at 1:00" or "I'm just going to finish this chapter." Before I knew it I was entirely through the 233 page book (according to the pagination of my Nook) and it was 3:15 in the morning! My fiancé was shocked when I called him on his lunch break at work at 3:30, since I am nowhere near a night owl!
With all of that said, I am completely in love with Mary and her story. I love her persistent and hopeful soul. I love that she never gives up on anything, and will risk life and limb to prove her dreams true. . I had just recently finished Sherman Alexie's book The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian for a class project, which is written in first person, diary-like, stream of consciousness form, so I felt at ease reading all of Mary's inner thoughts. I enjoyed seeing her struggle between her heart and her village's traditions -something that I think many teenage girls deal with today, just slightly different circumstances- because it makes you feel like Mary is real. With the amount of detail that Carrie Ryan gives it's almost as if you can jump right into Mary's body and become her. You are immediately overtaken by her thoughts and consumed in her. There seems to be no lack of action in this book, and I was always left hanging at the end of a chapter. That might be the reason I couldn't put it down!
Hint: Never tell yourself you are only going to read the first sentence of the next chapter! You will NEVER quit reading the chapter!
In closing, Give her book a try; it's not all about zombies and them eating people (although there is no lack of death and zombies). I love how Mary tries so desperately to find the life in a world so surrounded by death. It is her unrelenting spirit that pushes this novel forward. Alright! It's time for me to put away the computer and go download the next book, The Dead Tossed Waves! Congratulations to Carrie Ryan and her success! God Bless!