March 2010 by Random House Childrens Books
Source: Library ebook
Gabry lives a quiet life. As safe a life as is possible in a town trapped between forest and the ocean, in a world teeming with the dead, who constantly hunger for those still living. She's content on her side of the Barrier, happy to let her friends dream of the Dark City up the coast while she watches for the top of her lighthouse. But there are threats the Barrier can not hold back. Threats like the secrets Gabry's mother thought she left behind when she escaped from the Sisterhood and the Forest of Hands and Teeth. Like the cult of religious zealots who worship the dead. Like the stranger from the forest who seem to know Gabry. And suddenly, everything is changing. One reckless moment, and half of Gabry's generation is dead, the other half imprisoned. Now Gabry only knows one thing: she must face the forest of her mother's past in order to save herself and the one she loves.
Those of you who have read my review of The Forest of Hands and Teeth, will know how much I loved it. I was very excited to start this second installment. However, I was sadly disappointed. This book could almost be read as a stand alone. And had I not read the first one, I may have liked it more...or maybe not.
My biggest issue was with the main character, Gabry. Could there really be anyone with worse luck than this girl? Seriously? It just seemed that one disaster would happen and then, bang, another. Then another, and another. And as a result, she was constantly blaming herself and wining about everything! There was so much self-loathing in this story and not just from Gabry, but everyone. Maybe it just comes with the territory. When you are constantly looking death in the face, what else is there really? I found myself loathing everything along with them.
However, Carrie Ryan, redeemed herself during the last 100 pgs or so. Gabry finally finds herself and some inner strength. There was just more depth to the story on a whole towards the end. There were some pretty heartbreaking scenes and some terrifying ones in the end that made the closing of this one quite the page turner. The underlying message in the end? You have nothing without Hope and Love. They go hand in hand. And I have hope that the third book, The Dark and Hollow Places will live up to the first book. And rumour has it? It's even better than the first.
Rating: 3.5 stars