Since I didn't have access to the internet, I made sure to go stock up on some new reads for the 10 days I was at their house. In between working at school (I was long term subbing back then) and stopping at home for meals, I spent a lot of time on their comfy couch catching up on some great books.
Like always, I made a trip to my local Barnes and Noble to buy a few new things. Karen, a woman who I have come to know over the last few years, found me searching the YA shelves for new titles. She pushed me towards Ryan's debut novel and told me I would love it.
I was skeptical. The cover did not grab me right away and the title made me cringe. Then I read the "blurb" and right away I thought to myself, "zombies? really?" I wasn't sure, but she told me the writing was amazing and if I didn't like it, I could return it to her, no problem. So I bought it.
And I went back to their house, sat on their couch, and didn't get up until I closed the back cover. The book sucked me in from beginning to end and I absolutely fell in LOVE with Ryan's words.
While there are "zombies" of sorts, this is not a horror filled book where the zombies move around slowly and threaten to suck your brains (I'm assuming that is what zombies do). Had it been that, I would have stormed back and yelled at Karen. I am not a horror fan. I am one of those girls who leaves the movie crying if it is at all scary (Example: I almost walked out of Peter Jackson's King Kong because I was scared, freaked out during I am Legend, and slept with water by my bed for weeks after seeing Signs). I am a wuss. And I am proud to be a wuss.
But Ryan's book is not horror. While the premise of the novel is scary, it didn't frighten me.
Mary and her village are fenced in, and have been for as long as they can remember. Around the fence is the forest of Hands and Teeth, a place where the Unconsecrated (zombies) roam and try to break through. As Mary tries to make sense of the violent and heartless world she lives in, the world collapses around her. She is left trying to make sense of it all, and survive.
I have to say, it wasn't the story that sucked me in, but the writing. Ryan tells her story so beautifully that you really begin to care for Mary and pull for her to survive in this world full of death and despair. It pulls at all of your heartstrings.
Just recently (March 9), the companion novel was released. While I have not had a chance to read The Dead-Tossed Waves, I have already bought my copy and it is waiting for me on my desk.
If it is anything like the debut novel, I am sure I will be just as deeply moved.
Now, to tease you...there is a reason why I selected this book for today, BUT you'll have to wait till later to find out!