The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan
Delacorte Press, 2009
It has been awhile since I last read a YA book that sucked me in so much that I just HAD to finish reading it. Looking back, I can’t distinguish anything particular about this book that consumed me so much. Perhaps it was the world building and the creepy factor. The characters were alright, the plot was smooth with a few little bumps, and the pacing was a little weird but workable. Zombies freak me out and they were really well written in this story. I was afraid of what was beyond the fence, but knew that the characters would have to face it at some point. There were some plot holes that I glossed over, but nothing to be annoyed about.
I think it was a pretty decent book. I went into it blind which I think is probably the best idea. Apparently this book was hyped quite a bit so it unfortunately disappointed some people. I feel that it needs to be read with an open mind.
It toyed with the concept of faith and hope quite a bit. Duty vs emotional choice was another common theme. The main character was quite selfish, so that put a contrast towards the rest of the characters and made things a little more interesting. Some parts the pacing zoomed by, and other parts it dragged on. There were times when I wished more time was spent on a particular “scene in time” but if I had my way, the book would have easily been 500 pages long (which isn’t necessarily a bad thing!).
So why 4 stars? I wanted to keep reading. It got to me emotionally. I thought about it before I slept and while I slept. It creeped me out.
The Time Keeper by Mitch Albom
Hyperion New York, 2012
A relatively short read about time and how it affects all of us differently. It is about three characters that are about as different as you can get, yet they are all involved in the consequences of time and come together to learn some life lessons.
The tone reminded me of the Alchemist, in that it was slow, thought provoking, and yet very simple. The writing was to the point and it wasn’t flourished with adverbs and adjectives. He even used a couple of descriptions multiple times to really get the point across (i.e. “coffee coloured hair” for the jolting emotions residing with a particular boy, Ethan). Sometimes simplicity offers the most complex and thought provoking ideas. This is the type of book that Mitch Albom wrote.
Honestly, this book wasn’t my cup of tea, but I can see the significance of the writing and how it does reach out to many people. I just wasn’t one of those people. I’ve spent a lot of time reflecting upon my own life and the time I have, so to me, this was nothing new or thought provoking. It was a decent read. I’m curious as to how I will react to other topics he writes.
Tiger’s Promise by Colleen Houck
I was really looking forward to this book, as it is a prequel to Tiger’s Curse. In Tiger’s Curse, the timeline is hundreds of years after the prequel. I was hoping to get more backstory on the curse, the characters, and the other specific important things from the series.
What I got was a nice, slow build up… and then suddenly an ending. The ending was dramatic, but it seemed forced and rushed.
The character Yesubai is our protagonist and we did get to learn a lot about her. I was pleased at her strong, noble personality compared with Kelsey from Tiger’s Curse. The facts and personality traits revealed about her were very subtle but lend a feeling of awe and beauty.
Mainly, this was a book about abuse, love, sacrifice, and faith. I think it could have been a lot better if it wasn’t a novella. There is no mention of tigers at all, which gives you an idea of where the story cuts off compared to the history learned in Tiger’s Curse. I feel like I got half the story that I wanted. I really like this series but this one was a little underwhelming for me.
Hotel Iris by Yoko Ogawa
When I finished reading this book, my cheeks were red and hot and I had a chilling sensation in my body.
This book is about a particular sexual fetish which takes advantage of a young, Japanese woman in her limited world working in a hotel with her mother. Some would read this book and be disgusted, others would be fascinated.
I liked how the book exposed a topic that many are afraid to look into. Instead of being the outsider, we are giving the insider’s perspective. We agree with Mari until a certain point where things change, but we can sympathize with her and understand the draw.
What I liked and will remember about this book was the writing. It evoked a lot of emotions and sensations regarding touch – which is a sense that I am particularly sensitive towards. I could feel everything that happened to Mari. Was that a good thing? Well it wasn’t a bad thing, but it also wasn’t the most comfortable feeling in the world. As I was able to experience what Mari was experiencing so clearly, I think it is a sign of great descriptive writing.
As this book deals with adult content, I would only recommend this to curious minds that are very open minded about sexual fetishes and that want to be challenged by reading something that may make you feel like you are doing something wrong.