Tuesday, December 2, 2008


The Forest of Hands and Teeth
by Carrie Ryan
Young Adult Science Fiction

Well, this has been sitting on my nightstand for a couple months now. In October I didn't read it because I couldn't find it (this may seem like a weak excuse, but there is a very tall and complicated pile of things on my two-tiered nightstand), and in November I was busy writing a little something of my own for NaNoWriMo.

So I didn't realize that, sitting on my nightstand, there was a ZOMBIE APOCALYPSE NOVEL.

What the heck? Guys, it is your responsibility to tell me when a new vampire or zombie novel is in the cards. It doesn't come out until March, but that's no excuse for not being aware of it. I'm not going to lie, I'm a little disappointed--especially in myself, for overlooking it.

Anyway. I read it. And it was awesome. As I mentioned, this is a novel about the zombie apocalypse. It takes place several generations in the future, after a small village has sealed itself away in the Appalachians (I think) and survived for many years. The village is led by a religious order called the Sisterhood. Mary, a teenaged girl, begins to question the edicts that she has lived her life by--but she has no way of knowing if other people live beyond the forest filled with Unconsecrated. Let me just say, though...she finds out.

39 Clues: One False Note
by Gordon Korman
Middle Grade Adventure

I didn't realize that each 39 Clues book was going to be written by a different author. I'm particularly excited about number 4, which will be written by the recent winner of the YA National Book Award (review to follow). This one was great, despite my initial confusion. Dan and Amy are on the case for the second clue, which leads them to Vienna, Salzburg, and Venice. There's lots of historical information, which I love, and action, which I also love. This series is definitely living up to my high expectations. I can't wait until the next one comes out in March!

What I Saw and How I Lied
by Judy Blundell
Young Adult Historical Fiction
Winner of the 2008 National Book Award for YA Fiction

This book was really, really not what I expected. First of all, I don't know that I've ever read a YA novel that takes place in the years after WWII. Most WWII books involve...the war. This one did too, but only as Evie remembered her experiences of it: Victory gardens, a lack of sugar and coffee, and the glamor of it all. She grows up throughout the course of the book, but not in a cliche or predictable way. At first she views the world through a lens provided by her mother, but as the narrative goes on Evie begins to find her own powerful voice. She is one of the most believable characters I've encountered, even though she lives in a time that I have no experience of. Very impressive.

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